AFRM eBulletin – 14 December 2018

Interview with Professor Fary Khan

What drew you to disaster relief and refugee healthcare with rehabilitation medicine?

Natural disasters are escalating worldwide, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Human exposure to disaster risk is also increasing, due to combined effects of climate change, population growth, urbanisation, and poorly planned infrastructure and development. Recent advances in disaster response/rescue and field management, have improved the survival rates of victims worldwide, resulting in a large number of persons with injuries relative to mortality. This is relevant especially for survivors with complex and long-term disabling injuries (such as brain and spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve, crush and musculoskeletal injuries), and those with exacerbation of chronic medical conditions, and psychological impairment. 

Similarly, the current global refugee crisis is a complex and confronting issue for our generation, posing major challenges in providing effective healthcare. Data suggests that infectious diseases requiring treatment in refugees are a minority; whilst non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and musculoskeletal conditions are prevalent. Further, many refugees arrive with complex health needs, including preexisting and/or new disability. One in six refugees have a physical health problem, severely affecting their lives and two-thirds experience mental health problems, signifying the important role of rehabilitation.  Refugees face continued disadvantage, poverty and dependence due to lack of cohesive supports in their new country, which are, determinants of both poor physical and mental health. This is compounded by language barrier, impoverishment, unfamiliarity with the local environment and healthcare system.  

These problems necessitate comprehensive long-term interdisciplinary management, which must include rehabilitation. The role of a rehabilitation medicine physician is crucial in early and late management of disability and needs to be integrated within the interdisciplinary field-medical teams. Unfortunately, medical rehabilitation services are often considered a low priority (due to ignorance about disability) and neglected both in developing countries as well as developed countries where we have a strong medical rehabilitation workforce. The many challenges and gaps in service delivery for the rehabilitation inclusive medical care for these persons need to be addressed.

What does disaster relief entail for rehabilitation medicine services? 

Medical rehabilitation is defined as ‘a set of measures that assist individuals who experience disability to achieve and maintain optimal physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social functioning in interaction with their environment’.  Overall primary goals of medical rehabilitation include management of acute injury, prevention and management of related complications, optimisation of functional capabilities (including physical, cognitive, neuropsychological function) and social re-integration.  

In the emerging global context of reduced mortality and increased morbidity following disasters – the need for rehabilitation is increasing. Natural disasters have become more frequent, causing mass casualties and severe physical injuries and psychological disorders impacting survivors. There is strong consensus amongst the disaster management experts that medical rehabilitation in any humanitarian disaster should be initiated in the immediate emergency response phase, and as disaster transitions away, it should be continued in the community over longer-term to restore function and enhance participation of survivors. Improving or restoring physical and psychosocial abilities is a key rehabilitation goal for survivors, and long-term care is critical. Evidence suggests early provision of rehabilitation programs improve clinical outcomes in terms of less complications, shorter hospital length of stay, less disability and improved participation compared with patients in centres with no rehabilitation physician supervision. Regrettably, however, acute response plans and care protocols which focus on saving lives and treating acute injuries get much of the attention in any disaster, and rehabilitative needs are often neglected.

As the Chair of ISPRM Disaster Rehabilitation Committee and Disaster Rehabilitation Special Interest Group of the RMSANZ, what types of interesting topics/discussions have your groups recently covered?

The International Society of Physical and Medical Rehabilitation (ISPRM), is the peak body representing 61 National Rehabilitation Societies worldwide with over 100,000 members. It is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) supporting development and capacity of medical rehabilitation, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Disability Action Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly. The Disaster Rehabilitation Committee (DRC) is an ISPRM sub-committee contributing to the society’s humanitarian agenda to advocate for physical and rehabilitation medicine (PRM) perspective in minimising disability, optimising function and health related quality of life of persons who sustain traumatic injury and those with pre-existing disability in natural and/or man-made disasters. Formerly part of the ISPRM WHO Liaison Committee, the DRC collaborates with the liaison committee on WHO disaster-related disability initiatives. Whilst, RMSANZ DR-SIG was initiated in Australia, Australia and New Zealand  have a similar agenda to support emergency disaster rehabilitation response and to provide resources (human and technical).

