AFRM eBulletin – 5 March 2021

A message from your President

Fellowship Written Exam 

Congratulations to all trainees who undertook the Fellowship Written Exam (FWE) last Tuesday, 23 February 2021. We salute you for your efforts and look forward to the results.

Faculty examinations 2021

Last Tuesday saw the first of our Faculty examinations for 2021 following the postponement of our examinations in 2020 because of COVID-19. The AFRM Exam Working Group continues to meet regularly and plan meticulously for the remainder of our examinations in 2021. Multiple contingencies have been considered and backup plans developed in readiness should that be necessary.


You might be aware that the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) has decided not to conduct the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in face-to-face format. It has been postponed to 2022 but 2021 will see a virtual form of the ASM early in the second half of the year.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre

We are very pleased that Professor Maria Crotty has accepted the appointment as Clinical Director of the Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC). She comes with a formidable reputation for her clinical and academic output and we look forward to her setting the future direction for AROC. Recruitment to replace Frances Simmonds as Director of AROC is underway. 

Curriculum Renewal Review Group Expressions of Interest

We continue to seek expressions of interest from Faculty Fellows to join the curriculum renewal review group. Any interested Fellow should check the Faculty website and/or contact the Faculty office as soon as possible. 

Future of the Faculties

I've had further meetings with the Presidents of AFOEM and AFPHM and Phil Munro, Manager Peak Bodies representing the College. We are hopeful for tangible improvements in Faculty autonomy as well as additional support to improve our ‘entry to training’ examination pathways (Modules one and two).

Stakeholder engagement project

The narrative documents prepared last year are now ready to be sent to stakeholders to raise awareness of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. COVID-19 gives us an opportunity to highlight the need for rehabilitation medicine services while raising our general profile. 

Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee activities

Dr Jenny Mann has provided a report to Rhaïa on the many disparate lines of work by the Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee (FPAC). These include the Bariatric Rehabilitation position statement, Stem cell therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy position statement review, guiding principles for management of patients with multi-resistant organisms (MROs) position statement, Prehabilitation, COVID-19 and rehabilitation, Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) Clinical Indicators, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) review, and Royal Commission into Aged Care quality and safety.

The Faculty Executive and staff remain available to respond to any issues of concern by Fellows – email


Dr Greg Bowring
AFRM President

Aotearoa New Zealand AFRM Symposium and Boris Mak Awards

Rāhoroi 27 Hui-tanguru 2021 Saturday, 27 February 2021, 9am to 3.30pm, The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, Ōtautahi Christchurch.

The Aotearoa New Zealand AFRM Symposium saw a number of talented and gifted Fellows and trainees gather in Ōtautahi Christchurch – a fabulous opportunity to hui in Waipounami, the South Island.

The Symposium included the Dr Boris Mak Award – Rehabilitation Medicine Trainee for Best Presentation. Award criteria is that presentations are based on current research, an interesting case study with associated scientific educational information or a rehabilitation medicine ‘hot topic’.

The award winners:
  • First place – Dr Michael Dawson with his presentation on ‘Amantadine Use in Disorders of Consciousness: Case Report and Review’.
  • Second place – Dr Juan Delgado Rodriguez with his presentation on ‘Lesion Overlap Analysis in Paediatric Stroke’.

Award recipients pictured below (left – Dr Michael Dawson and right – Dr Juan Delgado Rodriguez) with Dr Richard Seemann, Aotearoa New Zealand AFRM Committee Chair.

Boris Mak Award recipients 2021

This event gives an opportunity for all Aotearoa New Zealand rehabilitation physicians to share and update on all matters related to rehabilitation medicine. Event attendees pictured below.

AoNZ AFRM Symposium attendees 2021

Back Row (L-R): Doctors Ashfaq Larik, Alastair Dunbar, Suresh Subramanian, Michael Dawson, Jurriaan De Groot, Richard Acland.
Middle Row (L-R): Doctors Kwok Ping Tay, Richard Ponton, Juan Delgado Rodriguez, Khairul Alais, Richard Seemann, Kellie Nichol, Bensy Mathew, Lai Peng Tham, Saw Hay Mar.
Front Row (L-R): Doctors Sarah Hawkins, Robin Sekerak, Shaun Xiong, Balraj Singhal, Dawn Adair.

New General Rehabilitation Medicine Logbook

The Faculty Training Committee has introduced a General Rehabilitation Medicine Logbook as a recommended training tool. This is not a mandatory requirement. The purpose of the logbook is to encourage trainees to think more critically about their rehabilitation medicine experience. 

The General Rehabilitation Medicine Logbook can be located under the ‘Forms and resources’ tab on the General Rehabilitation Medicine webpage.

