AFRM eBulletin – 8 April 2022

A Message from Your President

I look out my window to see a clear morning sky after what seems to have been incessant rain in Sydney over the last few weeks. My plan to make the annual Easter Bluesfest pilgrimage remains under threat from the weather after all the flooding on the north coast of New South Wales.

New South Wales continues to record high numbers of Covid cases and I know this is the situation in many parts of the country. We all struggle to cope with the new normal which is the incessant loss of staff members at short notice. This causes ongoing significant difficulty in our services and many of us are still not in our usual wards or operating with reduced service capacity. Covid-19 will be a significant focus in the upcoming college Congress with our George Burniston orator Professor Manoj Sivan having published extensively in this area. The St Vincent's group in Sydney headed by Professor Stephen Faux has been featuring in the Sydney press, keeping this issue current beyond the rehab medicine community. Please continue contributing to the regular AROC survey documenting the disruption to normal rehabilitation services caused by COVID-19.

My best wishes to all of our trainees who are preparing for examinations this year. The last two years have been extremely difficult for the trainees with disrupted preparation caused by curtailment of regular organised training and practice sessions. The well-publicised problems with computer-based testing, something which promised to change exams to a more interactive format, while not directly affecting our trainees, have created significant anxiety. The College Exams working group continues to keep abreast of risks to our exams created by Covid-19, ensuring contingency plans are in place in case of changes in circumstances.

As I've mentioned here before, the Covid-19 related difficulties for exams requires every training unit and supervisor to devise local innovative ways to ensure our trainees have the clinical exposure they need and the opportunities to examine patients and receive constructive feedback on their performance to ensure examination preparation is adequate in spite of all the difficulties which we know exist at the moment. I thank you for these efforts, which will need to continue.

RACP Congress May 2022
The Congress in Melbourne is now less than a month away (May 12 to 14). As I mentioned above George Burniston orator Professor Manoj Sivan from Leeds in the UK is speaking about long Covid. His group has published extensively on this issue including the Yorkshire Rehabilitation Scale - a specifically designed outcome measure for long Covid.

We also have a fantastic AFRM session concentrating on cancer survivorship organised by Professor Fary Khan and chaired by Prof Andrew Cole. I recommend this session to everyone. It’s very timely to remind us that the role of rehabilitation in cancer survivorship is a very important growth area, and the opportunities for future work for Fellows is very real.

A Faculty dinner is planned for the Wednesday evening and is at this stage undersubscribed. If any of the Victorian Fellows are interested, we are certainly keen to add you to the numbers for the dinner.

RACP online communities (ROC)
Please log on to the ROC. There is an AFRM community as well as the wider College community. We intend to add subcommunities to enable our branch committees to use this as an easy form of communication with branch Fellows and trainees. Please join and set up your profile as soon as possible.

Academic issues
Expressions of interest are sought to join the new Research Committee of AFRM Council. This will continue the work of the research working party headed by Michael Pollock over the past few years. Fary Khan, our first academic representative on Council has been working with Michael and others to carry forward several practical initiatives to promote research, target scholarships, support trainees and keep the Faculty on a sound academic footing for the future.

College medals
Once again, I ask you to look at the criteria for the John Sands medal, the College medal, the Rural and Remote medal and the International Medal. I seek the guidance of Faculty Fellows in nominating appropriate recipients for these medals. They are available every year but without your nominations AFRM Fellows may be unrecognised.

RMSANZ issues
The Faculty Executive Committee continues to meet regularly with RMSANZ president Zoe Adie-Wakeling. The RMSANZ ASM is approaching on June 7 to 10 on the Gold Coast, Queensland. I hope as many Faculty Fellows as possible can be present to enjoy the collegiate experience most of us have valued highly over many years.

As I mentioned earlier, discussions have begun to produce an updated National Rehabilitation Strategy (akin to the Aotearoa New Zealand Strategy), which will be a collaborative effort between RMSANZ and AFRM.

Faculty committee rejuvenation
There are several important roles which are vacant in Faculty and branch committees as well as members who are approaching the end of their terms after giving service for several years. Please consider how you can help the work of the Faculty and speak to your branch chair about where you can make a personal contribution.

Thanks again to my fellow Executive members Jenny Mann, Tim Geraghty, Caitlin Anderson, and Richard Seeman as well as College staff, especially EO Caroline Lambert, Faculties Manager Jo Goldrick, and Peak Bodies Manager Phil Munro.

Dr Greg Bowring
AFRM President

Rehab in Review Journal

Rehab in Review is a surveillance journal where editors scan 70 rehabilitation related journals for the best, most up-to-date 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 the Emory University School of Medicine (Georgia, USA), Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. The publication is generously provided to the Faculty and its members at no cost.

View the Rehab in Review January 2022 edition.

AFRM Fellowship Clinical exams

Applications for the following AFRM Fellowship Clinical exams are now closed.


Exam date

2022 AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination (General)

Sunday, 8 May 2022

2022 AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination (Paediatric)

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Examination details

We strongly recommended you read the exam information on our website for the Fellowship Clinical Examination (General) and the Fellowship Clinical Examination (Paediatric). They include information about the format of the exams and what to expect on exam day.

