AFRM eBulletin – 1 May 2020

A message from your President

Seeking AFRM Representative on RACP Congress 2021-22 Committee and update on AFRM Council Work Plan

We are still seeking an enthusiastic AFRM Fellow to help shape the AFRM content and the wider Congress program for 2021 (Brisbane) and 2022 (Sydney). The AFRM representative on the Congress Program Committee (CPC) will be appointed for a term of two years to lead the development of the AFRM stream (in collaboration with the AFRM Executive Team) and work with other CPC members and College staff to implement the agreed Congress themes and develop shared interest sessions. Please see the Expression of Interest (EOI) and I hope that you will apply.

AFRM Council and Executive Committee has been continuing to progress activities on the Council Work Plan. As this will be my last President’s Post, I thought it was opportune to update you on its progress. Over the past 12 months we have continued to strengthen our relationship with the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ), including regular videoconferences with the Society President. We have completed work on marketing and communications tools based on the AFRM Value Proposition and Narrative. These tools will be used to educate and inform key stakeholders and they will soon be available on the Faculty website including information on how you can get involved. We continue to encourage you to use the preferred title ‘Rehabilitation Medicine Physician’ for everyday use. The AFRM Research Working Group has been extremely productive including most recently commencing the AFRM Trainee Research Program and working to establish the Australasian Rehabilitation Research Network. We have worked hard to re-invigorate our relationship with Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) and hold regular videoconferences with them to ensure good collaboration. We are working on producing new position statements on ‘bariatric rehabilitation’ and ‘prehabilitation’ and reviewing the current position statements on ‘Stem Cell Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Multi-Resistant Organisms in Rehabilitation Units’. The AFRM is active on College Council, Fellowship Committee and newly established meetings of the Faculty President’s and Presidents of the Divisions and the President, Aotearoa New Zealand. We are also planning to expand our involvement in RACP Congress in coming years. 

Of course in recent weeks, everyone’s focus has turned towards the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly the impact of cancellation of exams and other training activities which are described in detail on the RACP website. There is a further update later in this eBulletin. The new COVID-19 and Rehabilitation Special Interest Group is up and running in an unofficial capacity.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the enormous contribution that Dr Cynthia Bennett has made to rehabilitation medicine in Aotearoa New Zealand (and Australia) over many years. Cynthia has recently returned permanently home to the USA and she will certainly be missed by many. The Aotearoa New Zealand office has a story later in the eBulletin.

Finally, as at 4 May 2020 it will be my great pleasure to hand over the reins of the Faculty Presidency to Dr Greg Bowring. I would like to thank very much the Executive Team of Greg, Associate Professor Andrew Cole, Dr Caitlin Anderson and the AFRM Executive Officer, Jane Henderson (and previously Stacey Barabash) as well Jo Goldrick (Faculties Manager) and Lisa Penlington (Member Services Director). Without their support I would have drowned many months ago. 

As always, all the best and please stay safe.

Professor Tim Geraghty 
AFRM President

Update on AFRM training and examinations

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing major disruption to all of our lives in many ways. Unfortunately, as most of you are already aware, this includes the postponement of all AFRM exams for 2020. This is a terrible situation and has enormous onward impacts on progression through training, as well as the wider workforce and employment ramifications. The decision to postpone exams was not taken lightly and was based on modelling presented by the RACP that indicated the running of exams during 2020 was unfeasible. It was also in line with all other colleges throughout Australasia.

Much work is being done behind the scenes to methodically work through the issues that result from postponement of exams for 2020, as well as the wider anticipated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our workplace and training environments. At all levels, we appreciate the need to build some additional flexibility into the system, while still ensuring that training standards are maintained. We are also trying to communicate information to trainees quickly, while still ensuring that solutions are fully considered and developed before dissemination. As with all things COVID related, many of the solutions are imperfect and it is difficult to fully unwind some of the flow on effects.

The AFRM are well represented on the several RACP COVID-19 Advisory Groups, which are informing the College Education Committee (CEC) on changes to training that will be required during this time. In addition, the AFRM has convened a COVID-19 Training and Exams Working Group to generate our own response to the pandemic to ensure that the CEC is able to understand and plan for our own unique training program.

