AFPHM eBulletin – 30 April 2021

A message from your President

This month I would encourage you to engage with the RACP Congress, in particular the Gerry Murphy Prize and John Snow Scholarship presentations (on Thursday, 6 and Thursday, 13 May, respectively). In a pre-recorded Congress session on 4 May from 12pm to 1.30pm there will be presentations of two public health projects selected from abstract as well as the official launch of the ‘Public Health Physicians: Protecting, Promoting and Improving Health for the Whole Community’ document, highlighting the training and roles of public health physicians in Australia. This is a fabulous (pre-recorded) session with trainees and Fellows working in a broad range of areas briefly presenting on how they work in public health medicine. At the end of that session, I am very excited to be announcing the annual prizes, including the Presidents Extraordinary Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Public Health during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 session. These awards are a one-off – please come along and hear about the fantastic contributions from our trainees and Fellows in 2020.

Earlier this month I attended a roundtable organised by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and hosted by the Better Futures Australia Health Sector Working Group. The roundtable called for organisations to sign an open letter to the Prime Minister, calling for prioritisation of health in the context of Australia’s Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, a commitment to the decarbonisation of the healthcare sector by 2040 and the establishment of an Australian Sustainable Healthcare Unit, and the implementation of a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Wellbeing for Australia. There are a number of useful and interesting links on the website.

Winter is clearly on its way in Canberra – the frosty nights are here! With the recent hiccups in the COVID-19 vaccination program, and soaring rates of illness in countries where many of us have strong links, maintaining our public health measures and vigilance has never been more important to get through this winter safely. I thank our Fellows and trainees who are providing strong and steady public health voices to guide and reassure the Australian public. These roles are very clearly elucidated in our role statement

Professor Robyn Lucas
AFPHM President

RACP Foundation Research Awards

Applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards will open on Monday, 3 May 2021. Upwards of 50 awards up to a total value of $2.5M are available across the different categories: Career Development Fellowships, Research Establishment Fellowships and Research Entry Scholarships

Applications for other award categories including Research Development Grants, Travel Grants and Education Development Grants will open on Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

Most awards are open to Fellows and trainees across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Please refer to the RACP Foundation webpages for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award. 

Trainee and medical student public health presentations

Support your trainees and medical students by watching them present on public health topics as part of the 2021 RACP Congress Series. This year, the presentations will be held virtually as follows:

You must be registered for Congress to attend.

AFPHM Oral Examination – eligibility deadline

The AFPHM Oral Examination is a summative assessment that trainees are required to sit towards the end of training and on completion of at least 29 units of training. The Oral Examination is held annually and takes place at the end of October. Trainees will now be required to complete 29 units of training by 31 December of the year they plan to sit the examination.

The previous cut-off date of 1 December resulted in many trainees who commence training mid-year being unable to meet the eligibility requirements by 1 December of their third year of training. These trainees are significantly impacted by having to wait to sit the oral examination the following year. 

Please refer to the Public Health Medicine Program Requirements for further information about examination eligibility.

Applications opening on Monday

Applications for the October 2021 AFPHM Oral Examination will open on Monday, 3 May and close on Friday, 14 May 2021. 

More information is available on the AFPHM Oral Examination webpage.

Advanced Training Curricula Renewal update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 consultation on the proposed common learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) programs for Advanced Training (AT). Your feedback was used to refine the programs and ensure they are robust and appropriate.

The common LTA programs for AT have now been finalised.

The common LTA programs will establish a baseline for learning, teaching and assessment across all AT programs. As each specialty undertakes their program-specific curricula reviews, they will build on the common LTA programs to meet the needs of their specialty. 

This year, in collaboration with the Curriculum Advisory Group, we will continue to support the first six specialty groups to undertake the development process:

  • Cardiology (Adult Medicine)
  • Cardiology (Paediatrics & Child Health)
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • General Rehabilitation Medicine

More information about Advanced Training Curricula Renewal is available on our website.


RACP Congress 2021

What happens if there is a lockdown in your city due to COVID-19

In light of the recent Perth lockdown due to COVID-19 and ongoing uncertainty regarding local restrictions, we have made the difficult decision to shift the Perth program to a wholly virtual event.

We want to assure all RACP Congress 2021 attendees that plans are in place should there be a lockdown in any of the in-person cities. The possibility of this has always been part of the planning for RACP Congress, and the program has been designed to switch to a wholly virtual experience, if necessary. If you purchased a ticket to an in-person event, your existing registration automatically allows you full access to the entire Congress program so you can simply login via your OnAir app.

If you have purchased a ticket to attend an in-person day that needs to be cancelled, you will receive a full refund for the difference between the in-person and virtual ticket price. This may take up to two weeks to be refunded to the account from which your payment was made.

You can still register to attend virtually

If you have yet to register for RACP Congress 2021, but still want to attend, you can still purchase a virtual ticket. This will include access to the entire RACP Congress program as well as six months of access to all of the recorded sessions.

Register now

Share your experiences of completing your specialty training requirements

Researchers at Bond University want to hear about your experience completing your specialty requirements for Advanced Training via this short survey.

You are eligible to take part if you:

  • are currently undertaking your specialty training at an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand specialist training college
  • have completed your specialty training at an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand specialist training college in the past five years.

Participation in this survey is voluntary and should only take 10 minutes.

This survey has ethics approval from the Bond University Human Research Ethics Committee [HREC: PS00149].

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability

In April 2021, the RACP provided its submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability. Following consultation with members last year, the RACP has provided 35 recommendations to the Royal Commission that seek to improve health outcomes for people with a disability and their experience of the healthcare system. 

These include five areas of transformational change to the health and disability sectors:

  • ensuring a human-rights centres approach; reducing levels of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with a disability
  • providing person centred, integrative care
  • improving the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • enhancing the systems which support the health and disability sectors.