We cannot stress enough how important your wellbeing is to us. Please continue to look out for yourself and your colleagues, and utilise the RACP Support Program if needed. This free, 24/7 hotline is available to you for confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues.

For important information on how to format of the exams, what to expect on exam day and results, please refer to the AFRM Module 1 Assessment and AFRM Module 2 Clinical Assessment webpages.

AFRM Resources, the General Rehabilitation Medicine Advanced Training Curriculum and Education Policies are available on the College website for your use.

Should you have any questions, please contact

AFRM LCA Activities Update

The Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) Faculty Assessment Committee (FAC) invites Fellows to register for the upcoming Long Case Assessor (LCA) Calibration Workshop.

To become an accredited LCA you must attend a calibration workshop. LCAs must also attend an LCA webinar or workshop at least once every four years to maintain their accreditation.

Date and Time

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

1.30pm – 5.00pm AEST


Accreditation and reaccreditation


AFRM Fellows seeking accreditation as an LCA and accredited LCAs seeking to renew *




Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia & New Zealand 5th Annual Scientific Meeting (RMSANZ 2022)

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland


Via the RMSANZ website

Registrations Close

Once maximum capacity is reached


80 delegates


*Fellowship status for new applicants will be verified by the College and the conference organisers.

If you have any questions, please email:

Applications for the 2022 RACP Educational Development (Study) Grants now open

Educational Development Grants provide support to Fellows and trainees to undertake further educational training or to develop educational initiatives.

Grants available this funding round include:

  • Skilled Medical Scholarship for Advancement of Indigenous Health - NEW
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Educational Development Grant
  • Queensland Regional Committee Educational Development Grant

Applications close: Monday, 2 May 2022.

Visit the RACP Foundation webpage  to find out more.

Applications for the 2023 RACP Foundation Research Awards open soon

Through the RACP Foundation, we're able to offer financial support to Fellows and trainees pursuing careers in medical research. Over 50 different fellowships, scholarships and grants are available annually, totalling over $2.5 million in funding.

The AFRM Research Establishment Fellowship offers up to $50,000 to further research in an area of rehabilitation medicine in the management of functional loss, activity limitation or participation restriction arising out of illness and injury.

The RACP MAIC Research Awards support and promote research capacity and capability to improve knowledge on:

  • rehabilitation of people who sustain a temporary or permanent disability through motor vehicle accidents (MVAs)
  • improving longer term outcomes of people injured in MVAs including:
  • pain management
  • community re-integration
  • psychosocial, mental health and vocational outcomes
  • All applications across the different award categories will be assessed by review panels comprised of members of the Grants Advisory Committees, representatives from partner organisations, RACP Divisions, Faculties and Chapters, and other invited peer reviewers.

For more information visit RACP MAIC webpage.

NSW Lecture Series & Bi National Training Program (BNTP) – 2022 Timetable

The NSW Lecture Series & Bi National Training Program lectures will proceed as scheduled. Attendance in person is no longer available but trainees can continue to join via teleconference/videoconference.

If trainees cannot join the live teleconference/videoconference, recordings of the sessions will be available on Medflix 10 days after the event.

Access a collection of videos and presentations covering an array of topics at past AFRM training events.

Register for the lectures or visit RACP events for more details.

NSW Lecture Series  – 2022 Timetable




Wednesday, 27 April 2022

1pm to 2pm AEDT


Exercise prescription and reconditioning

in the Elderly

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

2pm to 3pm AEDT


Delirium and Dementia

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

1pm to 2pm AEDT


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

2pm to 3pm AEDT


Parkinson's disease


Bi-National Training Program – 2022 Timetable




Wednesday, 27 April 2022

3pm to 5pm AEDT

Illness and injury in the elderly

  • osteoporosis and fractured NOF
  • post-surgical pain management


Wednesday, 25 May 2022

3pm to 5pm AEDT

Stroke management


Announcement - NSW Saturday Morning Training Sessions 2022

The NSW Saturday morning training sessions will continue as scheduled. We ask that all candidates register with the contact person below to indicate their wish to attend. Only those registered will receive correspondence from the organising unit as to attendance details.

Please do not register if you cannot attend, as some hospitals have limited spaces. The dates and details of this year’s program are below:

Fellowship Mock Clinical Examination:

  • Nepean Hospital: Saturday, 9 April 2022. Contact: Phone: +61 2 4734 3930
  • Royal Ryde: Saturday, 30 April 2022 (Virtual Session)

For more information, contact Dr Stuart Browne:

Module 2 Mock Clinical Examination:

  • Venue tbc: Saturday, 16 July 2022
  • Venue tbc: Saturday, 30 July 2022
  • St George Hospital: Saturday, 13 August 2022

For more information, contact: Dr Simon Mosalski

The 2022–2026 RACP Strategic Plan 

The College has released its 2022–2026 RACP Strategic Plan – which defines where we want to be in the future. It sets out four strategic focus areas and underlying priorities to achieve our strategic goals and to add value to our membership.

