AFPHM eBulletin – 9 February 2018

Webinar #1 2018: Statistics for public health practice 

The first AFPHM Training Program webinar will be presented by Associate Professor Michael Coory on Thursday, 22 February from 1pm to 2pm AEDT. Although presentations are targeted to AFPHM trainees, all members are welcome to join.

This webinar will discuss public health decision-making in the presence of uncertainty. Statistics is the study of uncertainty (or risk): the quantification of that uncertainty using probability. It is unlikely that any public health decision could be reduced to one probability. When communicating the reasoning behind a public health decision, it is “probably” preferable to present a set of statements about the uncertainty, rather than present one probability. Specific topics to be covered will include: why the p-value is a conditional probability (or why many statistically significant results are false positives), the ubiquitous problem of statistical multiplicity, and the distinction between aleatory and epistemic uncertainty.

Michael Coory is a public-health physician with a qualification in statistics (BSc) and a PhD in medical statistics and clinical epidemiology.  He is currently working as the Director of the Oncology Unit, Prescription Medicines Authorisation Branch, Therapeutic Goods Administration. He has held various academic appointments and has 20 years’ experience in State and Commonwealth Health Departments, working on, among other things, health systems improvement, service-capability frameworks, budget allocation, and health technology assessment. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed research papers.

For information on how to join this webinar, see the RACP website.
To watch previous webinars, go to our YouTube playlist
If you are interested in presenting a future webinar, please contact

A message from your President

Dear Members

Happy 2018. In this post it is a great pleasure to acknowledge the achievements of AFPHM Fellows and to recognise the incoming members of the AFPHM Council.  

Outcomes of the recent nominations process: I am delighted to advise that Professor Robyn Lucas becomes the new AFPHM President-Elect and two new Australian Fellows, Dr Kushani Marshall and Dr Abigail Yang, will join AFPHM Council (all take office May 2018).

Many of you know Robyn who is the Head of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the ANU, and Professor of Environment, Climate and Health. Robyn has a strong interest in education and has a Masters of Higher Education. She has held many educational governance roles for AFPHM including Chair of the Assessment Sub-committee and is currently the Chair of the Faculty Education Committee. Active locally in the ACT Regional Committee she was Chair of that committee in 2007 and co-chair in 2017. Robyn brings an extensive understanding of the AFPHM training program as well as her knowledge of public health in Australia and New Zealand to her role as President-Elect. 

Dr Kushani Marshall attained Fellowship in 2017 and is currently pursuing a second Fellowship through The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) in New South Wales (NSW). As a trainee she represented South Australian physician trainees on the RACP Trainees Committee. She was the trainee member of the AFPHM Future of the Faculty Working Group and is a member of the AFPHM Faculty Assessment Subcommittee. Kushani has held a variety of medical and public health education roles and is currently an adjunct Clinical Senior Lecturer with the School of Medicine, Sydney, The University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA).

Dr Abigail Yang also attained Fellowship in 2017. She is a staff specialist with Drug Health Services at Concord Repatriation General Hospital (NSW). She also has an interest in medical education, and is a conjoint associate lecturer with the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales and a clinical supervisor with Concord Clinical School, The University of Sydney.
Kushani and Abigail bring the essential perspective of new Fellows to Council, a perspective that Simon Crouch currently offers. They join Associate Professor Peter Hill and Professor Jeannette Ward who were successful in renominating to continue on Council. One position for an Australian Councilor remains unfilled and two for New Zealand; Expressions of Interest for these remaining positions will open soon. 

Australia Day 2018 Honours –  AFPHM warmly congratulates the following Fellows who were recognised for their contributions to the Australian health system:

Companion (AC) in the General Division 
Professor Nicholas Joseph Talley FRACP, FAFPHM 
For eminent service to medical research, and to education in the field of gastroenterology and epidemiology, as an academic, author and administrator at the national and international level, and to health and scientific associations.