The submission also focuses on the experience of specific population groups and provides recommendations to enhance healthcare for people with a disability across the lifespan. 

The submission can be viewed on the RACP Policy & Advocacy webpage

Contribute to the Clinical Ethics Online Learning Resource

Fellows, Advanced Trainees and subject matter experts are invited to express interest to join a Working Group for the development of the Clinical Ethics Online Learning Resource. The resource will be designed to educate and support Fellows and supervisors in building their own clinical ethics capacity and in conducting teaching and training sessions in clinical ethics for trainees. 

Find out more and apply now

For NSW members – the NSW Ministry of Health Your Training and Wellbeing Matters survey

The NSW Ministry of Health Your Training and Wellbeing Matters survey is an initiative of its Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Wellbeing and Support Plan. The 2021 survey will run from Monday, 26 April to Sunday, 16 May 2021. 

The survey will give all doctors working and/or training, their supervisors and support staff the opportunity to provide confidential feedback on what it’s like working and/or training in the NSW health system. This online survey will ask about your experiences in the position that you are currently in or as at 1 February 2021.

The results from this survey will provide valuable information to strengthen medical training and management, and assist in providing safe and supportive working environments.

There are three separate surveys: 

  • Doctors working and/or training – for interns, residents, registrars, doctors in accredited training positions or unaccredited positions and career medical officers
  • Supervisors of doctors training – for senior medical officers who have responsibility for doctors training.
  • JMO management and support staff – for JMO management and education support staff who spend more than 50 per cent of their time in activities involving the management and/or education of JMOs.

More information is available in the NSW Health factsheet

To participate in the survey please visit the NSW Health website

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep69: Gendered Medicine – Funding and Research

This is the third and final part of our series on gendered medicine. We step back and look at the way that healthcare and research are funded. It’s been said that the health needs of women are undervalued by our existing fee-for-service model, down to individual item numbers in the Medicare Benefits Schedule. There is also evidence that diseases predominantly experienced by female patients receive less research investment. Is this blatant sexism or a symptom of structural imbalance? And what do we do about it?

Listen to podcast

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, or any podcasting app.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website. 

RACP asks for timely clear action on preventive health

The development of the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 comes at a time when the need to address the imbalance between prevention and treatment and provide a coordinated national response that involves all systems could not be clearer. The draft strategy goes some way towards these goals, but significant gaps remain.

In its recent submission on the draft strategy, the College has asked the Government to:

  • provide greater detail on how the five per cent of the national health budget earmarked for prevention would be allocated
  • increase focus on work, employment and poverty as determinants of health
  • increase focus on the environmental determinants of health in an actionable way
  • include evidence-based approaches such as taxes and restrictions on junk food marketing to children
  • centre the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • acknowledge and make actionable measures to better address the needs of people with disabilities
  • assign specific responsibilities, accountabilities and milestones.

The upcoming Preventive Health Strategy must be designed, funded and implemented in a timely and actionable way if it is to lead to tangible, meaningful improvements in health outcomes for all Australians. 

Read our submission

Enrol in the new developing effective teaching skills QStream course

Fellows and trainees of all specialties are invited to enrol in this new QStream course, which has a mid-May start. The course is designed to provide practical strategies to help you enhance your teaching skills and effectively balance teaching with a busy workload.

You'll access in-depth case studies with questions that are sent directly to your inbox at spaced intervals over a three-week period. Each question takes just ten minutes to complete and participants are encouraged to discuss the case studies and share opinions with others through secure, online discussion forums.

The course is designed to enhance your knowledge in adult learning, provide practical strategies to incorporate effective teaching skills into day-to-day settings, and encourage self-reflection and peer discussion.

Digital health resources

Digital health resources have been developed and curated to assist Fellows and trainees to better understand digital health initiatives, including My Health Record, and provide opportunities for further learning and professional development.

Visit the digital health webpage to watch videos about telehealth, electronic prescribing, My Health Record and secure messaging.

Development of these resources has been in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency, who are responsible for the delivery of Australia's National Digital Health Strategy. The Strategy's key pillars include driving innovation, education and workforce development, enhanced models of care, interoperability and data quality, medicines safety, My Health Record and secure messaging.

Webinar recording: Using health data for practice reflection

The Digital Health CRC kicked off a series of virtual events covering hot topics in the field of Practice Analytics on 21 April 2021. Please listen to the recording of the inaugural webinar ‘Using health data for practice reflection: Changing expectations on the role of data in professional development’. This webinar discussed the potential use of health data for practice reflection and professional development.

The panel included Anne Tonkin (Chair, Medical Board of Australia), John Wilson (President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians), Julian Archer (Executive General Manager for Education, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) David Rankin (Director Clinical Governance and Informatics, Cabrini Health), Robert J. Birnbaum (Mass General Brigham, Harvard Medical School) and was chaired by Tim Shaw (Director of Research, Digital Health CRC). 

Useful AFPHM training resources

A reminder to all AFPHM trainees, the following resources are available for your training:

Other resources you may be interested in, include:

Career opportunities 

View all positions vacant.

Expressions of Interest  

Check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you. 

Events and conferences

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses. 

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

AFPHM contact details

Member enquiries:
(AUS) 1300 69 7227
(NZ) 0508 69 7227

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

Public Health Learning Advisor:
Jennifer Desrosiers

AFPHM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8247 6286

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit
Phone: +61 2 9256 9681

AFPHM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit

Phone: +61 2 9256 9674

AFPHM CPD enquiries:
Professional Practice
Phone: +61 2 8247 6285

AFPHM Aotearoa New Zealand enquiries:
RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Office
Phone: +64 4 472 6713

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