AMD eBulletin - 5 February 2016

President's post

The Adult Medicine Division has hit the ground running this year with several strategic projects already well underway. The College’s election cycle for 2016 is also progressing with the nomination period having now closed. Speaking from experience, it is both an honour and a humbling experience nominating for an elected position in the College, and I wish all candidates for the Adult Medicine Positions the very best in the coming months.

One of the projects that we are kicking off the year with is the Model of Collaboration which has now been circulated to 50 Specialty Societies across the College, spanning Adult Medicine, the Paediatrics and Child Health Division, the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and New Zealand. Our RACP Board Working Party which has been delegated by the current RACP Board to progress negotiations is preparing to enter into the negotiation phase of the implementation of the Model. AMD President-elect Associate Professor Grant Phelps and I very much look forward to working with our AMD society colleagues to establish tailor-made agreements that support meaningful collaboration.

We are also undertaking a pilot to test out how Specialty Societies might collaborate on web-based CPD activity as discussed at our July 2015 AMD Council meeting. We will be reporting on this pilot more fully at our second AMD Council meeting this year, and look forward to contributing to the College’s broader digital strategy.

At this time of year, it is the privilege of the Divisional and Faculty Presidents to echo the message from the College President and offer congratulations to Fellows who are recipients of Australia Day Honours and New Zealand New Year Honours. On behalf of the Adult Medicine Division I extend hearty congratulations to the following Adult Medicine Division members who have been honoured this year:

Australia Day Honours

Officer (AO) in the General Division
Professor David Leon Copolov FRACP 
Emeritus Professor Douglas Edgar Joshua FRACP FRCPA 
Professor Finlay Alistair Macrae FRACP 
Professor Robyn Elizabeth O’Hehir FRACP FRCPath 

Member (AM) in the General Division

Dr Barry Rex Catchlove FRACP 
Professor Jeffrey Ronald Flack FRACP 
Dr Peter Frederick Pratten FRACP 
Professor Ego Seeman FRACP 
Associate Professor David Oliver Watson FRACP 
Associate Professor Michael Clifford Woodward FRACP 

Medal (OAM) in the General Division

Dr Peter Bert Greenberg FRACP 

New Zealand New Year Honours List

Dr Simon Gardiner Allan FRACP FAChPM FRCP
Dr Joanne Dixon FRACP

We have also been advised that Professor Robert Moulds has been credited with honorary membership of the National Prescribing Service (NPS) for his dedication to the advancement of quality use of medicines in Australia and developing countries around the world. Professor Moulds is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Fiji National University and works as a medical adviser to Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd and Health Education Australia Ltd.

I urge you to read the Specialty Society Spotlight we have in this edition of the e-bulletin, which the Medical Oncology Group of Australia has kindly prepared. I also draw your attention to the announcement of trainees who have been selected to present their research at this year’s Congress in Adelaide through the annual RACP Trainee Research Awards For Excellence in the field of adult medicine.

2016 looks to be another busy year for the College, and a stimulating one for us in Adult Medicine.

Best wishes,


Prof John Wilson
President, Adult Medicine Division

MOGA Specialty Society Spotlight 

The Medical Oncology Group of Australia Incorporated (MOGA) is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology in Australia and is a specialty society of the RACP, with the broad goal of improving outcomes for cancer clinicians and their patients. 

MOGA is the key point of reference on all matters relating to medical oncology training, education and clinical practice, and is committed to supporting the advancement and development of members and the profession of medical oncology in a rapidly-evolving professional environment. 

Founded in 1973, MOGA and the profession have been closely linked since medical oncology emerged as a new specialty in Australia. From a strong national base MOGA has built a diverse regional network in the Asia Pacific region while forging strong professional links with other international colleagues.  

MOGA is a hub for all medical oncology issues nationally, interacting with oncology professionals and stakeholders and speaking with a strong voice for the discipline and our members. MOGA’s education and information resources support an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care, from a medical oncology perspective. 

The MOGA community includes 622 medical oncology professionals (450 consultants: 172 trainees) based in all Australian states and territories, representing approximately 98 per cent of the current Australian medical oncology workforce. MOGA supports members and the medical oncology profession working in both the public and private sectors through:

  • specialist post-graduate medical oncology training
  • career development initiatives 
  • scientific, academic and medical meetings and workshops 
  • contributing to continuously reviewed, evidence-based standards for cancer care, management and clinical practice 
  • advocacy, lobbying and professional representation 
  • research activities and special projects including policy development 
  • consumer and community liaison. 