The committee members are actively involved in various activities during past and recent disasters, specifically providing care to the disaster victims on the ground (deployment in the Nepal earthquakes under the auspices of the WHO, the Hindukush earthquakes in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2015 and others). Activities include: providing guidance consultation through online consultation and remote teleconferencing ( eg, Indonesian earthquakes) and also on-site consultation for spinal and traumatic brain injuries, crush and amputations, burns and multiple trauma victims; facilitate online donations through the ISPRM website and collaborate with other national organisations for capacity building, knowledge sharing and dissemination. The committee members were also directly involved in the WHO Emergency Medical Team (EMT) initiatives and assisted in development of and/or providing guidance/consultation(s) in preparation of various guidelines and protocols including: Classification and Minimum Standards for Foreign Medical Teams in Sudden Onset Disasters (WHO); Emergency Medical Teams: Minimum Technical Standards and Recommendations for Rehabilitation (WHO); Rehabilitation in Health Systems (WHO) and others. Since its establishment, both committees  regularly host symposia, workshops and special sessions of disaster rehabilitation at the national and international congresses (annually).

The committee comprises various  workgroups led by respective coordinators to enact its action plan, which include:  development of trauma specific evidence-based guidelines (e.g. traumatic brain injury, multiple trauma, burns, fractures etc) in disaster settings; setting up educational online training module for in disaster settings; conducting Disaster-Preparedness Skill  Survey for rehabilitation physicians to establish Rehabilitation Physician Disaster Training and Deployment Registry; humanitarian assistance for displaced persons/refugees; development of International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) assessment tool for disaster settings; collaboration with other organisations (NGOs and INGOs); regular updates in the ISPRM news and views quarterly report and website, etc. 

What has been some of the hurdles when promoting rehabilitation services in low income countries in the region?

The WHO estimates that there are one billion disabled people worldwide (15 per cent of the world’s population), which equates to one in seven people. Of these, estimated 80 per cent of persons with disability live in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The WHO World Report on Disability indicates an escalating prevalence of disability and highlights inadequacies in resources and healthcare access for people with disability, especially in LMICs.  For example, in 2005, only 3 per cent of individuals who needed rehabilitation globally received the service and a third of countries did not allocate specific budgets for physical medicine and rehabilitation services. Further, a 2006 global survey of government action (n = 114 countries) for implementation of UN Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disability reported that rehabilitation policies were not adopted in 48 countries (42 per cent), legislation on rehabilitation for people with disabilities not passed in half (50 per cent) member states and rehabilitation programs were not established in 46 countries (40 per cent). The WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014 to 2021: Better Health for All People with Disability’, provides a list of specific actions and metrics of success to achieve three main objectives: remove barriers to health services; strengthen/extend rehabilitation, assistive-technology, support services, and community-based rehabilitation; and collection of disability data.  

Despite significant improvements in acute care services worldwide, this has not extended to include rehabilitation services in many LMICs. In many countries (specifically in disaster-prone countries) disaster response plans and rehabilitation services are generally limited or absent. There remains a significant gap in service provision for persons with disability in terms of rehabilitation service delivery, which  includes: limited availability or access to services, shortage of skilled work-force, fragmented healthcare system, poor coordination between acute and subacute healthcare sectors, limited health services infrastructure and funding, lack of disability data, poor legislation, lack of guidelines and accreditation standards, limited awareness/knowledge of disability and rehabilitation, socio-cultural perceptions and geo-topographical issues, fragmented healthcare systems, lack of political support.  Further, there are major disparities between countries; those with high risk of humanitarian catastrophes often have low-coping capacity and scarce resources. Also, global organisational capacities and capabilities are limited, with mismatched resources, with rehabilitation being consistently less prioritised.  

