AFRM eBulletin – 23 July 2021

A message from your President

I'm pleased to provide you with another update on our activity in this July edition of the eBulletin. 

AFRM Annual Members Meeting 2021

By the time you read this eBulletin we will have held the AFRM Annual Members Meeting (AMM) on Tuesday, 20 July 2021. This is the second AMM held in a webinar format. For those who were able to join, I hope you found it easy to access and were still able to participate and contribute as much as you liked. I think that in the future we should continue with a virtual element even when we return to a face-to-face meeting.

Update on the AFRM Council Work Plan 

  • The Curriculum Review Group for General Rehabilitation Medicine has commenced its very important work which will take some time to complete. Increased support for modules one and two will be part of the review.
  • We are progressing well with our two-stage plan to solidify the academic focus of the Faculty. The creation of a permanent seat on Council is completed, we are currently looking to fill the position. Next step will be to create and fill a permanent academic and research committee of Council. 
  • Managing the impact of COVID-19 on training and on service provision continues to be a concern. A great deal of time and effort by Faculty Fellows and College staff has been essential to successfully complete most of our exams in 2021. We still have a cohort of AFRM Module 2 candidates to complete in October. This has taken a great effort by a large number of people. Our representation on the College COVID-19 Expert Reference Group ensures that our concerns regarding deleterious decisions being taken on local rehabilitation services can be raised. We are also establishing a COVID-19 working party to collect research documentation, survey our own Fellows and to produce policy responses.
  • The rollout of our marketing and awareness raising campaign is going well. There are a number of documents available on the RACP website for Fellows to use in any correspondence with their hospitals and local health authorities where appropriate. We also sent out a letter and information about the Faculty to a large number of key stakeholder organisations in the country and have started receiving replies requesting meetings and further discussion which I hope will be fruitful for all parties.
  • The Faculty Policy & Advocacy Committee continues to deal with a number of important issues, some of our own initiative, and others addressed primarily by the College, where our expert advice is sought. I'm pleased to note that the Bariatric Rehabilitation Working Group is progressing well with production of the policy statement.

Succession planning

I want to draw your attention to our need for Fellows to take over roles on many of our committees. Every year vacancies appear as Fellows reach the limit of their terms of office on our many committees at branch and Faculty level. I appeal to you all to consider what role you could take on, particularly those who may never have been in any roles before and are unsure of where to start. Consider whether your interest is primarily in education, be that assessment, training or accreditation, or in policy development. With a huge number of tasks undertaken in the training and assessment area we need new people almost every year to carry out the work. If you're unsure where to begin perhaps a role on your regional branch will be a good place to start, particularly in education which remains the key function of the Faculty. This is particularly suitable for younger Fellows who are closer to the training and examination experience and bring valuable insight and energy to benefit trainees coming behind.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) Management Advisory Group (MAG) chair

Dr John Estell has chaired the AROC MAG with distinction but is now reaching the end of his term (21 August) and we will need a replacement for him. Those with interest in this area should look out for the EOI which will be appearing soon. Further information can be obtained from the Faculty office by contacting

Results of the Fellowship Clinical Exam (FCE) 2021 

The pass rate for the FCE 2021 was lower this year and I would like to express my sympathy to the trainees who have had to battle through extremely difficult, in fact unprecedented, conditions over the past 12 to 18 months trying to prepare for exams in the current pandemic. There's no doubt that the disruption to clinical training opportunities and the changes to the workplace conditions for many of our trainees will have made this an almost impossible task this year. 

Pandemic aside , I think we collectively need to make a bigger effort to try and achieve a consistently high pass rate in the FCE than we’ve managed over recent years. I don't think the FCE should be seen as an exam to try one year with the intention of passing the next, rather I would prefer the trainees undertake the exam when they feel well prepared and highly likely to pass. 

I recently met with the Regional Committee Chairs and Training Coordinators to look at how we can improve training resources and opportunities at a local level for trainees, particularly in this current environment where many of the previous training sessions have been curtailed. Some of the answers will be in technology and sharing of resources (i.e. learning from successful programs in other regions), but ultimately the Clinical Exam requires clinical practice and I'd like to draw everyone's attention to this point. Improving the FCE pass rate is not going to be solved by didactic sessions, whether these be online or not. Preparation for Clinical Exams is mostly about clinical exposure and case discussion in the workplace. Presenting cases and fielding questions from senior colleagues (whether that be as a planned exercise or part of consult rounds) is the key. I encourage everyone to re-double their efforts, particularly supervisors, to give trainees regular case presentation practice and feedback to this end.