Specific points for noting are:

  1. Relaxation of 2020 Training Requirements
    The Faculty Training Committee is in the process of considering which training requirements might be relaxed for 2020 rotations on a time limited basis. We are hoping to have this information available to trainees in an accessible format as soon as possible.
  2. Advanced Training Project (ATP)
    One issue that has received mixed reception is the decision by the CEC to waive the Advanced Training Project (ATP) for final year Advanced Trainees in 2020 who are unable to start or complete it. As a result of mixed feedback, the RACP COVID-19 Training and Accreditation Advisory Group and the AFRM Faculty Training Committee will be doing further work to determine the process that will be required for exemption from the Advanced Training Project. If the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted your job role, or ability to complete your research project, submission of your ATP is still encouraged.
  3. Changes to job role or supervisor
    While waiting for more definitive guidelines, any trainee that has experienced substantial changes to their job role or training supervisor should inform the Education Team of their change of circumstances by emailing If you are completing a role that differs significantly from what would be considered rehabilitation registrar core training, it would also be worth keeping a brief log book of the activities that you are undertaking to ensure that all workplace experiences can be considered towards training. 

Further comprehensive information about the postponement of exams, cancellation of events and changes to training can be found on the RACP COVID-19 webpage.

Dr Caitlin Anderson
Chair, AFRM Education Committee
On behalf of the AFRM COVID-19 Training and Exams Working Group

Clarification on new Australian telehealth items

We have received the following clarification on the new telehealth items from the Department of Health:

  • Both recognised specialist and consultant physician practitioners practising in pain and palliative medicine, sexual health medicine and addiction medicine are able to bill consultant physician telehealth services (91824, 91825, 91826, 91834, 91835 and 91836).
  • Occupational and environmental health medicine physicians are eligible to bill specialist telehealth services (91822, 91823, 91832 and 91833).
  • Sexual health medicine, addiction medicine practitioners are able to bill telehealth services to prepare and review a management plan (92422, 92423, 92431 and 92432).
  • Public health physicians are able to bill telehealth services (92513-92516 and 92521-92524).

If there is uncertainty, Services Australia can advise practitioners of their eligibility to claim the new telehealth items and can be contacted on 1800 810 586.

College facilities remain closed for face-to-face meetings

The College continues to follow advice from the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Governments and recommendations for social distancing, hence all RACP offices remain closed for onsite meetings. Members will be advised when these circumstances change.

COVID-19 Rehabilitation Special Interest Group

Thirty rehabilitation physicians have expressed interest in joining a new COVID-19 Rehabilitation Special Interest Group (SIG). Many attended a preliminary teleconference on Wednesday, 15 April 2020. A SIG ‘Statement of Purpose’ has been drafted and sent to the RACP. We have commenced informal education sessions and usually meet on Tuesdays from 5pm to 6pm AEST. The format is a 30 minute talk with an invited guest, followed by informal discussion and sharing of ideas, information and experiences. Please email if you would like to join the group.

On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, the group heard from Yanti Turang, an Australian nurse who is Deputy Medical Operations Manager of a new 1,000 bed 'medical monitoring station' in New Orleans. The facility caters to patients who are still recovering so space can be made in major hospitals for more acute patients. It was fascinating to listen to her insights and the early experiences and challenges pertaining to rehabilitation.

On Tuesday, 28 April 2020, Anne Holland, co-chair of the European Respiratory Society COVID-19 Task Force, spoke to the group about emerging trends in post COVID-19 rehabilitation and parameters and precautions for home-based pulmonary rehabilitation given the pandemic. On Tuesday, 5 May 2020, Dr Rajen Ragavan will share his insights into COVID-19 and the French rehabilitation experience.
When the first rehabilitation clinic opened in Wuhan, I started a webpage as a means of collating relevant COVID-19 literature and news.

At the time of writing, the number of Australians diagnosed with COVID-19 continues to fall, and fingers crossed, so then will any corresponding need for rehabilitation.

Dr Jane Malone

A fond farewell to a leading rehabilitation physician after 11 years in Aotearoa New Zealand

Dr Cynthia Bennett, Rehabilitation Medicine Clinical Head for Counties Manukau DHB, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand has recently resigned and has returned to the USA to be close to her family. This is sad news for the rehabilitation community in Aotearoa New Zealand. We acknowledge the huge contribution made by Dr Bennett since she emigrated to New Zealand in 2009.