Both ISPRM and RMSANZ recognise that building and strengthening rehabilitation capacity through education and training in the low and middle income countries (LMICs) is of paramount importance in developing a skilled workforce, improving  service provision and awareness of rehabilitation. This approach not only benefits effective planning  and comprehensive management of disasters, but also helps to develop and/or upskill the skilled and sustainable rehabilitation workforce for future disasters. One such  example is the Rehabilitation Flying Faculty (at RMH) an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team of professionals (majority ISPRM DRC and RMSAZ DR-SIG members), who regularly visit various LMICs as independent experts to run organised capacity-building exercises tailored to host requirements (in countries such as Madagascar, Nepal, Mongolia, Nigeria, Morocco, Pakistan, Thailand, Sudan, China, Saudi Arabia, etc.).

What advice do you have for any future doctors interested in pursuing work within these areas?

With increasing frequency of natural disasters, there is greater focus on the role of rehabilitation in humanitarian disasters (natural and/or man-made). Despite growing demand, skilled rehabilitation workforce and services are still limited in many disaster settings, causing significant burden for individuals and community. There is strong evidence supporting early involvement of rehabilitation programs in improving clinical outcomes – these should be initiated acutely during emergency response and over a longer-term until treatment goals are achieved, and survivors are successfully integrated into society. The goals of rehabilitation in disaster settings are similar to any established rehabilitation setting – management of injury/trauma, prevention of complications, restore functional capabilities (including cognitive, neuropsychological function), prevent permanent disability and re-integration of survivors into community. However, in disaster settings this is more complex and challenging due to different factors and limited resources. The needs of disaster victims can be complex and across physical, psychosocial, vocational and other domains, requiring diverse modalities and interdisciplinary input with active patient participation. Specialised rehabilitation skills become increasingly necessary at times due to the broad range of injuries and condition of the victims. The role of rehabilitation physicians is therefore multi-faceted (from clinicians to administrators), and are well placed to address various challenges that arise during the complex disaster situations.  

The need to incorporate medical rehabilitation in disaster-response teams is urgent. Effective future humanitarian disaster management will depend on the capacity and willingness of countries and communities across the region to embrace and develop appropriate rehabilitation-inclusive policies for a collaborative and coordinated management system, stretching across sectors and jurisdictions to reach communities at risk. 

A message from your President

Rehabilitation medicine physician and AFRM Value Proposition document 

At the last AFRM Council meeting in November, Council endorsed the final version of the AFRM Value Proposition and Faculty Narrative document including the use of the preferred term rehabilitation medicine physician for professional / business communication. This document provides consistent language that can be used to describe the work we do and value we place on it. Specific value sentences or paragraphs can be extracted and used in other documents, business cases or briefing papers you are producing. Thank you to all members who participated in the survey and responded with other comments and suggestions. I hope that you will review the document again. It is a living document and will undergo review from time to time. 

As this is the last eBulletin of the year I would like to thank all AFRM Fellows and trainees for their support of the Faculty over the last 12 months. My impression is that we continue to have a very high rate of member participation in Faculty activities. The work of the Faculty in education and training could not proceed without the many Fellows and trainees who give a great deal of time as supervisors, educators, long case assessors, organisers and presenters of state branch training programs and the Bi-National Training Program (BNTP) and as members of exam preparation and assessment committees.
My sincere appreciation also goes to all members on our peak committees – Council, Education, Policy & Advocacy and the Trainee Committee and to the State Branch and Special Interest Group committees. My work is made much easier with the support of a great Executive team and I am very grateful for the advice, assistance and wisdom of Andrew Cole, Greg Bowring and Michael Johnson.

However, very little of the work we do could ever be achieved without the incredibly hard-working and committed team in the College’s Faculties Office – Anastasia (Stacey) Barabash (AFRM Executive Officer), Phillipa Warnes (Faculties Manager) and previously Joanne Goldrick, as well as Lisa Penlington (Director, Member Services), and in Policy & Advocacy Claire Celia and Renata Houen and staff from Education, Learning and Assessment.