Calling AFRM trainees

There are various vacancies available on the AFRM Trainee Committee. You are invited to express your interest in the positions available:

  • NSW/ACT representative
  • WA representative.

For more information, please contact the AFRM Trainee Committee at

Reminder: AFRM Exam applications closing today, 5 March 2021

Applications for the following AFRM examinations will close today at 11.59pm AEDT, 5 March 2021 for new AFRM trainees. Further information can be found via the following links:

RACP Congress 2021

RACP Congress 2021 is proud to announce Dr Monkol Lek will be speaking about genetic discovery and translation in neuromuscular diseases in Sydney this year.

Dr Lek has three undergraduate degrees in computer engineering, bioinformatics and physiology from the University of New South Wales. He has worked on some of the largest human genetics projects, including playing a lead role in the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) project. He also had an opportunity to work on using cutting-edge genomic technologies to improve the diagnosis rate of rare neuromuscular diseases, using a cohort from Australia, and played a leadership role in the Broad Center of Mendelian. In 2018, he started his own lab in Yale as an Assistant Professor, with the goal to also work on translating genetic discoveries into patient specific genetic therapies.

Find out more about Dr Lek and our other speakers, visit the RACP Congress 2021 website.

RACP welcomes commencement of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout

Frontline border protection, quarantine, aged and healthcare workers began receiving the first COVID-19 vaccines in Australia on 21 February 2021. The RACP welcomed the commencement of the vaccination program as an incredible achievement in Australia’s battle against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

RACP President Professor John Wilson AM said “Australia is in this position today thanks to the hard work of our frontline workers, state and federal governments, and the everyday Australians who have been doing the right thing and following the advice of health experts.”

Professor Wilson noted that the vaccines being rolled out have been rigorously assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and Australians should have confidence in the vaccines.

He noted that the RACP is glad to see essential healthcare workers, hotel quarantine workers and aged care and disability residents and workers at the top of the priority list when it comes to getting vaccinated. These groups are at high-risk of contracting the virus and should be prioritised.

Professor Wilson’s comments were reported in 147 online news articles and two radio interviews which were broadcast 178 times across Australia.

The RACP is continuing to support our members during the vaccine rollout through:

Register for the COVID-19 Vaccine Webinar

Join us on Wednesday, 10 March from 6pm to 7.30pm NZDT / 4pm to 5.30pm AEDT for the Aotearoa New Zealand focused session of the COVID-19 Vaccination Series brought to you by RACP and the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCPHM).

With a focus on the Aotearoa New Zealand COVID-19 vaccinations rollout across the community, this session will also explore up-to-the-minute news, research and further details of the vaccine. 

Register now  

Continuing Professional Development 


Due to the impact of COVID-19 we can confirm that it’s not mandatory for Fellows to record Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities in MyCPD for 2020, although it’s encouraged where possible.

Your 2020 MyCPD record will remain open until mid-April if you wish to record your activities retrospectively. This extension (from the usual 31 March deadline) will be applied to allow for the Easter holidays. After the extension expires in mid-April, a 2020 MyCPD certificate of completion will be emailed to those who have recorded a minimum of 100 recognised credits.


The Medical Board of Australia and The Medical Council of New Zealand have decided that medical practitioners will need to resume meeting CPD requirements from 2021. We acknowledge the complexity of your changed environment and are here to support you in completing valuable and achievable CPD this year.

Please review the 2021 MyCPD framework to ensure you are familiar with your requirements and explore the College’s CPD resources in the MyCPD Interactive Handbook and the Online Learning Resources platform.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the CPD Team if you have any questions or feedback – we’re here to help.

AU: 1300 697 227 or
AoNZ: +64 4 460 8122 or

Log in to MyCPD

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, 31 March 2021 3pm to 5pm AEDT

Chronic Pain

  • Non-Pharmacological Management
  • Outcomes
  • Paediatric Pain
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 3pm to 5pm AEST


  • Pharmacological Management Congestive Cardiac Failure,Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
Wednesday, 26 May 2021 3pm to 5pm AEST

Acquired Brain Injury

  • Acute Issues: neurosurgical
  • Medical complications and long-term outcome Post Traumatic Brain Injury
Wednesday, 30 June 2021 3pm to 5pm AEST

Acquired Brain Injury

  • PTA Assessment & Management
  • Assessment & Management of Behavioural Disturbance Post Traumatic Brain Injury
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

RMSANZ 5th Annual Scientific Meeting Gold Coast – postponed

The Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) Board made the difficult decision to reschedule the upcoming Gold Coast Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). New dates have now been confirmed, the 5th ASM will be held from 7 to 10 June 2022.