Dr Bennett is an American trained physiatrist who started off her working life as a physiotherapist, a fact that greatly assisted her work in the field. Her work was largely centred around the Auckland Spinal Rehabilitation and Neurorehab Unit in South Auckland. As a senior practitioner in Aotearoa New Zealand she made significant contributions to rehabilitation in general. She was a co-author of the Aotearoa New Zealand Spinal Strategy. She worked with the Aotearoa New Zealand Artificial Limb Service (Peke Waihanga Aotearoa) to develop the National Amputee Pathway. She also helped to draft the advocacy document entitled ‘Call for a national rehabilitation strategy’, published in 2015. Her focus was always to raise the profile of rehabilitation and disability services.

Dr Bennett is a keen teacher and helped to develop the rotating Auckland training program for local trainees. She also served as AFRM NZ branch chair for six years.

We wish her well on her return to her home country and the new challenges facing her there.

He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata: Centre Equity and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all COVID-19 pandemic planning, strategy and responses

Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 pandemic response must centre equity for Māori and must honour the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Without an equity-centred pandemic response, Māori will experience multiple negative outcomes from this event. This is not acceptable.

“We are still operating under the fallacy that one size fits all. A national program, while necessary, will lead to exacerbate health inequities. While things are being done for the general population, they don't have an equity lens, which is essential from the beginning,” says Professor Papaarangi Reid.

Please read and share the RACP Statement.

And look further to the Urutā statement for research and Evidence from Te Rōpū Whakakaupapapa Urutā (National Māori Pandemic Group).

Please share these as widely as you can, lets steer a new path.

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep57: The art of telehealth 

COVID-19 has left few people around the world unaffected and health practitioners are among those at the top of the list. Their daily and intimate service to the public inevitably puts them at risk of catching the virus, while social distancing precautions can compromise the work that they do. Dreadful as the viral disease is, the bigger consequences of the pandemic may be on the disruption to routine healthcare.

Consulting patients by video or phone can be a way to keep healthcare ticking over, but many doctors are nervous as they adopt it for the first time. In this podcast we go over some of the bureaucratic and tech support questions that clinicians have been asking during the current crisis. We also discuss the art of building trust with new patients and conducting a physical examination through telehealth.

The guest speakers are oncologist Professor Sabe Sabesan and paediatrician Dr Michael Williams, who have been pioneering telehealth outreach to rural and remote Queensland for more than a decade.


  • Professor Sabe Sabesan FRACP (Director, Townsville Cancer Centre; James Cook University)
  • Dr Michael Williams FRACP (Director, Queensland Paediatric Telehealth Service)

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources.

Subscribe to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunesSpotify or any Android podcasting app.

Listen to podcast

Bariatric Rehabilitation Position Statement

There is a small but growing number of bariatric patients being referred to inpatient rehabilitation services. These often expose limitations in equipment, architecture and staff expertise. The issue of subsequent management arises at discharge – can they participate in an outpatient program? Can they access a bariatric surgical program? Are they suitable for such an approach? Could we have been involved much earlier in the course? It is also important that patients undertaking bariatric surgery have access to psychological and psychiatric support, should they require it. The problem lends itself to an inter-disciplinary approach with rehabilitation medicine involvement in the team, be that at a community primary preventative, pre-surgical prehabilitation, or post-surgery maintenance program.

Bariatric rehabilitation has been identified as an important area of future growth in rehabilitation medicine practice and is noted in the AFRM Council Work Plan for 2019-2020.

The RACP has limited current positioning on bariatrics – most recently, the RACP Position Statement on Obesity included a section and a recommendation advocating that governments in Australia and New Zealand should provide equitable access to bariatric surgery in public hospitals for all suitable patients who have severe obesity. 

AFRM are establishing a Working Group for a period of 12 months through an EOI process open to all AFRM members and physicians with relevant expertise. The EOI will also seek a paediatric rehabilitation medicine physician, a public health physician and a Fellow from The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) to join the Working Group.

For further details about the EOI, visit the RACP website.

Communities of Practice

This is a time of much uncertainty but discussion about how to approach COVID-19 across our services and special populations is happening. There are so many emails and resources it is tricky to know where to dedicate one’s time and interest. For me, the Communities of Practice (CoP) have been immensely helpful to join and connect with other clinicians and understand the approach at a state level of how the Ministry of Health is responding. There are 29 such CoP’s with Associate Professor Steven Faux, Professor James Middleton and myself, Dr Elizabeth Thompson, heading up the Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury and Disability one’s respectively. 