These areas will be key priorities for future delivery of our core role, which is to educate, advocate and innovate, while lifting the health outcomes for the First Nations people of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Learn more about the 2022–2026 RACP Strategic Plan.

New and improved Curated Collections to support your professional development 

We’ve been reviewing and updating our Curated Collections so we can provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant resources to support your professional development and lifelong learning needs. Check out these updated Collections and earn CPD credits while you learn:

Updated 2023-24 PREP program requirements now available online

The updated 2023-24 PREP (Physician Readiness for Expert Practice) program requirements are now available on the respective Basic Training and Advanced Training specialty pages.

We encourage PREP trainees and supervisors to review the updated 2023-24 PREP program requirements for their specialty. This will ensure that you are following the correct requirements for each training year.

If you require further information, please email or For any other queries, please contact

Ongoing College advocacy on telehealth and other system reform priorities in lead up to Federal Budget 2022-23

As outlined in a recent media release, the College is continuing its advocacy for the permanent reinstatement of telehealth phone MBS services in the lead up to the Federal Budget 2022-23.

We continue to stress to the Government that the permanent reinstatement of these MBS items is essential to ensure equitable access to specialist care for patients in rural and remote areas, those living with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and other people who may have limitations in travelling or accessing video technology.

For more information about the College’s advocacy priorities in the lead up to the Federal Budget, access the College’s Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23: Delivering a Future-Focused Health System for Equitable Care and Healthier Communities.

In addition, keep an eye out for the College’s Federal Election statement and campaign due to be launched soon.

Co-administration of COVID-19 vaccination and a flu vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccination and an influenza vaccination can be administered at the same time and may be provided to patients during the same attendance. While a medical practitioner is under no obligation to bulk-bill a patient receiving an influenza vaccination, a patient who also receives a COVID-19 booster vaccination as part of the same occasion of care must be bulk-billed for the MBS COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment component of the overall service. 

Further information can be found at: MBS online - FAQ - Bulk Billed MBS patient COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessment Service.

Key documentation:

ATAGI Recommended Doses and Vaccines (PDF)
ATAGI Advice on recommendations for key population groups (PDF)

Ep79: Melanoma vs the Double-Edged Sword

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionised care for patients with advanced melanoma and other cancers. These days around half of patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma can expect to live to five years after a regime of agents such as nivolumab and pembrolizumab. That’s up to 10 times the survival rate of patients a decade ago, when chemotherapy Dacarbazine was the front-line treatment.

Over half of these patients who respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors will go on to survive long-term but it’s still not possible to identify responders in advance. On top of this, some of the immune-related side-effects of therapy can be serious enough to require therapy to be stopped. Associate Professor Matt Carlino explains how to approach challenging conversations with patients around expectations for prognosis and quality of life. He also discusses the process of getting these new indications listed on the PBS, and how treatment can be funded when they are not.


Associate Professor Matteo Carlino FRACP (Westmead Hospital, Blacktown Hospital, Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney)

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotify,Castbox, 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 the RACP website.

The Evolving role of cancer survivorship and rehabilitation, only at RACP Congress 2022

With improvements in clinical care, cancer survivorship has improved significantly in the last few decades. Survivorship represents a distinct period along the continuum of cancer care, which requires a unique approach to meet the health demands of patients. This session will provide an overview of cancer in Australia, the role of rehabilitation, address issues such as cancer-related sarcopenia and the perspective of cancer survivorship services.

Find out more about this and other sessions on the RACP Congress website.


Have you registered for your workshops?

With a limited number of seats available, places are filling fast for the in-person workshops, including the much in demand Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP), 1, 2, 3 and, an introduction to the Coach Approach to Professional Development. Secure your place when you register for RACP Congress 2022. Visit the RACP Congress website to find out more.

Special interest directory 2

The ROC Special Interest Directory

When you join the ROC, you can post questions and start discussions with other members.

But did you know you can also sign up to the ROC ‘Special Interest Directory’ and search for other members based on their special interests, speaker presentations, published papers and books.

To complete your own entry, go to your Profile and select ‘My Special Interest Directory profile’ from the ‘Profile’ tab.

To search the Directory, go to 'Directory' in the navigation bar, then select ‘Special Interest Directory’ and fill in the criteria to refine your search. It's that easy!

Explore the Special Interest Directory and connect with your colleagues today.

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.

AFRM contact details

Member enquiries

Phone: (AUS) 1300 69 7227
Phone: (NZ) 0508 69 7227

AFRM Faculty enquiries (including Council and Committees)

Caroline Lambert
Executive Officer, AFRM

AFRM Aotearoa NZ Committee

Marion Salter
Executive Officer, DFAC’s AoNZ
Phone: +64 4 460 8142

AFRM education and training enquiries

Jessica Ward
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8247 6237

AFRM oral examination enquiries

Ella Campbell
Examination Coordinator
Phone: +61 2 9256 9659

AFRM training site accreditation enquiries

Jessica Ward
Education Officer
Phone: +61 8247 6233

Close overlay