On behalf of the AFRM Executive and Office teams, I wish you a relaxing, peaceful and safe holiday season.

Cheers,

Professor Tim Geraghty
President, Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation 

Vale Professor Dennis Smith

2 October 1930 to 18 November 2018

Professor Dennis Smith was born on 2 January 1930 in Coventry, England. He was the first son of Walter and Doris Smith. His father was from a Christian, socialist, working class background and worked as a medical clerk.

My father was a bright child and really enjoyed his school years particularly chemistry experiments! He received his first scholarship to Bablake Grammar School and went on to get another to attend Birmingham University where he studied medicine and chemistry.

Whilst still studying medicine, he met his wife Jean who was nursing at Warwickshire Hospital and he was working in the pathology lab when their romance commenced, they were married in 1952. In 1955 he commenced his National Service in the Royal Army Medical Corp, which he continued until 1965. During this time, he undertook further study in rheumatology and neurology and became a consultant physician in rehabilitation and achieved the rank of Major. In this period, my parents had four children: Carol, Helen (myself), David and Roger.

He worked at Great Ormond Street as the first assistant in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and also as Senior Registrar in the Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Guys Hospital London. In 1967 he was appointed Consultant in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation at the Windsor Group Hospitals and in 1970 became the Foundation Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine and Director of Rehabilitation Services and Research at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow Middlesex.

My father was the Director of Rehabilitation at the Clinical Research Centre of the Medical Research Council in Harrow, England before emigrating to South Australia in 1979. During this time, he was, for a decade, engaged in clinical research and the development of appropriate outcome measures designed to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation. 

Between 1979 and 1992 my father established the Rehabilitation Studies Unit at The Repatriation General Hospital, Daw Park as a centre for rehabilitation research and undergraduate and post graduate teaching and training. This was the first academic full time position in Australia. He was President of the Australian College of Rehabilitation Medicine from 1989 to 1990. 

In 1992 he established the Sydney University Motor Accidents Authority Chair of Rehabilitation at Ryde, and Royal North Shore Hospital and was Foundation Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Sydney University. He was also appointed Director of Head Injury Services and Director of Rehabilitation Studies Unit NSW. He also established the Research and Teaching unit on the campus of the Royal Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde.

In 1994, my father was the President of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) and Chairman of the Scientific Program for the World Conference of the International Federation of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (IFPM&R) Sydney, Australia 1995. This was the first major international rehabilitation conference in Australia and was a considerable success. It enabled the specialty to establish firm links with many significant overseas centres. 

My father’s considerable experience lay in the clinical management and rehabilitation of stroke and head injury. It was on this topic, he had been an invited speaker at the 8th International Conference of the International Rehabilitation Medicine Association (IRMA). He has written extensively on the determinants of disability. He also had a continuing interest in the management of chronic pain syndromes affecting the back and neck, especially for those in which the consequences are inability to return to work.

In 1997, he returned briefly to the UK but a year later returned to Australia and not being ready for retirement yet was appointed Emeritus Consultant, Department of Medicine at The Repatriation General Hospital and Fellow, Flinders University of South Australia Department of Rehabilitation and Aged Care.

My father was always a lover of music particularly jazz and big band music, Stan Kenton being one of his favourites. He also loved Motown especially Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Fifth Dimension. He also enjoyed making homemade wine, blackberry being his specialty and was also a keen photographer setting up his own darkroom.

He did more than most people would dream of; travelling, multiple career experiences, meeting extraordinary people and living in some beautiful parts of the world.

He leaves behind his wife Jean, his children Helen, David and Roger, his grandchildren Nicki, Daniel, Sophie, Henry, Amy, Charlie, Casey, Corey, Leigh, Rosie and Jack, and seven great grandchildren.

Never to be forgotten and always loved.

