AFRM eBulletin – 15 November 2019

Congratulations to Dr Yuriko Watanabe

Dr Yuriko Watanabe is the recipient of the 2020 RACP AFRM Research Development Scholarship offered by the Faculty through the RACP Foundation. This scholarship provides funding support for her project ‘Do patients from Non-English-Speaking Backgrounds (NESBs) have access to healthcare interpreters during inpatient rehabilitation? An audit study’. 

Dr Watanabe was previously a recipient of the AFRM Fellows Ipsen Research Development Fellowship in 2015. She is a rehabilitation physician working at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, with areas of clinical interests in musculoskeletal, neurological conditions, geriatric rehabilitation and pain management. She advocates for vulnerable culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations and is one of the founders of a charitable organisation helping improve accessibility of healthcare and aged care services particularly to older Japanese people with limited English ability.

Outcomes for the 2020 RACP AFRM Research Entry Scholarship and other research awards and grants offered by the RACP Foundation are being finalised and notifications will be sent to all applicants in the coming weeks.

Visit the RACP Foundation webpage if you wish to find out more about research awards, grants, and prizes available to Fellows and trainees.

A message from your President

Update on the AFRM Research Working Group

The AFRM Research Working Group was established in mid-2016 with the purpose of supporting the AFRM Trainee Research Program. The program aims to inform and support trainee research projects that increase the quality of rehabilitation medicine research and to facilitate the use of data from the Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) in rehabilitation registrars’ research projects. 
The AFRM Research Working Group also looks at developing research knowledge, capacity and output in rehabilitation medicine Fellows and trainees. This has been one of the objectives of the Council Work Plan for a number of years.
The Working Group, chaired by Associate Professor Michael Pollack and includes Dr Zoe Adey-Wakeling, Associate Professor Peter New, Professor John Olver, Dr Pearl Chung, Associate Professor Steven Faux, Professor Michael Nilsson and Dr John Estell (AROC representative) with support from Stacey Barabash in the Faculty office, have met regularly throughout the year and continue with the development of an information booklet which will be made available online to all AFRM Fellows and trainees, to promote and explain the research project.
The group will also look at producing an overarching support statement, as part of a template letter, to assist trainees in obtaining ethics approval. This will outline the AROC, what the research project is, and how it forms part of the research methodology that trainees are required to understand by the end of their training. 

The group are also exploring the establishment of an Australasian Rehabilitation Research Network (ARRN), which will be open to all AFRM Fellows and trainees.  The ARRN will be a network of specialist and other health professionals who are interested in research within rehabilitation medicine. The ARRN aims to support rehabilitation medicine researchers by facilitating communication, coordination (across sites), helping to keep track of current research activities, exploring priorities (at a bi-national level), and fostering research collegiality and networking.  
Thanks very much to Michael Pollack and all working party members for their efforts in advancing this important area of work for the Faculty.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Ruth Marshall who was recently elected President-Elect of the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCOS). Ruth will be the first female President of ISCOS and third President from Australia. Congratulations Ruth.
All the best,
Professor Tim Geraghty
AFRM President

Calling all Queensland Fellows 

Queensland Regional Committee Survey – future branch activities 

The Queensland Regional Committee would be most grateful if any QLD Fellows could complete the short survey in order to inform discussions and plan activities for the AFRM QLD Branch. 

The survey closes on Friday, 22 November 2019. 


Dr David Eckerman – Chair, QLD Regional Committee 
Dr Teresa Boyle – Honorary Secretary, QLD Regional Committee

Register for RACP Congress 2020 – Balancing medical science with humanity

Melbourne Convention Centre, 4 to 6 May

We are excited to announce more inspirational speakers at RACP Congress 2020.

Keynote presenter, Professor Catherine Crock AM, will present 'Balancing science with humanity: how kindness restores the whole in medicine'. Professor Crock is a doctor at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, music and theatrical producer, humanitarian, mother and strong advocate for culture change in healthcare.

Genomics, discussing the application of this rapidly evolving multidisciplinary field with Professor Kathryn North AC, Director of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the David Danks Professor of Child Health Research at the University of Melbourne. 

We will explore the impact of transfers of responsibility when transitions from child to adult health occur with Ms Evelyn Culnane, Lead Transition to Adult Care at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and Dr Jeremy Lewin, Medical Director of ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service. 

Visit the Congress website to find out more about the program and to register.

For individual response: FPM Procedures in Pain Medicine Clinical Care Standard

The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) are conducting a consultation of the pilot Procedures in Pain Medicine Clinical Care Standard. This professional document has been developed to articulate what is considered to be the appropriate and safe use of procedures in the practice of pain medicine and is intended for use by FPM Fellows and trainees. Please provide any feedback you may have directly to the FPM on – see further details in the letter Professor Tim Geraghty received from the FPM. 

RACP My Work Profile - homepage banner

My Work Profile

Many Government decisions on workforce are based on anecdotal data. As a response to this we are updating our records to assist our future decision making for physician education programs.

Did you know the hours you work, the professional activities you are engaged in and where you work impact the paediatrics and adult medicine workforce?

You’ll find My Work Profile in MyRACP.