The purpose of these are to:

  • support clinicians to network and share strategies, local solutions and issues with respect to pandemic preparedness
  • identify, prioritise and escalate issues and solutions related to COVID-19 that require a state-wide or system response
  • review and provide expert clinical advice on guidelines, resources and other information
  • share Ministry approved advice and resources on the response to COVID-19 that can be circulated within all districts and networks.

Anyone is welcome and representation will result in better patient outcomes.

For further details visit the NSW Health website.

Dr Elizabeth Thompson MBBS FAFRM
Rehabilitation Medicine Staff Specialist

Apply for Research Awards and Travel Grants

Applications are now open for Career Development FellowshipsResearch Establishment Fellowships and Research Entry Scholarships which provide research funding for 2021 through the RACP Foundation. Upwards of 50 awards with a total value of $2.5M are available across these award categories, including research development scholarships and travel grants.

The AFRM is proud to offer the following awards to support and encourage research by its Fellows and trainees:

The RACP Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) Research Awards offers up to $100k to promote research capacity and capability to improve knowledge on:

  • rehabilitation of people who sustain a temporary or permanent disability through road traffic crashes (RTCs)
  • improving longer term outcomes of people injured in RTC’s including pain management, community re-integration, psychosocial, mental health and vocational outcomes
  • medical conditions or illnesses which cause or contribute to RTCs
  • medical treatments or approaches that improve health outcomes for people involved in RTCs. 

The RACP MAIC Research Awards are normally tenable in Queensland unless there is a demonstrable benefit to the state of Queensland from the research being undertaken elsewhere in Australia. Awards are available under the Career Development Fellowship and Research Establishment Fellowship categories.

Full details for these opportunities are available on the RACP Foundation website

Congratulations to Tim Butson for winning the AFRM Adrian Paul Prize

Tim ButsonCongratulations to Dr Timothy Butson who has been selected for the AFRM Adrian Paul Prize for the best scientific work in the field of rehabilitation medicine submitted as part of the AFRM Advanced Training Program.

Dr Tim Butson graduated from James Cook University in 2013 and completed a Graduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Medicine in 2017. He is currently completing his Masters in Sports Medicine through The University of Melbourne. Tim has an interest in disability sports and exercise medicine and hopes to undertake further research in this area. He is currently working at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and is eligible to receive his Fellowship in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2020.

Congratulations to Stephanie Lam for winning the AFRM Basmajian and Györy Prize

Stephanie LamCongratulations to Dr Stephanie Lam who has been awarded the AFRM Basmajian and Györy Prize for achieving the best overall performance in the AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examinations (General).

Dr Stephanie Lam is a final year rehabilitation medicine trainee. She completed her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Physiotherapy) from the University of Sydney in 2010 and a post-graduate degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Notre Dame, Sydney in 2014. Stephanie is currently the NSW/ACT Regional Trainee Representative for AFRM and the Trainee Representative for the Faculty Accreditation Subcommittee. Rehabilitation medicine is a specialty that allowes her to combine her interests in medicine with the opportunity to provide holistic care to the community. Her areas of interest in rehabilitation medicine include stroke, spinal cord injury, neurodegenerative conditions, cancer rehabilitation and amputee rehabilitation.

Establishment of the AFRM Basmajian and Katrak Prize

From 2020 the AFRM Basmajian and Katrak Prize will be awarded to the trainee who has achieved the best overall performance in the AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examinations (General). The recipient receives $1,000 and a certificate presented at the Convocation Ceremony during RACP Congress. The original Basmajian Prize was a gift of books donated by Professor John V Basmajian, an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty. It was first awarded in 1989, to the Rehabilitation Medicine Trainee of the Australasian College of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) who had achieved the highest score in the Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship Clinical Examination.

With the establishment in 1993 of the AFRM of the RACP the Basmajian Prize award was perpetuated as a cash prize of $500 and a Merit Certificate replacing the original book prize and awarded annually at the College Ceremony. The value of the Prize was increased to $1,000 in 2014 and funded from the AFRM Endowment Fund in the RACP Foundation.