RACP survey on healthcare of patients with intellectual disability

The RACP currently has a survey open on this important topic and I think it's particularly important that Faculty Fellows respond. We, as a group, probably have greater exposure to intellectual disability than many other subspecialty areas – some of us working substantially in this area.

Vale Dr David Bowers 

It is with sadness that I report the sudden and unexpected passing of our colleague Dr David Bowers who worked in Spinal Injury Rehabilitation at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. An obituary is being prepared for the next edition of Rhaïa.  

Life in lockdown

Those of you in Sydney,  Melbourne and Adelaide will be currently managing another lockdown with its practical constraints on a day-to-day basis but also the overwhelming sense of gloom which seems to descend whenever these measures are put in place for any length of time. I encourage all Fellows to look after your mental and physical health through these times and I wish everyone the very best. We all look forward to a time when our lives can return to a much more predictable sense of normalcy. 

Dr Greg Bowring
AFRM President

Spread the word about the unique value of rehabilitation medicine 

Help us to spread the word about the unique value of rehabilitation medicine for patients, other health professionals, the health system and the community. 

One of the most common concerns that we hear raised by Faculty Fellows is that rehabilitation medicine has a lower profile compared to some other medical specialties and that there is often a lack of understanding of the important work that rehabilitation medicine physicians and rehabilitation medicine teams do at both the individual patient and at the health system level.

Now is your chance to help change that by participating in the AFRM Stakeholder Engagement Project

We have developed a marketing and communications toolkit to assist you to engage with and educate key stakeholders in your hospital and health service. This includes a letter to stakeholders’ template and a new AFRM (the Working Together to Make Better Lives) brochure and PowerPoint presentation. We hope that you find these resources useful.

Another component of the project involves sending key stakeholders across government and the health, disability and community sectors in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand a letter from the AFRM President. It will provide:

  • current information about the AFRM, the work of rehabilitation medicine physicians 
  • our narrative brochure 
  • our Scope of Practice
  • our Standards (adult and paediatric) documents.

I trust that you will take this opportunity to play a small role in this important stakeholder engagement project to promote understanding and awareness of the importance of rehabilitation medicine for our patients and families, the health system and the broader community and raise the profile of rehabilitation medicine and rehabilitation medicine physicians.

Dr Greg Bowring
AFRM President

RACP employment opportunity – Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment

The Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment is an integral role within the Education Learning and Assessment team. The successful applicant will provide leadership, advice and support for the College’s education program across the membership.

About the role

Reporting to the Executive General Manager, Education Learning and Assessment, you will play a significant role, providing physician leadership and supporting the College’s education and assessment strategy, including the Education Renewal Program. You will support and advise on changes to examinations and assessment, trainee wellbeing and assist with challenging trainee reviews and related initiatives across both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Help to shape the future direction of the College’s education program by delivering a physician’s perspective and represent our membership base. You will be a trusted adviser to the Senior Leadership Team and the College Education Committee, which is currently progressing a significant program of educational renewal for all 63 College programs.

This high-profile role is ideal if you are looking to expand your career beyond clinical delivery into medical education and impact the future of the College service delivery.

This opportunity is for a 12-month contract with part-time hours of 15 to 22.5 hours per week.

Applications close on Tuesday, 10 August 2021.

More information about this new role is available on the RACP career webpage.

AFRM Advanced Training deadline

Mid-Year requirements 

Mid-year requirements for the first half of 2021 are due by Tuesday, 31 August 2021. We recommend trainees schedule in time with supervisor(s) to complete these early to avoid delays due to supervisor leave. 

Full details of your program requirements can be found on the 'Training Requirements' tab of the General Rehabilitation Medicine Program Requirements and the Paediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Program Requirements webpages.

Applications for Approval of Training

Trainees must prospectively apply for approval of training every six or 12 months. Applications for the second half of 2021 are due by Tuesday, 31 August 2021. 

Interruption of training

Trainees not training in the second half of 2021 but have other program requirements outstanding, need to submit an Application for Interruption as soon as possible. 

