AMD eBulletin - 25 August 2017

President's post

Our recent August Adult Medicine Division (AMD) Council meeting was a little bit different.

The AMD Council agreed in 2016 that we should run an advocacy workshop this year to explore in a practical sense how the College’s highly successful advocacy work is conducted, and share this skill and knowledge with our AMD affiliated specialty societies. This workshop involved some insightful advice from and sharing of experience by the College’s Director of Policy & Advocacy, Patrick Tobin, and Manager Strategy Policy and Advocacy, Helen Craig, and some highly engaging and instructive role plays by Council members.

Much discussion was generated and I know that everyone left thinking about how to advocate for the things that will help us as physicians to deliver the best health care to our communities.

I am very grateful to everyone who contributed, and was pleased to see that some of the specialty societies’ senior staff were able to join us.

Our AMD Council meeting built on the success of the workshop, reviewing the outcomes from a number of projects that AMD Council has undertaken this year. These included: reflecting opportunities for collaboration on CPD identified by societies, services provided by the MyCPD team to enable more efficient recording of CPD activity provided by societies, a workforce update, the establishment of our new AMD Policy and Advocacy Lead Fellow Network, and a lengthy discussion on physician wellbeing. This last discussion ranged from workplace cultures, modelling of good behaviors by Fellows, industrial issues outside the remit of the College, complexity around the timing of examinations, the role of training setting accreditation and its role in supporting trainees and supervisors, and ongoing efforts by the College to contribute to physician wellbeing.

We also had robust discussion around the role of the AMD Council in relation to Board reforms occurring in 2018, and there was general agreement that the relationships between the College and specialty societies is critically important and has continued to improve over recent years. The Model of Collaboration and opportunities flowing from it (such as our Specialty Society Webinar Service pilot) being examples of this improvement.

I thank my AMD Council colleagues for contributing frank and robust discussion. I also congratulate all Adult Medicine trainees on their efforts in the recent AMD Exams.

Best wishes
Associate Professor Grant Phelps
Adult Medicine Division


Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

The AChAM Committee will meet next week on 30 August for its third meeting of the year, to be held via teleconference.

Associate Professor Adrian Dunlop has been formally appointed to the role of NSW/ACT Branch Chair on the AChAM Committee. I look forward to working with Adrian while he fills this casual vacancy until May 2018.   

The College and Chapter have been very busy engaging with elected representatives in the Federal parliament in voicing our strong opposition to the Welfare Reform Bill. The Bill will introduce mandatory drug testing for new applicants for Newstart and Youth Allowance benefits, with income management of those testing positive, financial penalties and mandatory treatment. The Chapter and College are also actively involved with the Nationally Coordinated Codeine Implementation Working Group in planning and preparing for the up-scheduling of compound analgesics containing codeine on 1 February 2018 and in the national medicinal cannabis agenda.

Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

The communique reporting on the 02-2017 face-to-face meeting is now available on the RACP website.

The Spirituality Training Working Party met on 9 August and had a very positive and productive meeting with the priority task now to construct a draft recommendation report for training in spirituality. The report will include review of the evidence and research to establish the need for spiritualty training, and content and delivery practicalities, including facilitators and participants. The Working Party will also conduct a survey of AChPM members to determine how prepared they feel in supporting the spiritual needs of their patients and gaining an understanding of existing training/resources in this area.

The Chapter Committee met for its 03-2017 meeting via teleconference on 18 August and discussed their 2018 work plan, doctor and trainee health and wellbeing and the member journey mapping project. 

Dr Simon Allan
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine

Expressions of interest for the AChSHM President-elect casual vacancy have now closed and the Chapter Committee is in the process of appointing this role.

The Sexual Health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Working Party met on 15 August, under the new Working Party Chair, Dr Nathan Ryder. Members discussed in detail the Working Party’s advocacy strategy and will continue work on this in the coming weeks.

Chapter members still have the opportunity to apply for an AChSHM Study Grant to support and encourage the advancement of knowledge in Sexual Health Medicine. Applications close on Monday, 28 August.

The Chapter Committee will next meet on 14 September via teleconference.

Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor
Acting President 
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine

Read the latest edition of the Internal Medicine Journal

The August edition of the Internal Medicine Journal is now available on the Wiley Online Library. Articles in this edition include:

  • Cholesterol and PCSK9 inhibitors
  • Asplenia sepsis prevention guidelines
  • To die with dignity – an update on Palliative Care
  • Perinatal hepatitis B immunoprophylaxis 
  • Childhood maltreatment and sleep quality
  • Time to mandate generic prescribing?
Find out more

Abstract submissions open – RACP C​ongress 2018

Abstract submissions are invited for RACP Congress 2018: Disruption for Health Futures.

Find out more

Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review

The work of the government’s MBS Review continues with the announcement of 45 recommendations that have been accepted by the Health Minister and that will be implemented. The full statement can be read here. Two changes in particular which would be of interest to members are:

  • Prohibitions on the billing of ‘follow-up’ consultation items on the same day as a significant procedure (defined as one with an MBS fee equal to or greater than $300) to commence on 1 November 2017.
  • Introduction of new MBS items for colonoscopy from 1 March 2018 to align colonoscopy services with Australian clinical best practice guidelines.