In the meantime, RMSANZ are delighted to announce a shorter virtual 'Snapshots' style event to continue the Society’s scientific and educational endeavours. The meeting will be held from Saturday, 31 July to Sunday, 1 August 2021, more details will follow soon.

Webinar: RACP statement on Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand – where to from here

The RACP is hosting a webinar on Thursday, 11 March 2021, 4.30pm to 5.30pm (AEDT) / 6.30pm to 7.30pm (NZDT).

This webinar will explore the key concept and recommendations contained in the recently released RACP statement on Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. This is an opportunity for participants to ask questions and explore the next steps in healthcare for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori children.

Speakers will include:

We encourage RACP members, health professionals and any interested individuals to attend and share this event widely with your networks.

Register now

Te Rā o ngā Tauira Mahi o Aotearoa Niu Tīreni 2021
Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day 2021

It's important to take time away from your daily life to reflect on your career, learn new skills and build connections with your peers. To help you achieve these goals, you're invited to the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day. Held on Rāhoroi Poutū-te-rangi | Saturday, 27 March at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua. You'll hear from a diverse range of speakers and receive invaluable networking opportunities. Attendance costs may even be reimbursed – ask us how.

Associate Professor Rinki Murphy works at the University of Auckland and is a Diabetologist at Auckland District Health Board and Counties Manukau Health. Her session 'Why do research as a clinical trainee?' will outline various opportunities to experience different types of health research during specialist medical training which may motivate you to embark on an academic clinical career.

Supervisors, please encourage trainees to attend the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day.

Register now

Watch the video to hear what Associate Professor Murphy has to say about why you should attend this important event.

Introduction to Medicare compliance, record keeping and support webinar

You are invited to a Medicare webinar on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 from 6.30pm (AEDT) / 8.30pm (NZDT) by the Medicare Benefits Integrity and Digital Health Division. The webinar will cover how to meet compliance standards and record-keeping, and how to best utilise support services for Medicare. This webinar will not be available as a recording.

Topics include:

  • introduction to the overarching compliance approach of the Division
  • case studies (de-identified)
  • record-keeping requirements
  • accessing support services.
Register now

Artificial intelligence for healthcare webinar

You're invited to an interactive webinar on Tuesday, 16 March from 6pm (AEDT) / 8pm (NZDT). Associate Professor Clair Sullivan FRACP, Dr Olivier Salvado and Professor Enrico Coiera will answer your questions as they cover key topics including:

  • bias
  • implementing artificial intelligence (AI) models into clinical practice
  • privacy issues
  • other technical and cultural challenges of AI. 

Tune in to Medflix

Access the RACP’s extensive collection of powerful and engaging educational videos all in one place. Browse the Medflix video library for videos covering a range of clinical and professional topics, including the VicFEAT and Continuing Education series, as well as all the videos from our online courses.

The College joins a call for new national Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity

In the past decade the number of Australians living with obesity has more than doubled from 2.7 million in 2007-08 to over six million people today. We now have 900,000 more Australians living with obesity. Obesity affects all sections of society, but rates are higher in those with relative socio-economic disadvantage and lower levels of educational attainment, those living in regional and remote areas, and among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

It is the time to do something significant about an issue that, one way or another, affects everyone. It has become one of Australia’s most important equity challenges and most expensive preventable national health problems. New clinical guidelines are an essential step towards making health professionals up to date with the best practice approaches to dealing with obesity.  

On World Obesity Day 2021, the College and other key medical, specialist and consumer bodies issued a call for official clinical guidelines on how to assess, help and manage people with obesity. See the news section of the RACP website for more on this important initiative.  

Evolve Webinar Series 2021: Considering equity in reducing low-value care

Date: Tuesday, 16 March 2021
Time: 5pm to 6pm (AEDT) / 7pm to 8pm (NZDT). 

As physicians act to reduce low-value care through implementing Evolve and Choosing Wisely recommendations, they must take care that these recommendations do not increase existing inequities for Māori.

Join Professor David Tipene-Leach and Dr Derek Sherwood as they discuss key findings from the Choosing Wisely Means Choosing Equity report, including why considering equity in this context is so important and messages for physicians on their role in reducing healthcare inequities.

Register now

Updating our skills in psychiatry

The Committee of Chairs of the Medical Colleges of Victoria are hosting a webinar on updating our skills in psychiatry on Saturday, 27 March. You are invited to attend and engage with leading experts in the field who will be presenting on anxiety, depression, addiction issues, psychiatry in the elderly including an update from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

All members are encouraged to register for the webinar, which is hosted by the RACP Victorian Regional Committee.

Career opportunities 

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 – 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):
Jane Henderson, Executive Officer, AFRM
Phone: +61 2 8076 6315

AFRM Aotearoa New Zealand Committee
Ethan Aupapa
Executive Officer DFAC’s 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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