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your program requirements.

RACP Governor Macquarie Tower Meeting Rooms in Sydney – new name announcement

We are pleased to announce that the Board has recently approved a proposal from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) to use the following names for the three College meeting rooms in our space at Governor Macquarie Tower (GMT), Sydney:




Yura Eóra

People or Aboriginal people



Place or country





To propose the three names, ATSIHC approached the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC), as the traditional custodians of the Gadigal lands on which the building resides, to ensure appropriate cultural protocols and language were used when naming the three GMT rooms. MLALC shared a book, The Sydney Language by Jakelin Troy and suggested the names be sourced from the language outlined in the book. ATSIHC considered this resource and proposed the above names within the themes of people, sun, and earth – representing the Australian Aboriginal flag.

Dependent on COVID-19 restrictions, the MLALC will be invited to a culturally respectful room naming event.

The room names are part of the RACP's work under priority 4 of the Indigenous Strategic Framework to foster a culturally competent College. The RACP will continue to undertake activities that focus on cultural safety for members and staff.

New RACP video series highlights physicians in remote Australian communities

Practicing rural and remote medicine offers opportunities, career progression and a lifestyle simply not available in Australia’s big cities.

From today, you can watch a fascinating new series of short videos In our Own Words, about the critical role our Fellows and trainees fulfil in providing healthcare to small towns, the regions and remote Australia, via the Specialist Training Program (STP). 

The STP is a funding initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health.

There are around 900 STP-funded training positions across Australia, managed by 13 medical colleges. The RACP currently manages around 380 positions. 

With funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health, we’re increasing awareness and understanding of the Program.  

Our members tell their own stories, what it has meant to them and the communities they serve.  

We will be releasing these to you weekly over the coming months. The videos are available on the RACP website, where we have created a new mini-site about the program.


RACP Quarterly Issue Two 2021

RACP Quarterly is our member magazine featuring healthcare and medical news.

We’ve gone digital – welcome to our second online edition.

In this issue we feature a conversation with Associate Professor Luke Burchill and Professor Megan Davis as they discuss Building a solution space for Indigenous health at the RACP. We also discuss how to improve Palliative medicine, respiratory medicine and integrated care.

Other highlights include Genetic discovery and translation in neuromuscular diseases and Workforce casualisation and mobility in a COVID world.

Also included in this issue are our 38 RACP Fellows recognised in the Aotearoa New Zealand and Australian Queen’s Birthday Honours lists

We also recognise Professor Lesley Campbell AM who has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Diabetes Society.

Read RACP Quarterly Issue Two 2021 online now

Access previous issues of RACP Quarterly on the RACP website.

Brain Injury Australia's 8th National Brain Injury Conference

Dates: Monday, 15 November 2021 to Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Location: Abercrombie Building, the Sydney Business School on The University of Sydney’s Camperdown/Darlington Campus

The conference is sponsored by the University of Sydney and its Brain and Mind Centre, Victoria's Transport Accident Commission, Insurance and Care NSW (icare), Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and the Agency for Clinical Innovation of NSW Health and NSW Health's Prevention and Response to Violence, Abuse and Neglect Unit. 

Founded in 1986, Brain Injury Australia is the nation’s peak advocacy organisation representing over 700,000 Australians living with a brain injury. Alongside providing policy advice to Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, and representing consumers on a range of advisory groups, Brain Injury Australia also drives multi-year public education campaigns on:

  • the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) – falls – due to the ageing of our population
  • people with a brain injury in the criminal justice system (as many as 80 per cent of adult prisoners report one or more brain injuries)
  • the leading cause of death and disability in children who have been abused – inflicted TBI (sometimes referred to as “Shaken Baby Syndrome”)
  • TBI in the military (one in every 10 Australian Defence Force personnel who served in the Middle East reported a post-deployment TBI)
  • women, domestic and family violence and TBI
  • concussion in sport.

Brain Injury Australia’s annual conference has become one of the premier learning and development events on the disability calendar – driving improvements in services and supports for people living with a brain injury, their families and carers.

For the first time, the Conference will include concurrent sessions and feature three Pre-Conference Workshops, on 'Positive Behaviour Support following brain injury', 'domestic and family violence and brain injury' and 'concussion/“mild” TBI'.

For more information, visit the conference website.