Through the Foundation, the AFRM received a bequest in 2016 from Dr Atilla Györy FAFRM. The funds were to be used to support a prize for clinical excellence in examinations. The AFRM Council determined that the Györy funds should be used to support the existing adult Clinical Exam prize and the prize to be renamed the Basmajian and Györy Prize, for four years.

From this year (2020) the Basmajian Prize will become the AFRM Basmajian and Katrak Prize following the receipt of a generous donation from Dr Pesi Katrak. The Award includes the Basmajian Prize and the (Pesi) Katrak Medal to replace the Merit Certificate and will be presented during the Convocation Ceremony at RACP Congress. 

Dr Pesi Katrak was involved with others in the establishment of the Australian College of Rehabilitation Medicine in 1981 and served as Honorary Secretary to the Board of Censors of ACRM and AFRM from 1982 to 1995. In this capacity, he helped to develop the initial curriculum in rehabilitation medicine and was responsible for conducting the Basic and Fellowship Examinations of the College and the Faculty for several years. Dr Katrak served as President of AFRM for two years from March 1995. He was awarded an AM in the Australia Day Honours in 2018, for significant service to rehabilitation medicine as a practitioner, to medical education and professional organisations and to the Zoroastrian community.

We would like to sincerely thank Dr Katrak for his generous donation and for encouraging excellence in training and performance in rehabilitation medicine through his support for the AFRM Basmajian and Katrak Prize. 

Call for Nominations for SOS Fracture Alliance Governance Board 2020-2023

The SOS Fracture Alliance Governing Committee is seeking nominations of candidates to stand for election for six positions on the 2020-2023 SOS Fracture Alliance Governing Committee.

Only SOS Fracture Alliance member organisations may submit nominations and each member organisation may only submit one nomination. Nominees must have a formal relationship with the member organisation, e.g. they hold an individual membership of the member organisation. All current incumbents of the Governing Committee are eligible for re-election as representatives should member organisations wish to re-nominate them. 

Nominees will be requested to supply a formal candidate statement of no more than 300 words outlining their qualifications and interests for serving on the SOS Fracture Alliance Governing Committee. 
Nominations must be received by 5pm AEST Friday, 22 May 2020. They should be sent to

If more than six nominations are received, an online election ballot will be circulated to member organisations institutions primary contacts no later than June 2020 and will run until late July 2020 as per the SOS Fracture Alliance Constitution. 

Thank you for your participation in this important process, which is an essential part of our operations as an Alliance to improve secondary fracture prevention in Australia.

AFRM Expression of Interest – membership of the Paediatric MCQ Approval Working Group

The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) Faculty Paediatric Training and Assessment Committee (FPTAC) is seeking enthusiastic AFRM Paediatric Fellows for membership of the Multiple-choice Question (MCQ) Approval Working Group.

This is your opportunity to help your Faculty and to contribute to the training of the next group of paediatric rehabilitation physicians. 

Key responsibilities of the MCQ Approval Working Group are:

  • participate in MCQ development meetings with other members of the Working Party by teleconference, to review and amend draft questions submitted by Fellows 
  • approve draft questions submitted to the Working Party for inclusion in the AFRM Paediatric MCQ Bank
  • write multiple choice questions on specific topic areas assessed in the Curriculum and submit them to the MCQ Approval Working Group for approval
  • participate in the annual review of questions in the Question Bank to ensure that the questions in the Bank remain current.

For further information and to complete an expression of interest form please go to the RACP website.

I look forward to receiving your expression of interest. 

Dr Kim McLennan

Updated – AFRM and RMSANZ Top 5 Evolve List 

Evolve aims to reduce low-value care by supporting physicians to:

  • be leaders in changing clinical behaviour for better patient care 
  • make better decisions
  • make better use of resources. 

Evolve identifies a specialty's Top 5 clinical practices that, in particular circumstances, may be overused, provide little or no benefit or cause unnecessary harm. Evolve recommendations aim to ensure every patient receives the test, treatment or procedure they need.

Top 5 low-value practices and interventions:

  1. Do not discharge patients with osteoporotic fractures without an assessment and/or treatment for osteoporosis
  2. Discourage the use of lumbar supports or prolonged periods of bed rest in patients with non-specific low back pain
  3. Do not use Mini Mental State Examination as the only tool to assess cognitive deficit in acquired brain injury
  4. Do not routinely use splinting for prevention and/or management of contractures after stroke
  5. Do not use imaging for diagnosing nonspecific acute low back pain in the absence of red flags.

