AMD Council Communiqué August 2014

The following Communiqué covers the key items discussed as part of the Adult Medicine Division Annual Divisional Planning Meeting held on Thursday 21 August and the AMD Council meeting held on Friday 22 August 2014.

AMD Divisional Planning Meeting

The AMD Council held its annual Divisional Planning Meeting on 21 August to prioritise which activities and issues the AMD should address in the next two years. A key consideration for the AMD in defining these activities was how the Division should relate to wider issues being addressed by the College. A fundamental component of these discussions was consideration of how the Specialty Societies and the College could collaborate on common priority issues such as training, workforce planning, and policy and advocacy. The Council resolved to sponsor a second strategic planning meeting in November 2014 to focus on the relationships between the Specialty Societies and the College, and how the value of these relationships can be fully realised, tangibly and effectively. New AMD Council Members The AMD Council welcomed the following new members:
  • Prof Jacqui Close - Specialty Society Representative (ANZSGM)
  • Dr Shafqat Inam - Basic Trainee Representative
  • Dr Mona Marabani - Specialty Society Representative (ARA)
  • Prof Ian Norton - Specialty Society Representative (GESA)
A full list of all current AMD Council members is available on the AMD website.

Special Society Reports

The AMD Council invites Specialty Society Representatives to share information by submitting activity reports to each Council meeting. This affords each society with an opportunity to provide an overview of current activities and issues, and to seek advice or assistance from the College or other societies on specific matters. The AMD Council was pleased to receive reports from the following Specialty Societies: 
  • Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine
  • Australian Rheumatology Association
  • Australasian Sleep Association
  • Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
  • Human Genetics Society of Australasia


Council members received an update on the progress of the College Governance Review project. The RACP Board’s role is to provide leadership on developing a preferred member-led model for governance that will be ‘fit for purpose’ and supports the College for the future.

Councillors were encouraged to hear that there was a strong appetite for governance reform within the College, and that the RACP Board had been receptive to the feedback received from members during the first phase of consultation.

They were also assured by the Board’s continued commitment to consult with College members, College Councils and Committees and Specialty Societies to guide it in shaping the College’s future. The Board is committed to the principles of full consultation, transparency and accountability during this process.

I would like to encourage all AMD Fellows and trainees to be involved in the next phase of consultation.

AMD Portfolio Allocations

The AMD Council agreed to allocate portfolio-based roles to current AMD Council members to further enhance the capacity of the AMD to fulfil its obligations to both members and the RACP Board. The allocation of portfolios will provide each Portfolio Lead with oversight for their respective areas of business within the Division. These portfolio allocations are as follows: 

  • AMD Council Governance Portfolio – AMD President, Prof John Wilson
  • AMD Council Policy and Advocacy Portfolio - AMD President-Elect, A/Prof Grant Phelps
  • AMD Council Education and Training Portfolio - Chair, AMD Education Committee, A/Prof Mitra Guha
  • AMD Council New Zealand Portfolio - AMD New Zealand Committee Chair, Dr Humphrey Pullon
  • AMD Council Fellowship Portfolio - AMD Representative to the Fellowship Committee, Dr Helen Rhodes

Education and Training

RACP Education Governance AMD Council members received an update on the implementation of the College’s recent education governance reforms. The Education Governance Implementation Working Group (EGIWP) had conducted a survey with the Specialty Societies on their communication needs for College educational activities. A direct outcome of the survey is that the EGIWG has included the provision of regular functional program reports to the Specialty Societies into the Terms of Reference for all Advanced Training Committees.

Capacity to Train

Council noted the development of the RACP Capacity to Train Consultation Paper, which is designed to inform the College’s approach in addressing current and future training capacity issues. The consultation paper follows and is based on discussions held at the Advanced Training Forum in May 2014. Council members supported the College’s efforts to determine how it would address clear challenges in this area so as to ensure the College could continue to satisfy demands for training. Members encouraged the College to assume a stronger advocacy role in identifying workforce and training demand for physicians in the jurisdictions, and influencing the government’s role in this context.

Policy and Advocacy

Engagement with Specialty Societies on Policy and Advocacy Matters

In recent months the College had been making a concerted effort to engage more closely with Specialty Societies in undertaking policy and advocacy activities. While Council members noted the current consultation system had proven to be effective, it was agreed more guidance was needed from the Specialty Societies on how they wanted to engage with the College in addressing policy issues. To this end, Council endorsed a proposal to invite each Specialty Society to appoint a Lead Fellow (FRACP) with whom the AMD Lead Fellow – Policy and Advocacy (currently A/Prof Grant Phelps) could liaise to discuss relevant policy and advocacy activities and issues.

Councillors agreed this must be an active two-way process whereby the AMD Lead Fellow would also be a point of initial contact for Specialty Societies wishing to consider policy and advocacy matters in conjunction with the College, or simply to clarify matters related to the College’s policy and advocacy work. Invitations were circulated in early September.

Maximising Value of Healthcare by Physicians

The Council supported a proposal for the College to partner with Specialty Societies on a new initiative to identify low-value interventions in order to promote best practice patient care and assist in reducing harm and waste in the healthcare system. Council members agreed the AMD was in an optimal position to be a key contributor in developing and facilitating this initiative.


RACP Congress 2015 – Adult Medicine Stream Working Group Arrangements for the establishment of the RACP 2015 Congress Adult Medicine Stream Working Group were noted. A call for expressions of interest had been circulated in the AMD e-News on Friday 8 August.

New Zealand

A range of New Zealand matters were noted by the Council including developments with regard to Organ Donation in New Zealand, reviewing the Physicians Practising in Isolation discussion paper, the NZ Medical Association’s recent report Tackling Obesity, and proposed amendments to Midwives’ and Nurse Practitioners’ Prescribing of Controlled Drugs in New Zealand.

Professor John Wilson,
AMD President
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