RACP survey now open: Healthcare of patients with intellectual disability

We invite all members to respond to this quick survey. We value your feedback. Your perspective is crucial to better understanding the type of work undertaken, the distribution of the workforce, identification of unmet health needs and perceptions of medical specialists who treat people with intellectual disability. 

The survey will only take five to 10 minutes to complete and by doing so, will provide us with a clearer picture of how we can better educate, advocate and innovate in the intellectual disability health sector. In addition, it may assist the current Australian Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Complete the survey

Participants needed: Research study into burnout in rehabilitation medicine trainees

Current research has reported an increasing prevalence of burnout, in both physicians and trainees. Amongst the medical specialties, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians are ranked the third highest in burnout prevalence. Despite this finding, there is limited evidence on both the prevalence of burnout in rehabilitation trainees and contributing factors to the development of burnout in this group, and a dearth of studies conducted outside the United States of America.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne are inviting rehabilitation registrars throughout Australia, at all levels of training, to complete a short survey (less than 15 minutes). It consists of 11 questions, including a single-item burnout measure and an optional open-ended question. This Australian-first research study aims to investigate the prevalence of burnout and some contributing factors to its development. It is hoped that the results of this study will highlight this issue and the need for programs promoting wellness in rehabilitation registrars. 

This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 1851315.1).

If you are interested in participating, visit the University of Melbourne website to find out more.

Recovery times post COVID-19

COVID-19 results in persisting symptoms but there is little systematically collected data estimating recovery time following infection. View this abstract on the 'whole of population-based cohort study of recovery time from COVID-19 in New South Wales, Australia' published in The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific.

AFRM Aotearoa New Zealand members: Save the date for the AFRM Symposium

Date: Saturday, 26 February 2022 
Time: 10am to 3pm (NZDT)
Location: Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, venue TBC

The symposium provides Aotearoa New Zealand AFRM Fellows and trainees with a forum for: 

  • all Aotearoa New Zealand AFRM trainees, who are invited to present at the Dr Boris Mak Rehabilitation Medicine Trainee Award for Best Presentation
  • opportunities for Fellows to present: research, education and case presentations
  • networking with colleagues and to discuss updates in rehabilitation medicine.

The Dr Boris Mak award is made possible through the generosity of the late Dr Boris Mak FAFRM and offers a first-place prize of $1,000 for the best trainee presentation and a second prize of $500.

For more information about the event, contact

Applications closing soon – RACP Foundation Research Awards

Don’t miss your chance to apply for the following scholarships and grants available to the members of AFRM:

Most other awards are open to Fellows and trainees of the RACP across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand under the following award categories:

Please refer to the RACP Foundation website for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

Nominations for the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for 2022 are now open. This medal is awarded by the RACP every five years to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The medal was last awarded to Professor Roger Reddel in 2017.

This award is open to both RACP Fellows as well as individuals outside the College. However the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of RACP to be considered.

Details on the application process and selection criteria are available on the website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

AFRM Adrian Paul Prize

Are you an AFRM Advanced Trainee or New Fellow within your first year of Fellowship? 
You may be eligible to apply for the Adrian Paul Prize, which is awarded annually for the best scientific work in the field of rehabilitation medicine submitted as part of the AFRM Advanced Training Program.

For further details please visit the website. Applications open on Sunday, 1 August 2021.

College Medals and Awards

Nominations are now open for the following College and Fellowship Awards. They acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.

We encourage you to nominate for the following medals:

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of RACP and its members.
  • The College Medal is aligned to the College motto hominum servire saluti. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
  • The International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • The Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • The Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • The Trainee of the Year Award recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.
  • The Eric Susman Prize is awarded by the College to a Fellow for best contribution to the knowledge of internal medicine.

Successful nominees are presented a medal at the RACP Congress and receive full Congress registration, travel and accommodation.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Trainee Research Awards 2021

Applications for the Trainee Research Awards are open until Tuesday, 31 August 2021. Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training are encouraged to apply.

The Trainee Research Awards provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. The best presenters from each local event are invited to present their work alongside recognised researchers at RACP Congress 2022 and will receive complimentary Congress registration, travel and accommodation.

Please see the website for further details.