Helen McQueen
Daughter of Professor Dennis Smith 

Calling all AFRM trainees: Register Now for the AFRM Annual Training Meeting – Much more than an educational meeting

Registrations are now open for the 2019 Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) Annual Training Meeting (ATM).

The ATM will be held over the weekend of 16 to 17 March 2019, at the Governor Macquarie Tower RACP Offices in Sydney. The One Farrer Place precinct is surrounded by historic and contemporary landmarks: The Museum of Sydney, The Rocks, the Harbour and its Bridge, the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens.  The space is a few minutes’ walk from Circular Quay, Wynyard and Martin Place, which provide ferry, bus and train access to the CBD from all corners of Sydney. The new location is elegant, functional, and designed to suit collaborative training.

Next year’s program will feature interstate speakers, covering theoretical and practical skills to help you competently manage all aspects of your training. The weekend will provide you with a fundamental platform for your ongoing studies and ensure that you are well prepared for your future as a rehabilitation medicine physician. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to connect with your peers and new rehabilitation medicine Fellows.

We look forward to seeing you there. Register now at www.afrmatm.com.au. If you have any questions please contact afrm@racp.edu.au

Dr Ashlyn Alex
Chair, AFRM Trainee Committee 
AFRM ATM Organising Committee 
 

RACP Congress 2019

Join colleagues from Monday, 6 to Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, for RACP Congress 2019. As the premier annual event on the RACP calendar, Congress includes the College’s convocation ceremony as well as a diverse program with topics that span the breadth of the medical industry.

RACP Congress 2019 key topics include:

  • Life course theory ‘How do we impact health along the life course?’
  • Obesity: rising to the challenge
  • First 1000 days and non-communicable diseases
  • Medically unexplained symptoms master class
  • Mental health and addiction of patients
  • Chronic disease and integrated care

Early bird registration closes 22 February 2019.

Visit the Congress website to register and view the program.

RACP holiday closure

The RACP will be closed over the Christmas and New Year holiday period from Monday, 23 December 2018  through to Wednesday, 2 January 2019 in Australia and Thursday, 3 January 2019 in New Zealand. 

Happy holidays.

CPD funding on offer 

Fellows in rural and remote Australia are invited to apply for funding to undertake CPD activities, as part of the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia program.

Read more

Lead Fellow reminder

Expressions of interest are sought from Fellows interested in nominating for the RACP Congress Lead Fellow role for 2020, with the possibility of extending to 2021.

The Lead Fellow and the Congress Planning Committee work with key stakeholders to implement the Board’s strategic vision for Congress.

Find out more

Listen to our targeting diabetes podcast  

Dr Paul Drury and Professor Sophia Zoungas discuss issues surrounding pharmacological management of Type 2 diabetes is in the latest Pomegranate Health podcast. 

Listen now

Workshops to promote participation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the National Cancer Screening Program 

Around 55 workshops (free of charge to workshop participants) will be delivered across Australia in 2018 and 2019. The workshops aim to support healthcare providers and other relevant groups to promote cervical screening and the benefits of regular cervical screening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, in accordance with the renewal changes.  

To register, or for more information on the workshops, please contact The Benchmarque Group on telephone 1300 855 568 or by email at courses@benchmarquegroup.com.au

Newly released report on reducing opioid-related harm for surgical patients

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia's (SHPA) newly released report, Reducing opioid-related harm: A hospital pharmacy landscape, exposes national inconsistencies in the provision of pharmacy services to reduce the risk of opioid misuse, extremely high use of sustained release opioids and poor handover of discharge information for use by general practitioners.

According to SHPA, this is the first Australian study to comprehensively analyse current hospital pharmacy practices around opioids. It has shone a light on the link between the prescribing and supply of opioids to patients after surgery in public and private hospitals nationally and heightened risk of long-term misuse and dependence, highlighting the urgent need for a coordinated, multidisciplinary response.

