AFRM eBulletin – 20 September 2019

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand's fourth Annual Scientific Meeting

On behalf of the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) and the organising committees, we are delighted to invite our colleagues to the RMSANZ ASM 2019 to be held in Adelaide from Sunday, 20 to Wednesday, 23 October. 

The theme for the conference is 'Contemporary rehabilitation: Knowledge translation, collaboration and community engagement'. This theme speaks to our unique strengths while highlighting exciting areas of future growth.

For more information please visit the event website

A message from your President

Have you completed your Work Profile on MyRACP? 

Some of the most common questions asked by AFRM Fellows and trainees relate to current and future employment and workforce matters. How many rehabilitation medicine physicians do we need for the future? How many trainees should we be training? How many jobs for rehabilitation medicine physicians are there going to be in the future? All very reasonable and appropriate questions to ask. But, unfortunately often difficult to answer. 

In late 2017, as a first step towards obtaining better physician workforce data, the RACP established a physician workforce profile and called on all Fellows to enter their practice activity through a new feature in MyRACP. The data collected relates to your work details including what percentage of your time is spent in the various aspects of medical practice and research including supervision, teaching, research and clinical practice (public and private). While many Fellows complete workforce information for other organisations, these are often fragmented and designed around a specific question. The College seeks to gather information in one place. 

To date very few AFRM Fellows have completed the workforce profile and I therefore encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Simply login to MyRACP and in the top left hand square you will see ‘Update My Work Profile’. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes.

Please note that no individual data will be used and members’ privacy will be maintained. It is the aggregate data of the type of work our members are doing that will help the College provide accurate information to policy and decision makers.

Help the Faculty and College to establish an authoritative data set of the rehabilitation medicine physician workforce to better inform future workforce decision making.

Thanks for your help and all the best,
Professor Tim Geraghty

Notice of meeting – Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine Annual Members' Meeting 

The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) will be holding its Annual Members’ Meeting on Monday, 21 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre in Adelaide. 

At the meeting, AFRM President, Professor Tim Geraghty will highlight the achievements of the Faculty over the past year. All members are encouraged to attend. 

If you would like to submit an item for consideration on the agenda or request a copy of the meeting papers, please email by 5pm on Monday, 14 October 2019.

When: Monday, 21 October, 6.15pm to 7.00pm 
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre, ACC Exhibition Hall, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Cost: Complimentary to AFRM members

BOTOX® is now PBS reimbursed

As of 1 September 2019, BOTOX® is now reimbursed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)  for moderate to severe lower limb spasticity following an acute event.

For more information please visit the PBS website.

Faculty prizes

Adrian Paul Prize

Applications for the Adrian Paul Prize are open to AFRM trainees and Fellows in the first year of Fellowship. The prize is awarded for the best scientific work in the field of rehabilitation medicine that is submitted as part of the AFRM Advanced Training program. Eligible projects must have been first submitted as part of your training between 16 September 2018 and 17 September 2019. The successful recipient receives $1,000 and a certificate presented at the Convocation Ceremony.

Applications are due Tuesday, 1 October 2019.

Eric Susman Prize

The Eric Susman Prize is awarded annually to a Fellow of the College for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine (adult medicine or paediatrics). 

Submit your nominations before Monday, 30 September 2019.

For further details on these and other prizes, please visit the Foundation webpage.

Meet the College Board

You are invited to join members of your RACP Board at an informal meeting on Thursday, 26 September from 5.30pm to 7.15pm at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. You will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and network with other Fellows and trainees.

Numbers are limited, so register today to avoid disappointment. Please RSVP and advise any dietary or accessibility requirements.

Register now

Share your talents at RACP Congress 2020

We’re looking for talented members to lead extra-curricular experiences for delegates at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Do you have a special interest outside of medicine you would like to share? Volunteer to lead a session at the RACP Congress Fringe Experience.

Express your interest

RACP Indigenous health scholarships

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine is proud to offer the 2020 John McLeod Indigenous Health Scholarship as part of the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program.

The Program is an opportunity for those who identify as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori or Pacific Islander to receive support throughout their Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and New Zealand. Each scholarship is valued up to $40,000 over three to four years, depending on training pathway taken.

Several scholarships are available for 2020 to support Basic, Advanced or Chapter training:

  • College Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • New Zealand Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health.

Applications are open from Tuesday, 1 October to Saturday, 30 November 2019.

Further details on these scholarships are be available on the RACP Foundation website.

Input to RACP's ongoing work and advocacy on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Thank you to the Fellows who provided input into the College’s submission on the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into NDIS Planning. The submission is being finalised and will be available on the RACP website soon. If you would like a copy of the submission sent to you directly, please email to request a copy.

Concurrently to this, the Australian Government has also has promised to develop an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to support positive participant experiences with the NDIS.The Guarantee will set new standards for the time it takes for key steps in the NDIS process. This means there will be shorter, agreed timeframes for people to receive a decision on whether they will be covered by the NDIS, for them to get an NDIS plan, and to have their plan reviewed. A particular focus will be on children and those participants needing specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology. To help facilitate this, a review of the NDIS Act 2013 has been announced, which will focus on removing legislative impediments and red tape to improve NDIS processes for participants and providers. It is not expected that this review will result in a fundamental reshaping of the NDIS. However, it is an opportunity to achieve better outcomes for patients and their families. Read the discussion paper.