Spinal Masterclass 

Dates: 8.30am (AEST) Thursday, 7 October 2021 to 1.30pm (AEST) Saturday, 9 October 2021
Location: Online

The Prince of Wales Spinal Injuries Unit returns with its sell-out Spinal Masterclass in a virtual format. The masterclass aims to provide an overview of the whole journey of spinal cord injury management in the acute and early rehabilitative setting. This will benefit any clinician (medical, nursing or allied health) who is involved in managing spinal patients at any stage. We will present a practically structured approach towards optimising multi-disciplinary team care and management of patients with spinal cord injury with key evidence-based concepts.

For further information view the Spinal Masterclass brochure 2021.

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep71: Voluntary Assisted Dying—what have we learned?

In 2017, Victoria was the first state in Australia to pass voluntary assisted legislation and has been followed by Western Australia, Tasmania and now South Australia. Aotearoa New Zealand passed its End-of-life Choice Bill two years ago and it will go live in November. This podcast draws on the experience of some very committed Victorian clinicians who share the lessons they've learned over the last two years about practical implementation of voluntary assisted dying (VAD).

The presenters were recorded at this year’s RACP Congress held in May. Palliative care physician Dr Danielle Ko explained how Austin Health has prepared and supported its healthcare staff through this shift in practice. Palliative care physician Dr Greg Mewitt described the challenge of consulting remotely with patients in regional Victoria. Professor Paul Komesaroff reflected on some other points of friction in Victoria’s law as it stands and the practicalities of medical practice. And Professor James Howe talked of his work as a neurologist in a Catholic healthcare institution, and how tensions over assisted dying had been resolved.


  • Dr Danielle Ko FRACGP FAChPM (Clinical Ethics Lead, Austin Health; VAD Review Board, Safercare Victoria)
  • Dr Greg Mewett FRACGP FAChPM DRCOG (Ballarat Rural Health; Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team
  • Professor Paul Komesaroff AM, FRACP (Alfred Hospital; Monash University)
  • Professor James Howe FRACP (VAD Review Board, Safercare Victoria)
  • Dr George Laking FRACP (Auckland City Hospital; RACP President Aotearoa New Zealand)

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, or any podcasting appFellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website. 

RMSANZ Virtual Snapshots 2021: Frontiers of Rehabilitation Medicine

Dates: Saturday, 31 July to Sunday, 1 August 2021
Location: Online

RMSANZ Virtual Snapshots is more than just the program, the Snapshots Virtual Portal gives delegates the opportunity to connect with fellow RMANZ members, colleagues and others interested in rehabilitation medicine through a dedicated meeting hub. There will also be fantastic prizes up for grabs through online gamification and the opportunity to join the Event Stream to post, share, and comment throughout the streamed meeting.

Entitlements for all registrants include:

  • secure online access to all sessions via live streaming portal
  • access to the virtual exhibition – visit the virtual exhibition pods, talk with sponsors and exhibitors in real time or schedule meetings
  • access to a live Q&A during live streamed sessions
  • access to on demand recordings for three months post-meeting – join live or watch in your own time
  • virtual networking with other delegates – create new connections and stay in touch with colleagues.

Register now

Keynote Speaker – Professor Pablo Celnik

Professor Celnik is the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Professor and Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the physiatrist-in-chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is co-director of the Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute, Director of the Human Brain Physiology and Stimulation Laboratory, and leads the Noninvasive Brain Stimulation Program at Johns Hopkins. Dr Celnik also holds secondary appointments in the departments of neurology and neuroscience. Get to know more about the speakers and the program by visiting the event website.

Please contact the RMSANZ Conference Secretariat for further information.

For more information, visit the RMSANZ Snapshots website.

NeuroRehabilitation Anatomy and Ultrasound Workshops

Dates: Friday, 10 September to Saturday, 11 September 2021 and Friday, 15 October to Saturday, 16 October 2021.
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD.

Applications are open to attend a one and a half day Anatomy and Ultrasound Workshop on the Sunshine Coast from Friday, 10 September to Saturday, 11 September 2021 and Friday, 15 October to Saturday, 16 October 2021.

The workshop is open to accredited registrars and consultants in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery and geriatric medicine. The main objective of the workshop is to learn advanced ultrasound skills to identify anatomical structures to perform safe and effective intramuscular injections of botulinum toxin to treat upper and lower limb spasticity.