Further details can be found on the Evolve website.

RACP Congress 2021-2022 – AFRM Representative reminder

Looking for a diverse and challenging way to contribute to physician learning?

Would you like the opportunity to shape the future of an educational meeting that attracts over 1,000 healthcare professionals worldwide?

Join the Congress team and present AFRM’s best program yet.

As an AFRM Representative you will help shape the wider Congress program for 2021 and 2022 with the Congress Program Committee (CPC). 

The Representative will lead the development of the AFRM stream and work with the CPC and College staff to implement the agreed Congress themes and develop shared interest sessions.

The closing date for EOIs is 31 May 2020. Further information is on the EOI webpage.

Bi National Training Program – 2020 timetable 

The BNTP lectures will proceed – attendance in person is no longer available but trainees can continue to join via teleconference/videoconference.

If trainees cannot join the live teleconference/videoconference, the recording of the sessions are uploaded to the event listings webpage to watch at a convenient time.

Further details of each presentation are also available on the event listings webpage

Date Time Topic
Wednesday, 27 May 2020 3pm to 5pm AEDT

Inflammatory Arthropathy

  • Rheumatology
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Peripheral Neuropathy

Guillain Barre Syndrome
Wednesday, 22 July 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT SCI and disease

Paediatric SCI
Wednesday, 26 August 2020 3pm to 5pm AEDT
SCI and disease
Wednesday, 30 September 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Neuropathic pain management 

Surgical site infection management
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • pathogenesis and management
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
3pm to 5pm AEDT Parkinson’s disease

Motor neurone disease

Monash University-led COVID-19 Work and Health Study

Monash University’s Insurance and Health Group is leading a study that seeks to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the work and health of Australians who have become unemployed or lost work during the pandemic. This study aims to provide unique and important data that can be used to inform decision making by workers, their employers and government as the pandemic unfolds.

The study is seeking participants who have lost work or become unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It involves completing an online survey that takes about 15 minutes, on four separate occasions over a six-month period.

Further information about the study including how to enrol is available on the Monash University COVID-19 Work and Health Study website.

Quality and safety resources for members

Quality and safety are central to the delivery of healthcare in Australia and New Zealand. We offer a number of resources to help you create a culture of quality and safety in your healthcare setting. 

Register for the quality and safety online course to learn about developing a preventative mindset and identifying and remediating situations where the quality and safety of patient care may be compromised. 

Refer to the Quality and Safety Curated Collection for a peer-reviewed list of high quality resources on the topic. Or to learn about strategies for communicating effectively with patients about the risks and benefits of treatment options, enrol in the communicating risks and benefits online course.

RACP Online Learning resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Evolve case studies

To support the implementation of Evolve and Choosing Wisely recommendations in clinical practice, we have launched two case studies depicting clinical scenarios in which recommendations on reducing low-value care apply. These case studies explore a clinical scenario based on one of the Evolve recommendations on low-value care.

Evolve is seeking enthusiastic Fellows and trainees to partner with us in developing case studies for more specialties. The aim of the case studies is to support Fellows and trainees to build an understanding of low-value care within their specialty and act as a tool for clinical educators and supervisors. Email to get involved.

Request for input from members: College submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Disability and the NDIS has been a key ongoing policy priority for the College and the broader health sector. The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (the DRC) was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability.

The DRC’s terms of reference cover what should be done in all settings such as the home, schools, out-of-home care, the justice system, as well as in the disability support system to:

  • prevent, and better protect, people with disability from experiencing violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • achieve best-practice in reporting and investigating of, and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • promote a more inclusive society that supports the independence of people with disability and their right to live free from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

The DRC has released four issues papers to date: education and learninggroup homescriminal justice system and health care for people with cognitive disability.

The RACP’s Policy and Advocacy team have developed a draft submission which covers a range of areas that the DRC is interested in and that the College has a position on.

Members are encouraged to provide feedback, with particular regard to the sections where it is noted that there are no College positions yet. Please provide feedback to Rebecca Randall, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, via by close of business Friday, 8 May 2020. We look forward to receiving your valuable feedback.

