AFPHM eBulletin – 8 March 2019

Populism and public health – How do we respond?

With the rise of Donald Trump, Brexit and several anti-establishment parties across the world, ‘populism’ has found its way into conversations for many scientific, medical and health experts. Populism, a political approach used to appeal to 'the people', often presents the 'elite' as corrupt and self-serving. In many cases, populist leaders advocate for a change to the status quo, often campaigning for urgent structural changes through promoting a sense of crisis or 'fake news' and presenting themselves as having the solution.

Politics is a key component for public health at local, national and global levels. Having good governance, correct information and strong advocacy will help us achieve the fundamentals of public health. Now is the time for public health professionals to engage further in political discourse and action, particularly in terms of advocating for the rational use of scientific knowledge in public health policy.

We invite you to join our ‘Populism and Public Health’ session at RACP Congress on Tuesday, 7 May 2019. This session will feature key leaders in this emerging field, Professor Martin McKee, Mr Michael Moore and Mr Patrick Tobin to discuss the impact of populism on public health, and how this can be alleviated. 

Register for RACP Congress

A message from your President

The RACP Congress is coming up soon – Monday, 6 May to Wednesday, 8 May in Auckland, New Zealand. The theme, ‘Impacting health along the life course’, is highly relevant to public health, as we seek to address the determinants of health, particularly in the first 1000 days. Check out the program.

We are very privileged to have Professor Sandra Eades give the Redfern Oration this year. It would be worthwhile attending for that reason alone. Professor Eades is a Noongar woman from Western Australia. She was the first Aboriginal medical practitioner to be awarded a PhD (in 2003). She is currently Associate Dean, Indigenous at The University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on health trajectories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly in relation to the early years. 

The Redfern Oration isn’t the only reason for public health physicians and trainees to attend Congress. In addition to the Gerry Murphy and John Snow presentations, we have some very interesting workshops in the public health stream, including a workshop about populism and public health. This will be a very interesting session. It will start with a video talk by Professor Martin McKee, who is an expert on the health impacts of populism, as well as the health impacts of a number of public policies including austerity. Mr Michael Moore, former President of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and Mr Patrick Tobin, the RACP’s Director of Policy & Advocacy, will also speak. Both Michael and Patrick have a wealth of expertise and experience in advocacy. In the remainder of the session, we will focus on strategies for dealing with the effects of populism, particularly on public policy.

We will also be hosting a workshop on the provision of rural health services. This will feature a number of New Zealand presenters, and I will be presenting a recent project about training a rural physician workforce, which involved partnership between the University of Queensland and the RACP. Some of the shared sessions are also interesting, including one on Obesity, which will be chaired by Professor Boyd Swinburn, who I’m sure you know is an expert on the public health response to obesity, particularly environmental and commercial determinants.

I hope that I have whet your appetite to come along to the Congress. It is not too late to register. Please also join us at our AFPHM Dinner on the Sunday evening. The dinner is priced according to our need to have a suitable space to hold presentations and present awards without distracting or attracting other guests. It is a great opportunity to meet our speakers, catch up with each other and celebrate those who have received awards. 

I sincerely hope to see many of you there.

Associate Professor Linda Selvey
President, AFPHM 

Register now for the AFPHM Members' Dinner

All members are invited to the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine’s (AFPHM) Members' Dinner, to be held in Auckland prior to the RACP Congress on Sunday, 5 May 2019. This is an opportunity for you to meet and enjoy a meal with other members of the Faculty.

Sunday, 5 May 2019
Time: 7pm to 10pm
Venue: FISH Restaurant, Auckland, New Zealand

Further details are available online.

RACP Member Satisfaction Survey

We want to hear your thoughts on RACP membership via our Member Satisfaction Survey (MSS). On Monday, 25 February 2019 all RACP members (including trainees) should have received an email containing the survey link from with the subject line 'RACP Member Satisfaction Survey – Have your say'. 

The survey should only take approximately ten minutes. Woolcott Research provides aggregated results back to the RACP and any individual comments are not identified as being by a specific member.

Please complete and have your say so we can understand your overall satisfaction with the College and identify areas for improvement. The survey closes on Wednesday, 19 March. If you have not received the survey email, please contact

The RCPA advocates for a collaborative approach for the successful introduction of pharmacogenetics in healthcare in Australia

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) has released a new position statement on the significance of genetic testing to predict a patient’s response to drugs, also known as pharmacogenetics. The RCPA is advocating for a collaborative approach with medical colleges and the wider medical profession, the Government, educators, and researchers, with the aim of creating national guidelines that will facilitate the safe and appropriate introduction of pharmacogenetics in Australia. By using pharmacogenetic testing, a clinician can align a prescription with the patient’s potential for a beneficial or adverse response to a drug. 

For further information visit or see updates on Facebook or Twitter: @PathologyRCPA or Instagram: @the_rcpa. 

Tri-Nation Alliance annual International Medical Symposium 2019

Register now for the Tri-Nation Alliance annual International Medical Symposium (IMS 2019), in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, 22 March 2019.

The theme for the 2019 symposium is 'Visioning the impact of advanced technology on medical education' with a program featuring diverse sessions such as the debate.

Topic: Machines make better doctors? 

Four healthcare professionals debate issues of the future. What areas of medicine can machines takeover? What areas will remain with human doctors? What upskilling will human doctors need to make best use of machines?

For the affirmative

  • Physician, Associate Professor Rebecca Grainger
  • Psychiatrist, Dr David Codyre

For the negative

  • Surgeon, Mr Andrew Connolly
  • Anaesthetist, Dr Lara Hople

The debate will be followed by questions from the floor. 