The workshops will be restricted to a maximum of four participants to enable a detailed and first-hand learning experience.

The cost is $770 including GST per person.

For more information, visit the Neurorehabilitation website.

Postgraduate research scholarships in practice analytics

The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) is funding two $175,000 PhD scholarships to support two postgraduate research students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Applications close on Saturday, 31 July 2021.

The scholarship will provide the following benefits for up to three years, subject to satisfactory academic performance:

  • stipend allowance of $40,000 per annum
  • education allowance of $5,000 per annum
  • project travel allowance of $5,000 per annum.

Find out more and apply

My Health Record Emergency Access

New guidance is available to assist healthcare providers to understand appropriate use of the My Health Record emergency access function (also known as a ‘break glass’ function).

The online guidancefrequently asked questions and flow chart were developed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency and a range of stakeholders, including clinicians.

It is important that the emergency access function is only used to lessen or prevent a serious threat, as defined in Section 64 of the My Health Records Act 2012. Inappropriate use of emergency access can result in a potential breach of the healthcare consumer’s privacy and penalties may apply.

The new guidance outlines when emergency access may be used. Several clinical case studies are provided, together with tips for complying with legislative requirements for emergency access.

Visit the OAIC website to learn more.

Rehab in Review journal

Rehab in Review is a surveillance journal whose editors scan 70 rehabilitation related journals for the best, most current literature important to the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Rehab in Review is produced by physicians specialising in physical medicine and rehabilitation, with the cooperation and assistance of Emory University School of Medicine (Georgia, USA), Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

The Editors of this publication generously provide this publication to the Faculty and all its members at no cost.

View the Rehab in Review July 2021 edition.

Australia New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry newsletter

Read the latest edition of the Australia New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) newsletter. The ANZHFR initiative aims to improve outcomes by:

  • developing national guidelines and quality standards for care of hip fracture sufferers
  • establishing National Hip Fracture Registries that will benchmark quality of care delivered by hospitals against professionally defined standards
  • sharing best practice through this newsletter, the website and events in both countries.

View the June 2021 ANZHFR newsletter

Bi National Training Program (BNTP) – 2021 Timetable

The Bi National Training Program (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, a recording of the session is uploaded to the event listings webpage to watch at a convenient time.

Please visit the event listings webpage for further details of the lecture.

Date Time Topic
Wednesday, 28 July 2021 3pm to 5pm AEST

Acquired Brain Injury

  • Assessment of Traumatic Brain Injury Patient
  • Paediatric Acquired Brain Injury
Wednesday, 25 August 2021 3pm to 5pm AEST

Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Principles of return to work of the injured worker
  • Return to work in the setting of Acquired Disability
  • Expectation of Medical Assessment

Occupational Therapist

  • Practical aspects of work capacity and workplace assessment
  • Principles of return to work programs
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 3pm to 5pm AEST Cancer Lymphoedema
Wednesday, 27 October 2021 3pm to 5pm AEDT

Upper Limb Amputation

  • Paediatric Amputation/Congenital Limb Deficiency/Limb Loss
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries
Wednesday, 24 November 2021 3pm to 5pm AEDT Lower Limb Amputation

The Obesity Collective Update

The RACP is a member of The Obesity Collective, which brings together individuals and organisations committed to working together to tackle the obesity challenge with an empathetic and whole of society approach.

This month marks three years since the Collective was launched. During this time it has progressed in a number of priority areas, including research and policy work as part of a campaign on weight stigma, and an activity map of obesity prevention, treatment and advocacy activities across Australia.

Another key component of the Collective was the development of the Obesity Evidence Hub, which identifies, analyses and synthesises evidence on obesity for use in future policy work.

The Collective is also promoting its recent campaign – More than meets the eye. This campaign continues the Collective’s work on weight stigma and plans to share stories of obesity from Australians, along with presenting the science, to help people understand that obesity is complex and impacted by many social, biological and environmental drivers.  

Our work with the Obesity Collective and on obesity more broadly is underpinned by the RACP Position Statement on Obesity – Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course.

Contribute to developing a new Spaced Learning course on Quality and Safety

Interested Fellows and trainees are invited to submit expressions of interest to join a Working Group to develop a new Quality and Safety Spaced Learning course.