MyRACP supported internet browsers are Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

How does My Work Profile benefit you?

Workforce data will be made available to you and will help:

  • new Fellows decide which geographic area to work in Australia and New Zealand
  • new Fellows choose between private or public practice
  • you understand how your work hours compare with your peers
  • the RACP and stakeholders including government policy-makers make better workforce decisions, based on current data
  • Fellows understand activities they are undertaking; research, administration or clinical.

Hear what others have to say about My Work Profile

For more information, please read the My Work Profile FAQs. For details on what data will be collected and how it will be stored, please read the Privacy Statement.

Complete today

Indigenous scholarships and prizes

Do you identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori and wish to pursue a medical career as a physician? The RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program supports medical graduates and current RACP trainees on your chosen career path to becoming a physician. 

The scholarships provide a funded pathway through Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter Training in Australia and/or New Zealand. Applications close Saturday, 30 November 2019, so submit your application today.

The RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori. The selected applicant will receive support to attend RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. The opportunity allows you to gain educational and networking opportunities, as well as exposure to career pathways within the College.

The prize includes:

  • full registration for RACP Congress 2020, held in May in Melbourne
  • return economy airfares to Melbourne
  • up to three nights accommodation.

Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before applications close on Friday, 31 January 2020.

Further details are available on the RACP Foundation website.

Launch of the 2019 MJA-Lancet Countdown on health and climate change

Listen to experts discuss report highlights and key challenges at the Sydney MJA-Lancet Countdown Launch at Macquarie University on 28 November 2019 at 4pm. The RACP was involved in the development of the MJA-Lancet Countdown Policy brief for Australia, which will be launched as part of this event.

Register on the event website if you wish to attend. 

Tri-nation Alliance International Medical Symposium

Registrations are now open for the Tri-nation Alliance International Medical Symposium (IMS), 20 March 2020, Amora Hotel Sydney, Australia.

Now in its ninth year IMS is an annual event that reinforces the strong historical relationship between medical professions from Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Cementing these ties, a formal agreement between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australasian College of Psychiatrists created the Tri-Nations Alliance. 

The IMS 2020 theme, Providing care to underserved populations is relevant to health professionals from all member countries. With a focus on higher medical education, delegates will explore how specialist training can support and enhance access to healthcare for critical populations experiencing difficulties in accessing healthcare, potentially due to location or isolation, social determinants or other specific issues.

Visit the IMS website to find out more about the program and to register.

Tools to help you meet your CPD requirements

Participating in audit activities is one of the key ways doctors will meet requirements of the MyCPD Category 3 – Measuring Outcomes. If you’re unsure how to do an audit, or deciding an area of your practice to audit, we have developed an audit template to help you.

The audit template:

  • provides a guide to completing an audit
  • explains each step and provides a link to other resources that may assist Fellows.

For audit ideas, access the following resources:

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep53 Marrabinya – a hand out-stretched

Marrabinya is a Wiradjuri word meaning 'hand outstretched'. It’s the name of a service in the Western New South Wales Primary Health Network which financially supports Indigenous Australians to attend specialist consultations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples receive specialist medical care 40 per cent less often than non-Indigenous Australians. It’s easy to imagine communities out in the red desert and blame culture clash or the tyranny of distance, but most Indigenous Australians live in cities or regional communities. The Marrabinya staff explain how socioeconomic factors and institutional biases can accumulate to prevent Aboriginal patients from receiving the care they need.

Marrabinya is an exemplary model of principles that RACP has formalised in the Medical Specialist Access Framework. Indigenous leadership, cultural safety, person and family-centred approach and a context-specific approach can all contribute to great gains in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Guests: Marrabinya Executive Manger Donna Jeffries and chronic care link staff Desley Mason, Kym Lees, Possum Swinton, Sandra Ritchie, Donna Jeffries, Melissa Flannery, Joanne Bugg, Jacob Bloomfield and Gaby Bugg.

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

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

Listen now 

Be part of the change to improve physician mental health

We’ve partnered with the Black Dog Institute and are looking for supervisors to join the Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) as part of the development of an online mental health training program. 

The program will give supervisors the skills to better manage and support the mental health needs of trainees.

Your involvement

As a part of the RCT you will be asked to complete:

  • four questionnaires over six-months
  • the online HeadCoach for Physicians program:
    o consists of nine modules (less than 10 minutes each)
    o can be completed over three-weeks at your own pace
    o can be completed on your computer, tablet or phone.


Register for the RCT today on HeadCoach for Physicians website or contact if you have any questions. 

More information on the main trial, including information about confidentiality, is available in the participant information sheet.

This research has been reviewed and approved by The University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or concerns about the research project please email or phone +61 2 9385 6222 quoting the following number: HC190628.

Discover your online learning options today

We understand you’re busy and on-the-go so discover our quality online education. Accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning, access a range of online learning courses, resources, lectures, curated collections and podcasts. Developed by members, for members, the interactive nature of our online learning resources enable you to learn from your peers.

RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements

Find out more

Career opportunities

New South Wales

Northern Territory


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):
Stacey Barabash, 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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