Also, four new Clinical Committee reports have been released for consultation: Cardiac Services, Endocrinology, Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, and Pathology–Endocrine Tests. The online consultation is open until 4 October 2017 and can be accessed here.

The College’s MBS Review Working Group will be reviewing these latest reports and consulting with members and relevant Specialty Societies to formulate a College response if appropriate. To participate in this, please contact

New ‘Evolve’ recommendations to improve obstetric and paediatric care

As a part of the Evolve initiative, this month the College released a series of new recommendations to help avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful tests and procedures carried out with pregnant women and children.

Find out more

Doctors' health and wellbeing

To improve doctors’ health the RACP is developing a strategic approach with agreed principles that can be shared with our partners across the sector. Our vision is a stronger community of doctors supported by the RACP and employers, that nurtures the health and wellbeing of doctors and their families.

Recently we have:

We will continue to keep you informed on progress in this area through our regular eBulletins.

You can also follow the RACP through our social media channels (FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn) to stay further informed about our efforts to improve doctors’ health and wellbeing.

Final call for feedback on 2019–2020 PREP Advanced Training program requirements

The RACP is seeking feedback on its proposed PREP program requirements for 2019–2020 for all Advanced Training programs.

To participate, download the draft program requirements relating to your specialty and take a short 5–10 minute survey.

Feedback closes: Sunday, 27 August 2017.

Find out more

PBS listing of Epclusa (Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir)

Epclusa (Sofosbuvir and Velpatasvir) will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 August 2017 for people living in Australia with all types of chronic hepatitis C, at the cost of a standard prescription. It is another important milestone for Australia in reaching its hepatitis C elimination goals.

It is hoped the PBS listing of Epclusa will make it easier for people to access treatment, bringing Australia one step closer to achieving the goal of a 50 per cent reduction in hepatitis C in Australia by 2020 and supporting the World Health Organisation's goal to eliminate hepatitis C in Australia by 2030.

For further information, visit the PBS website

Cultural Responsiveness Qstream course – registrations close Friday, 1 September

As physicians, there is an ever-growing need to consider best practice when interacting with colleagues and patients of diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. 

Register now for this new RACP Online Professionalism Program course on cultural responsiveness.

Find out more

Hear about severe asthma on Pomegranate Health

Australia and New Zealand have relatively high rates of asthma by international measures, with a population rate of about one in nine.

For years the management model has been empirical. The more serious the disease, the more the dose of controller therapy is increased. But this doesn’t work for everyone.

In this podcast, you will hear from Professor Peter Gibson FRACP and Professor Vanessa McDonald FRCNA, both from the University of Newcastle.

Find out more

Northern Territory ASM – Early Bird registrations closing 31 August 2017

The program for this event is developed by Northern Territory specialists for Northern Territory specialists. The event will include presentations for the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition and the AFPHM Gerry Murphy Prize.

Find out more

2018-19 Australian Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice

The Commonwealth Fund invites promising mid-career professionals—government policymakers, academic researchers, clinical leaders, hospital and insurance managers, and journalists—from Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom—to apply for an opportunity to spend up to 12 months in the United States as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice.

Harkness Fellows work with leading U.S. experts to study health care delivery reforms and critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the U.S. and their home countries. A rich program of seminars organised by the Fund throughout the year further enhances the fellowship experience. The Harkness Fellowship awards up to US $130,000 in support, with an additional family allowance (approximately $60,000 for partner and two children up to age 18).

The deadline for applications from Australia is Tuesday, 5 September 2017.

Private Practice Forum in Sydney – 23 September 2017

This forum hosted by the NSW/ACT Trainees’ Committee will aim to demystify the world of private practice. There will be a number of excellent speakers addressing issues of setting up a private practice and working in a private hospital.

Find out more

Great discounts and savings on offer with Member Advantage 

By now you should have received an email with your digital Member Advantage card. Through the program you and your family can access, and have unlimited use of, discounts and savings on a range of financial and lifestyle benefits. 

Find out more

Applications open – RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

Share your research with a wider audience at this competition exclusive to RACP trainees from all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters. Applications for some regions are closing soon – don't miss out.

Find out more

RACP Foundation Travel Grants now open

$70,000 in travel funding is available, spread over six awards.

Find out more

New award for 2017 - RACP AChSHM S​tudy Grant

AChSHM members can apply for $4,000 funding to advance knowledge in sexual health medicine.

Apply now for the RACP AChSHM S​tudy Grant.

Applications close: Monday, 28 August 2017

RACP Foundation awards and prizes

Nominations are being accepted for several awards and prizes, including:  Visit the Division and Faculty webpage of the RACP Foundation for full details of all Faculty Awards.

Member Journey Mapping Project update

Stage Two of the Member Journey Mapping Project is nearing completion. This stage focuses on conducting qualitative research with a diverse group of members, to better understand the life of a physician, from making the decision to join the RACP, through to retirement. 

Find out more

Expressions of Interest

You can now check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.​​

Career opportunities 

New South Wales

Specialist Physicians for Private Practice in Sydney

Enquiries: Tina, Ph: +61 (0) 499 183 232 or via

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.

View all events related to Adult Medicine here.

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Close overlay