Officer (AO) in the General Division 
Professor Creswell John Eastman AM, FAFPHM, FRACP 
For distinguished service to medicine, particularly to the discipline of pathology, through leadership roles, to medical education, and as a contributor to international public health projects.
Member (AM) in the General Division 
Professor Fiona Mary Blyth FAFPHM 
For significant service to medical research and education in the field of public health, pain management and ageing, and to health policy reform.

Public Service Medal
Professor Maria Crotty FAFRM, FAFPHM
For outstanding public service in the rehabilitation sector in South Australia.
Senior Australian of the Year 
Professor Paul Zimmet AO, FRACP, FAFPHM 
Scientist and diabetes specialist. Victorian Senior Australian of the Year

Professor Tony Capon FAFPHM, was profiled by The Lancet in January in recognition of his appointment as the world’s first professor of planetary health within the Sydney School of Public Health.
This follows the successful launch of the University of Sydney’s Planetary Health Platform in December 2017, which Tony is leading.  

Finally, as we draw closer to the RACP Congress, with one of its themes climate change and health, I would like to highlight a few recent related resources:

Dr Forbes McGain, a Melbourne-based anaesthetist, has co-authored a welcome article reporting the carbon footprint of Australian health care in The Lancet Planetary Health.  

At the annual WHO Executive Board meeting last month the report Health, Environment and Climate Change by Director-General Dr Tedros received a strong positive response from member states.

The 2018 World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report identifies that extreme weather events, natural disasters, and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as the three top international risks today, see Figure 1 The Global Risks Landscape 2018. They were considered both most likely to occur and to have the greatest potential impact above 27 other risks.

Yours in Fellowship

Professor Lynne Madden
President, AFPHM

The call for nominations for College positions – results announced 

The recent call for nominations for the next RACP President-Elect, Directors on the College Board, and various positions on Division and Faculty Councils and the New Zealand and Chapter Committees closed on Friday, 2 February 2018.

Read more

National Training Days – save the date

The 2018 annual AFPHM National Training Days will be held at the RACP Sydney office over the weekend of Saturday, 12 and Sunday, 13 May 2018 (the weekend prior to the RACP Congress). All trainees on the AFPHM Advanced Training Program are welcome and urged to attend this fantastic educational event.

A stimulating program is currently being designed by a working group of AFPHM Fellows and trainees. This will be finalised soon, and information regarding the program and how to register will be circulated to all AFPHM trainees as soon as possible.

A highlight of the program will be presentations by eminent international public health speakers Dr David Pencheon (Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit, UK) and Professor Alistair Woodward (Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Auckland).

In the meantime, all trainees are encouraged to diarise this event, to monitor emails, and to watch this space for further details.

Faculty 2018 examination dates available online

The Faculty 2018 examination dates are now available on the College website.  Candidates will be advised when exam application forms are available on the website.  This will be prior to registrations opening in 2018.  For more information contact the Examinations Unit at or phone 1300 MY RACP (1300 697 227) or +61 2 9256 5444.

RACP Congress 2018 – early bird closing 18 February

RACP Congress 2018 will take place at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, from 14 ​to 16 May 2018.

Early bird registrations close Sunday, 18 February 2018.

Join us for a presentation by Professor Alexandra Barratt, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, who will present on integrated care and whole of system change. Professor Barratt's background is in epidemiological research spanning clinical epidemiology and public health epidemiology. Professor Barratt has international recognition for her research to quantify the benefits and harms of cancer screening. 

We are also happy to announce registrations are open for the AFPHM Dinner which will take place on Sunday, 13 May 2018 from 7pm to 10pm at the picturesque Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney. Confirmation of attendance can be done during your Congress registration. If you are already registered for Congress please contact the Congress secretariat at to confirm your dinner ticket. RSVP required no later than Tuesday, 1 May 2018.

For more information on the RACP Congress program and speakers visit the Congress website

Register before 18 February 2018 to receive the early bird rate.