The Quality and Safety Spaced Learning course will be delivered via Qstream and will comprise of six case study questions. Participants will receive case studies directly to their inbox and can complete them at a time that suits them over a four-week period.

The Working Group will assist in the development and drafting of case study questions.

Find out more and apply by Friday, 13 August 2021.

Advocacy to raise the age of criminal responsibility – at a national and regional level

The RACP continues to advocate for raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age in line with medical evidence. The RACP has been advocating on this issue since 2016. The RACP is a member of the steering group for the national campaign to raise the age. RACP members can sign and share the national raise the age petition.

In Western Australia, Social Reinvestment WA is leading a local campaign to raise the age, we encourage all members based in Western Australia to email their local MP on this issue using the webform and support the campaign via social media.

The Northern Territory government has publicly committed to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years of age as per its commitments to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Child Protection and Detention. The RACP is supportive of raising the age, but will work with local stakeholders to encourage that the age of criminal responsibility is raised to 14 instead of 12 years of age.

The ACT government has committed to raising the age to 14 and is undertaking the necessary processes to progress legislation. This change will become law in the second half of 2022.

Advocacy in other regions is underway in collaboration with local groups.

To read previous RACP submissions to the Council of Attorneys-General please visit the RACP website.

Public release of the National Dust Disease Taskforce Final Report

The Australian Department of Health has now released the National Dust Disease Taskforce’s Final Report, which contains seven recommendations. These recommendations focus on work health and safety measures, work health and safety monitoring and compliance, national guidance to identify people at risk, better support for workers, medical, health and other related professionals, a strategic national approach to research and cross-jurisdictional governance mechanism to coordinate responses and report on progress.

The College has welcomed the Taskforce’s Final Report and calls on the Government to adopt all of its recommendations.

The College has previously advocated  for the establishment of a permanent multi-disciplinary group to oversee the implementation of the National Dust Disease Taskforce’s final recommendations. We are pleased to see this reflected in Recommendation 7 of the Taskforce’s Final Report and we have called on the Government to establish this cross-jurisdictional mechanism urgently to ensure the recommended actions in the report are adopted, monitored and progressed in an efficient and coordinated way.

The National Dust Disease Taskforce (the Taskforce) was established by the Federal Government in July 2019 following many months of strong joint advocacy from the College, its Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. The Taskforce has played a crucial role in driving the development of a national approach for the prevention, early identification, control and management of dust diseases in Australia. Its membership included the following College members: Professor Fraser Brims, Dr Graeme Edwards, Dr Ryan Hoy and Professor Christine Jenkins.

RACP submission to IHPA consultation for the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2022-23

The RACP’s recent submission to the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) annual Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2022-23 was based on College-wide consultation. The Pricing Framework underpins the national efficient price and national efficient cost determinations for Australian public hospital services. The RACP’s submission provides:

  • physician input on the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of hospital services
  • future funding models intended to signal a shift from paying for volume of services to paying for value and patient outcomes, avoidable and preventable hospitalisations
  • areas for adjustments to the national efficient price.

In the submission, the College states our support for defining activity, units or ‘episode of care’ less by hospital site location and more by the inclusive and comprehensive treatment of a presenting condition(s). This is in keeping with both the Australian government and jurisdiction governments’ transition to a more integrated healthcare system.

Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021

Earlier this month the RACP made a submission to the Queensland Parliament Health and Environment Committee’s Inquiry into the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021. We do not have a single position on VAD, but provided comments to ensure appropriate safeguards and processes if VAD legislation should become operational in Queensland.

Our comments build on an earlier submission on the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s legal framework for voluntary assisted dying consultation paper in November 2020. Both these submissions align with our 2018 Statement on Voluntary Assisted Dying, which was developed following an extensive consultation and drafting process involving a wide range of members, and recognises the divergent views on VAD within the membership.

Career opportunities 


Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Rehabilitation Physician, Wellington and Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. 
    Contact Carol Mendes (HR Coordinator) on +64 21489856 or

View all positions vacant.

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses. 

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)

NSW Lecture Series

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ)

RMSANZ is the professional body for rehabilitation physicians and trainees in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre

The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) is the national rehabilitation medicine clinical registry of Australia and Aotearoa 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 Aotearoa New Zealand Committee:
Ethan Aupapa
Executive Officer DFACs AoNZ
Phone: +64 4 460 8142
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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