RACP becoming a supporter of the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children 

The RACP and its Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) accepted an invitation from the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children to be listed as supporters on the Global Initiative’s website. The Global Initiative campaigns around the world to end corporal punishment of children. It generally seeks to partner with organisations in many countries and has collaborated with the College previously. Its campaign is strongly aligned with established College positions on child protection and physical punishment of children.

Corporal punishment has been illegal in all settings in New Zealand since 2005, but as the RACP is a trans-tasman College, it is now listed as a supporting organisation in Australia as well as New Zealand on an interactive map on the Global initiative’s website

Other supporter organisations in Australia and New Zealand to date are: 

Australia

  • Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Bega Valley Sanctuary Refugee Group
  • Commissioner for Children Tasmania
  • National Children’s and Youth Law Centre.

NZ

  • NZ Human Rights Commission
  • Brainwave Trust Aotearoa 
  • Action for Children & Youth Aotearoa
  • Youthlaw Tino rangatiratanga Taitamariki.

While being a supporter does not entail any financial or other obligations, the College might be listed as a supporting organisation in future Global Initiative publications. 

Australasian Clinical Indicator Report 2010-2017 (19th Edition)

Please be advised that the new Australasian Clinical Indicator Report 2010 - 2017 (19th edition) has now been released and includes a whole section on rehabilitation medicine. 

Medical Board of Australia’s updated sexual boundaries guidelines

The Medical Board of Australia’s (the Board) updated Guidelines: Sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship came into effect on 12 December 2018.

The updated guidelines complement the Board’s Good medical practice: A code of conduct for doctors in Australia and do not change the ethical and professional conduct expected of doctors by their peers, the community and the Board.

The updated guidelines were finalised following wide-ranging stakeholder consultation. The Board appreciates the contribution of stakeholders to the review of the guidelines.

The key changes to the guidelines include:

  • a change in the title to make the scope of the guidelines clearer
  • editorial updates that re-order the content, make it easier to read and clarify terms and definitions
  • a new section on social media that complements the Board’s social media policy
  • a requirement for patient consent if medical students or anyone else is to be present during an examination or consultation
  • advice that an unwarranted physical examination may constitute sexual assault. This includes conducting or allowing others, such as students, to conduct examinations on anaesthetised patients, when the patient has not given explicit consent
  • replacing the term ‘chaperone’ with the term ‘observer’. The revised section on the use of observers reflects the advice and principles in Professor Ron Paterson’s report of the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia, February 2017.

Boost your genomics knowledge

A new elearning module is available to introduce physicians in Australia and New Zealand to the emerging field of clinical genomics.

Learn more 

Survey of Clinician Researchers – Invitation to participate

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) invites all clinician researchers to participate in the 2018 Survey of Clinician Researchers. The survey is being conducted on behalf of NHMRC by ORIMA Research, an independent market and social research company. 

By participating in this survey, you will contribute to research that will inform the NHMRC about:

  • whether there are appropriately clear and supported career pathways available to clinician researchers in Australia
  • factors that enable some clinicians to enter research
  • factors that enable some clinicians to maintain a career in research 
  • factors that cause some clinicians to choose not to enter research 
  • major support mechanisms and enablers for clinician researchers
  • major barriers and current issues for clinician researchers. 

Participation in the project will assist NHMRC in building a better understanding of the clinician researcher population in Australia. The RACP encourages you to participate in this important research as the project will benefit researchers from medical, nursing and allied health disciplines and in the longer term will aid the integration and translation of research into health policy and practice.

Ethics approval was granted for this project by the ORIMA Research Human Research Ethics Committee. 

For more information, or to participate:
1. read the Participant Information Sheet
2. go to the survey website by clicking on the link below, or pasting the link into your browser: https://www.orima.com.au/nhmrc/clinicianresearchers    

If you have further questions regarding the Survey of Clinician Researchers, please do not hesitate to contact May from ORIMA or Alice from NHMRC:

AFRM Expressions of Interest – Regional Committees

Expressions of Interest are being sought for several opportunities within AFRM Regional Committees.