New Evolve recommendations to improve rheumatology care

As part of the Evolve initiative, the Australian Rheumatology Association and the College have released a new series of recommendations to help avoid unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures carried out in rheumatology clinical practice. 

View the new recommendations on the Evolve website

The countdown is on – only four weeks to go until IMS 2018

There are only four weeks to go until the International Medical Symposium (IMS) 2018, which is being held on Friday, 9 March 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

Registrations close soon so secure your place today for this unique event.
The IMS is an exciting opportunity for clinicians from around the world to come together and discuss the health and wellbeing of medical professionals and how this relates to providing quality care to our communities.
IMS 2018 ​is hosted by:

  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

The symposium program features keynote presentations from renowned international experts:

  • Dr Caroline Gerin-Lajoie (Canada) – Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine.
  • Dr Kym Jenkins (Australia) – President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Dr Fiona Moir (New Zealand) – Medical Programme Directorate and Senior Lecturer at The Department of General Practice at The University of Auckland
  • Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne (Australia) – Senior Psychiatrist, Prince of Wales Hospital; and Adjunct Associate Professor, Sydney School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia.

These speakers will explore and debate the current health and wellbeing landscape for doctors throughout their professional lifespan from undergraduate degree through to the end of a career.

To register, view the program or for more information, please visit the conference website.

​The RACP’s 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

The RACP’s Australian Government 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission highlights key areas where specialists believe new initiatives or sustained investment are needed, including for climate change and health, child health, end-of-life care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, obesity prevention and treatment, and drug and alcohol services. 
This RACP submission highlights where the Australian Government can address inequity of access to health services and provide crucial support to families and children experiencing poorer health and developmental outcomes as a result of entrenched disadvantage. 

It calls for the Federal Government to provide increased funding for evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment services and to ensure long-term funding for programs that prevent, detect and manage chronic disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as the Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program.

We urge the Federal Government to improve sexual health services by providing sustained funding for accessible adolescent sexual and reproductive health services and allocating sufficient funding for the implementation of the Fifth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategy amongst, other recommendations.
With respect to climate change and health, the submission highlights the need to establish a national Healthcare Sustainability Unit and to develop a national climate change and health strategy in Australia.
We are also calling on the Federal Government to introduce a comprehensive range of measures to prevent and treat obesity, including tighter regulation of advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages, particularly to children and young people and fair and equitable access to bariatric surgery for public hospital patients.

Latest podcast released

Cannabis Therapy is the topic of discussion in the latest Pomegranate Health podcast. 

Read more

Modern ​Workplace ​Challenges course

Registrations are now open for the Modern Workplace Challenges Qstream course, which begins on Monday, 5 March.

The course includes 10 case study questions, which each take five minutes to complete. Questions are sent by email and spaced two days apart. The total duration of the course will depend on your own pace.

Read more

Online supervisor courses – open for registration 

Registration is now open for the successful online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP)

The online courses for supervisors are facilitated by RACP Fellows and can be completed in any order, over five weeks.

Read more

Professional Performance Framework update

The ​RACP supports the fundamental purpose of the Medical Board of Australia’s (MBA) recently released Professional Performance Framework. The Framework is the MBA’s response to the report of its Expert Advisory Group on revalidation. “Nothing is going to change tomorrow for individual doctors. We will be consulting widely and seeking expert advice on many elements of the framework,” MBA Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn said.

The ​RACP is currently reviewing the documentation to understand how it will impact Fellows and the College’s operational processes. 

Read more

Expressions of Interest

There are no AFPHM-specific Expressions of Interest this month.

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

Career opportunities

View all medical positions vacant

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.

2018 Public Health Summer School

Missioncraft 2018 – Leadership in Disaster Relief

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):
Kerri Clarke, Executive Officer, AFPHM
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

AFPHM Education and Training enquiries:
Lia Iliou, 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
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