An update from the Obesity Collective 

When our partners, the Obesity Collective (OC), celebrated the first World Obesity Day in early March 2020, the impact of COVID-19 was just beginning to be felt across Australia’s health system, economy and society. Since then, frontline healthcare and community workers, including many members of the OC, have risen to the challenge of dealing with a major national public health emergency.

Across the wider community, COVID-19 related self-isolation and social restrictions pose challenges for healthy eating and activity goals and may affect access to usual care. On a systemic level there is also hope that the current crisis will lead to greater recognition of the value of the healthcare system, preventative health and to appropriate strategic and financial responses to other public health challenges.

There has been emerging evidence (reference 1reference 2) of a link between obesity, chronic diseases and worse health outcomes from COVID-19. The OC believes it is important to be aware of and communicate these observations clearly – it also notes it is critical to do so in a careful and balanced way that minimises risk of stigma, shame and anxiety. This simple one-pager from Obesity Canada is a good example of clear non-stigmatising communications about COVID-19 and obesity.

Obesity CollectiveWe would also like to remind members that the OC Evidence Hub is growing, with the addition of a new chapter on the health benefits of weight loss by Dr Priya Sumithran FRACP, PhD and updated sections on proposed improvements to Health Star Ratingimpact of food marketing on children, new approaches to restricting price promotions and the case for a tax on sugary drinks. The OC will soon launch a brochure offering patient-friendly, fat bias-free information about obesity, its causes, attendant health challenges and whether and/or how to consider weight loss.

OC Emerging Leaders

A group of OC members and volunteers are creating an Emerging Leaders group for younger professionals who are keen to influence the areas of prevention, treatment and communication about obesity and living with obesity. The group aims to raise awareness of stigma, build up the existing network and enhance ways of talking about and dealing with obesity. The OC is hoping to attract more young leaders in health professions as well as other young people who are interested in the challenge of obesity more broadly. To find out more or to express your interest, please email or

Ventilator Training Alliance App

As hospitals are procuring additional ventilators from wherever there may be supply, healthcare practitioners are having to operate a wide range of ventilator models and makes, regardless of the ones they have had prior training on. To serve this gap in ventilator training, the Ventilator Training Alliance formed by the participating ventilator manufacturers has launched the Ventilator Training Alliance App which provides healthcare practitioners easy access to training materials in a timely and convenient manner. The free app, powered by Allego, contains training videos and manuals for all ventilator types by all major ventilator manufacturers including Medtronic.

Together with Medtronic, the app to-date has training materials for ventilators from Dräger, GE Healthcare, Getinge, Hamilton Medical, Nihon Kohden and Philips.

Available offline and online, this app is ready for download worldwide in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Discounted shopping with your benefits

Australian families are doing it tough with the recent COVID-19 situation and your benefits program can help you and your family save on household essentials and online shopping.

You can save five per cent ordering your WISH e-gift card online through your benefits website, giving you the full buying power of the e-gift card without paying full price. For example, if you order a $300 Woolworths e-gift card with a five per cent discount for $285, you can then use your e-gift card to purchase your entire weekly fuel and groceries up to the value of $300.

Easily available online, you can quickly save hundreds on weekly groceries, fuel and stores accepting WISH e-gift cards. You can even purchase them for your family and friends to use.

Purchase your e-gift cards online and browse the range of other retailers available. Visit your RACP Member Advantage benefits website.

*Terms and Conditions apply; credit card surcharges do not apply to WISH e-gift cards. WISH e-gift cards are typically delivered within 12 hours of purchase.

COVID-19 update from the Medical Board of Australia

See the latest newsletter from the Medical Board of Australia covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Career opportunities


View all positions vacant.

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

Bi-National Training Program (BNTP)

NSW Lecture Series – Wednesday and Saturday sessions

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.

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ)

RMSANZ is the professional body for Rehabilitation Physicians and trainees in Australia & New Zealand.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre

The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) is the national rehabilitation medicine clinical registry of Australia and New Zealand.

AFRM contact details 

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

AFRM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Jane Henderson, Executive Officer, AFRM
Phone: +61 2 8076 6315

AFRM NZ Committee
Executive Officer DFAC’s NZ
AFRM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6350

AFRM oral examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator 
Phone: +61 2 9256 5422

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233
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