The AFRM Regional Committee has been established to:

  • advise the Faculty Council on matters relevant to the Faculty in their region
  • promote rehabilitation medicine in their region
  • respond to new and emerging rehabilitation medicine issues relevant to the Faculty as they arise provided the issue is approved by the Faculty President or Faculty Council prior to work commencing
  • work with other relevant appropriate College bodies and staff in relation to training and continual professional development and contributing to policy and advocacy matters
  • the activities of the Committee must be consistent with the College’s Strategic Directions document or any successor document.

For further information please visit: 
www.racp.edu.au/expressions-of-interest/afrm-nsw-regional-committee
www.racp.edu.au/expressions-of-interest/afrm-wa-regional-committee

Important study of ageing and dementia in people with intellectual disability

People with intellectual disability who are over 40 years old can take part in a study about ageing run through 3DN at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Carers can also be involved. An easy-read flyer is available. 

The research team request that clinicians and service providers please pass this information on to potential participants.

For more information please call Liz Evans or Rebecca Daly on +61 2 9931 9160. 

The Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University is conducting a study to examine hip fracture rehabilitation care

This Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) study aims to further their understanding of the facilitators and barriers to rehabilitation for older people who have had a hip fracture. In doing so, it is hoped to inform a discussion around minimising any barriers to the provision of hip fracture rehabilitation and to improve health outcomes for older people. 

The survey will ask questions about service models for hip fracture rehabilitation, guidelines and policies, along with decision criteria for access to rehabilitation (e.g. dementia, low pre-injury functional status), types of wards, and number of rehabilitation beds. It will also ask questions around the availability of post-discharge services including community and home-based services, transitional care, and if there has been a change in rehabilitation services in the last five years. Finally, it will seek to obtain information on rehabilitation services that may be offered to hip fracture patients living with dementia, and some of the potential barriers your facility encounters in the provision of rehabilitation for people who have dementia.

Participation in this research is voluntary and all information provided will be confidential. If you are willing to participate in the online survey please do so on the website

Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about the research, please email Associate Professor Rebecca Mitchell at r.mitchell@mq.edu.au

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

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

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) 


The AFRM conducts the BNTP on the last Wednesday of every month from February to November. These training sessions are broadcast across Australia and New Zealand. The BNTP sessions use Zoom conferencing to provide trainees with rehabilitation medicine knowledge and information. 

View event listings

To join the webinar on the day, follow this link to Zoom Software. It is important to log on early and ensure that you turn your webcam off before you join the webinar. Due to the nature of the recordings, if you connect via videoconference, you will appear on the screen. Should you do so, we will assume automatic consent to be part of the recording.

See previous program video and presentation documents.

NSW Lecture Series – Wednesday and Saturday sessions

The AFRM conducts the NSW Lecture Series on the last Wednesday of every month from February to November. These training sessions are recorded and material is available online after each session. Trainees will require their MIN and password to access this material.

The NSW Branch runs monthly training sessions on various Saturdays throughout the first half of each year. These sessions give trainees practice in the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) sessions in preparation for their Fellowship exams.

These sessions are held on a Saturday morning at various hospital locations and led by different AFRM Fellows. Unlike the BNTP and NSW Training, which take place on the last Wednesday of each month, there is no pattern to these events.

View session dates

See previous session video and presentation documents

AFRM contact details 

Member enquiries
Phone: (AUS) 1300 69 7227
Phone: (NZ) 0508 69 7227
Email: memberservices@racp.edu.au 

AFRM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Anastasia Barabash, Executive Officer, AFRM
Phone: +61 2 8076 6315
Email: afrm@racp.edu.au

AFRM Education and Training enquiries:
Name: Lia Iliou, Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6350
Email: rehab@racp.edu.au  

AFRM Examination enquiries:
Name: Irene Atsiaris, Examination Coordinator 
Phone: +61 2 9256 5422
Email: examinations@racp.edu.au  

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries:
Name: Sonia Tao, Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233
Email: accreditation@racp.edu.au 
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