Other not to be missed sessions taking place at IMS 2019: 

  • Professor Enrico Coiera – Trust and AI 
  • Professor Jenny Weller – Using simulation training to learn about non-technical skills management 
  • Associate Professor Rebecca Grainger – Current research on apps to monitor patient self 
  • Mr Andrew Connolly – Informed by AI: the systemic challenges before us 
  • Professor Jim Warren – Consumer health information revolution 
  • Mr Greg Cross – Using avatars for teaching 
  • Dr Jaron Chong – Training radiology residents when machines read imaging
  • Professor Tim Shaw – AI in trainee assessment

 View the program and register for IMS 2019.

Podcast: Cervical screening – less is more

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, but it’s almost entirely preventable.

In December 2017 Australia was the second country in the world to adopt HPV testing as the primary tool in cervical screening. This kind of test has many benefits, such as, the increased five year interval between screens (rather than two) and the requirement for women to start being tested at age 25 instead of 18.

Some, however, are concerned about the costs and risks involved in the triage pathway. This episode of Pomegranate Health will answer some questions that women and health professionals might have about the HPV-based National Cervical Screening Program. 

Seeking AFPHM representatives for committees

Are you willing to represent your colleagues and be a voice for the Faculty? Would you like to be part of creating positive change within the Faculty? 

The Faculty is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for the following positions on: 

Refinancing made simple: your ten step guide

As a RACP member, receive a discounted rate for the life of your Macquarie home loan.

Your home loan is probably your biggest household expense – and with interest rates at an all-time low, there’s never been a better time to switch. Follow these simple steps to switch your home loan lender.

Request a call with one of Macquarie's banking specialists today and discuss the life of loan discounts that you have available through your benefits program with Member Advantage.

Find out more about our home loans on the Member Advantage website or call 1300 853 352.

Macquarie Bank Australian Credit Licence 237502. Lending criteria, fees and T&Cs apply.

Save the date – NSW AFPHM Trainee Welcome

The AFPHM NSW Regional Committee is hosting the AFPHM NSW Trainee Welcome Event on Wednesday evening, 10 April.

Date: Wednesday, 10 April 2019
Time: 6pm to 8pm AEST
Location: RACP Sydney Office, Governor Macquarie Tower, Level 19, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.
RSVP: by Friday, 5 April 2019.

This is an opportunity to meet other AFPHM trainees and network with NSW based AFPHM Fellows. All NSW AFPHM trainees and Fellows are welcome to attend this event. 

Please check the RACP events web page or contact the Faculty Office via for more information.

Accredited AFPHM training positions

As a part of the AFPHM training program, trainees are expected to complete their core training in an AFPHM accredited training position.

A list of accredited AFPHM training positions is available on the RACP website.

RACP Submission into Royal Commission into Aged Care 

The College is preparing a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Members may contribute to this submission by sending any input relevant to the Terms of Reference to

Please provide your input by COB Tuesday, 30 April and be as specific as you can.

For further information please contact Dr Kathryn Powell, Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer on +61 2 9256 5497.

Complete the survey

Since 2017, more than 30 professional organisations, including the RACP, have endorsed the ISSOP's Budapest Declaration-on the Rights, Health and Well-being of Children and Youth on the Move.  A survey has been created to capture the similarities and differences in the approach to refugee, immigrant and IDP children from paediatricians' home countries. 

RACP members are invited to complete the survey, in order to capture the insights and experiences of a large sample of physicians from Australia and New Zealand. The ultimate goal is to collect and create the largest database from the paediatric perspective on this crucial issue.

The survey contains 16 questions covering demographics, borders, health conditions, and health systems. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes.

"We need to continually question": paediatrician

Medical Board of Australia (MBA) changes to how Fellows undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are set to come into effect over the next few years. The RACP is preparing Fellows for these changes by updating its MyCPD Framework from 2019 to reflect the direction the MBA is heading with its changes.

As the new MyCPD Framework comes into effect, Fellows incorporating the changes into their practice and lifestyles speak to us about their approaches to CPD.

Read more

Register now for the 2019 Combined Special Interest Group meeting – 26 to 28 July 2019 

Convened by the Leadership and Management special interest group, the theme 'Developing leaders with 20:20 vision' will explore topics of relevance to current and emerging leaders, such as:

  • inclusion and diversity
  • building healthy workplaces
  • having difficult conversations
  • medical regulation
  • digital technology.

For more information, visit the event website.The 2019 Combined Special Interest Group meeting will be held from 26 to 28 July in Sydney.

Strengthened tenancy laws for victims of domestic violence

New tenancy laws that improve and strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence in NSW start on 28 February 2019.

Under the new laws, a tenant will be able to end their tenancy immediately and without penalty if they or their dependent child are in circumstances of domestic violence. They will not be liable to pay any compensation or additional money for the early termination.

The tenant will need to give their landlord or agent a domestic violence termination notice and attach one of the acceptable forms of evidence. Evidence includes a declaration made by a medical practitioner, such as a GP.

The documents used to end a tenancy due to domestic violence cannot be used or disclosed for any other purpose (unless compelled by law). For example, a property manager cannot use these documents as part of a reference check. The documents must be stored and disposed of securely.

Landlords and agents will also be prohibited from listing a tenant on a tenancy database if they ended a tenancy in circumstances of domestic violence.

NSW Fair Trading is hosting a webinar on the new domestic violence reforms at 10am on Thursday, 28 February 2019. The webinar will go for an hour and will discuss what the reforms mean for tenants, landlords and agents.

More information on the domestic violence reforms is available on the NSW Fair Trading website

Conferences and events

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

AFPHM contact details

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Rachel Smith, Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

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

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Caroline Greenaway, 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:
Office of the Dean (CPD)
Phone: +61 2 8247 6285

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