The RACP Policy & Advocacy Unit are currently developing a consultation framework for this review and will send it out to relevant committees soon. If you would like to provide feedback directly to this consultation, please contact Rebecca Randall via

RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019

Physicians and trainees are invited to come together for an update on the latest research in Tasmania. The RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019  will be on Friday, 8 November at the Launceston General Hospital. Held under the theme ‘Physician vulnerability: are you at risk?’ the conference explores online communications and medico-legal risk. With constant changes in these areas, it’s challenging for physicians to remain informed, confident and protected in their practice. 

Register today

What’s happening in Basic Training curricula renewal

We’re excited to announce the training settings that will be the first to adopt the new Basic Training program.

We will be working with the Gold Coast University Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital Auckland, The Townsville Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide to start rolling out the new Basic Training programs from 2020.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an expression of interest to become an early adopter of the new program.

We are also seeking expressions of interest for additional training settings to join those listed above as early adopters of the new Basic Training programs from 2021. 

Spotlight on the Integrated Care Subgroup

Integrated care is a much-used term in healthcare. The College designated integrated care as a strategic Fellow-led priority, under the umbrella of the Health Reform Reference Group (HRRG). The work described here is a positive example of successful physician teamwork supported by the College’s Policy & Advocacy team. The HRRG comprises many experienced members who consider a wide range of health reform issues. To lead this stream of work it formed an agile Integrated Care Subgroup.

The Subgroup is co-led by Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Dr Tony Mylius, and members include Mrs Debra Letica, Dr Mohamed Haroon Kasim, Dr Niroshini Kennedy, Dr Carol McAllum, Professor Christopher Poulos, Associate Professor Anthony Russell, Dr Tai Tak Wan and Dr Gerard Adrianus. Two team positions are allocated to paediatrics, and importantly, a team member is a consumer representative.

Since commencing at the end of 2018, the national group of Fellows has met consistently, and within a few months has produced a ‘model of chronic care management’. The model has been so successfully received that the College is receiving requests from health service delivery sites asking to be a ‘proof of concept site’. If you’d like to see a copy of Complex care, consultant physicians and better patient outcomes: streamlined care in the community please email This has been the subject of high-level consultation with a comprehensive band of stakeholders.

The Subgroup is:

  • calling for health system infrastructure to better support consultant physicians (both private practitioner and hospital employed) to work in the community and in ambulatory care settings
  • advocating more flexible hospital services and the use of interoperable information systems to create a continuum of care for people with chronic conditions.

New Pomegranate podcast: Getting off the opioids

Dramatic headlines about the opioid crisis are all-too familiar by now. Australia and New Zealand have followed the lead of the US, and seen a fourfold increase in opioid use over the last 30 years. Most of this prescribing has been for chronic non-cancer pain, but systematic reviews will tell you there are no decent trials that would warrant use for this indication.

In this podcast we’ll discuss some of the latest studies that have followed pain patients long-term and provided evidence against the efficacy of chronic opioid use. Addiction medicine specialist Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds (Clinical Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, Tasmania) talks about how to identify patients that have developed dependence on or addiction to opioids and how to wean them off this medication. And pain medicine specialist Dr Chris Hayes (Director of the Hunter Integrated Pain Service) describes an alternative approach to therapy that involves breaking maladaptive pain associations in the nervous system.

Listen now

Refugee and immigrant health

Each year, thousands of people who have experienced persecution or other serious human rights abuses settle in Australia. The Refugee and Immigrant Health Curated Collection is a peer-reviewed resource to help you gain access to the key organisations and websites, webcasts, courses, tools and journals. View the resource today, or check out the whole range of RACP Curated Collections. Resources are complimentary for members and count towards continuing professional development requirements.

Access resources today

How does a 10 per cent discount on your insurance sound?

Vero offers great quality home and contents insurance in Australia, featuring:

  • new for old replacement for all contents
  • lock replacement
  • cover against fraudulent use of credit cards stolen from your property up to $1,500 (where you have contents cover)
  • flood cover as standard^
  • enjoy an exclusive 10 per cent discount on home insurance through your benefits, which is automatically applied to the price you are quoted
  • plus an additional five per cent discount if you buy combined home and contents cover. 

Get a quote and visit your RACP Member Advantage website for more information.

^Flood cover does not include loss or damage caused by highwater, actions of the sea, tidal waves or water entering your home due to structural defects, alterations, additions, renovations or repairs.

This may contain general advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions and exclusions apply. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available for this product, and can be requested when you call for a quote, or can be downloaded from the Vero website. You should consider the PDS before deciding whether to buy any of these products. The insurer is AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance.
Information correct as at 6 August 2019.

Contribute to improving global standards of stroke prevention

Reviewers are needed to help with a new guideline for stroke prevention for the International Union of Angiology (IUA). The Faculty Advocating for Collaborative and Thoughtful Carotid Artery Treatments (FACTCATS) are a voluntary group of international experts from many clinical specialist and research groups. They promote scientific evidence to inform policy, practice and research regarding prevention of stroke associated with carotid artery disease.

The FACTCATS are seeking enthusiastic multi-disciplinary, multi-specialty health professionals and consumer representatives to help with a new guideline on stroke prevention. All members, trainees and Fellows, are welcome to apply. The guideline is being produced in association with the IUA and aims to help update the field and overcome procedural biases in existing guidelines.

The role will include:

  • systematic reviews of guidelines and studies
  • advising how to best define and modify arterial disease risk factors for primary and secondary prevention.

The project is being conducted in stages, with each stage expected to last between six to 12 months. The time commitment required will vary and flexibility for reviewers can be accommodated. All correspondence will be sent via email.

How to apply

To apply email Associate Professor Anne Abbott.

For more information visit

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.

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

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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