MOGA’s key priorities and achievements align as follows:

  • MOGA policy, lobbying and advocacy activities aim to influence Australian health policy, improve treatment options for cancer clinicians and patients and ensure that medical oncologists are fully informed at all times. MOGA has been successful in lobbying and advocacy for oncology drugs and treatment access in Australia and overseas for more than fifteen years. 
  • MOGA develops, manages and funds an ever-expanding suite of quality education training programs for medical oncology consultants and trainees. 2016 activities include the Annual Scientific Meeting – Implementation and Innovation in Immunotherapy and Communications Skills training.
  • MOGA is committed to ensuring Australia remains internationally competitive and takes a leading role in research and discovery regarding cancer, oncology drugs and treatments as well as patient care and management. MOGA supports the work of our thirteen National Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups, and encourages members to develop their research skills and fosters a strong research culture and ethos. Since 1999 the MOGA Cancer Achievement Award has formally recognised the contribution made by seventeen leaders in the field of Australian Oncology. MOGA contributes to the development of clinical trials research, expertise and networks through the Australia Asia Pacific Oncology Research Development (ACORD) Workshop. It is currently undertaking its second survey of the national medical oncology workforce; Australia is one of the few countries in the world that has undertaken research and published data on the national medical oncology workforce to inform future service provision, and workforce planning. 

Associate Professor Rosemary Harrup
MOGA Chair 

Division and chapter call for nominations for college elections results

Adult Medicine Division Council Elections

The result of the recent call for nominations for College elections has been very positive and the Division will be proceeding with elections for the roles of President-elect of the Division and for four Elected Fellow (Australia) roles.

  • AMD President-Elect – the College has received two nominations for this role from Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and from Professor Paul Komesaroff.
  • Fellow Representatives – the College received eight nominations for four positions reserved for Fellows who are resident in Australia. These candidates are Professor Donald Campbell, Professor Geoffrey Duggin, Associate Professor Ian Fraser, Professor David Kandiah, Professor Paul Komesaroff, Dr Daniel Sathianathan, Associate Professor Bernard Yan and Dr Deborah Yates.

The College did not receive any nominations to fill the one position reserved for Fellows who are resident in New Zealand. As such, the Adult Medicine Division will commence an Expression of Interest process for this position.


Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine Chapter Committee

  • President-Elect – one nomination was received from Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones for this position. Dr Lloyd-Jones is therefore elected to the role, effective 16 May 2016 (the date of the College AGM).
  • Trainee Representative – the College did not receive any nominations for the position reserved on the Committee for a trainee. As such the Chapter will commence an Expression of Interest process for this position.
  • Branch Chair appointments are currently underway for the remaining Chapter Committee positions.

Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine Chapter Committee

  • President-Elect – one nomination was received from Associate Professor Gregory Crawford for this role.  Associate Professor Crawford is therefore elected to the role, effective 16 May 2016 (the date of the College AGM).
  • Fellow Representatives – the College received three nominations for four positions for elected Fellows on the Chapter Committee, one of which must be a Fellow who is resident in New Zealand. The three successful Australian candidates are Dr Michelle Gold, Dr Martha Mherekumombe and Associate Professor Peter Poon. The Chapter will commence an Expression of Interest process for the New Zealand position.
  • Trainee Representative – the College did not receive any nominations for the position reserved on the AChPM Committee for a trainee. As such the Chapter will commence an Expression of Interest process for this position.

Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine Chapter Committee

  • President-Elect – one nomination was received from Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor for this role. Associate Professor O’Connor is therefore elected to the role, effective 16 May 2016 (the date of the College AGM). 
  • Fellow Representatives –  Dr Carole Khaw is elected to the role, effective 16 May 2016 (the date of the College AGM). The AChSHM will commence an Expression of Interest process for the remaining 5 positions.
  • Trainee Representative – The College did not receive any nominations to fill the position reserved on the AChSHM Committee for trainees. As such the Chapter will commence an Expression of Interest process for this position.

AChSHM ASM 2016: picking up on things that matter

The Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) is again preparing for its Annual Scientific Meeting, Hot and Steamy in Brisbane to be held in February. The last Annual Scientific Meeting, Things that Matter was held at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne in March 2014. Convened by Dr Ian Denham and Dr Stella Heley, the meeting ran with four sessions covering broad areas of Sexual Health Medicine.

The first session, Things Moving Mysteriously, presented by Associate Professor Catriona Bradshaw covered the management of bacterial vaginosis and mycoplasma genitalium, while Associate Professor Marcus Chen spoke on the challenges associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia treatment. The concerns we held then regarding antibiotic resistance and other management challenges remain with us today and this year’s Hot and Steamy in Brisbane meeting in February will pick up from where we left off in 2014.

The second session in 2014 was aptly entitled Things Going Well and some of the success stories in sexual health medicine were highlighted. Associate Professor Marion Saville from the Victorian Cytology Service presented the exciting future of cervical screening, which is now coming to fruition. Associate Professor Saville will return to speak again at the 2016 ASM to provide an update on the renewed National Cervical Screening Program and the important changes beginning in May 2017, when Australia becomes only the second country in the world to move to HPV testing every five years as the primary screening test for the prevention of cervical cancer. 

The third session, Things Going Wrong focused on the often neglected topic of male sexual dysfunction and we received a welcome reminder on how quickly things can go wrong with presentations on immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, and Professor Basil Donovan’s talk on neurosyphilis. 

The final session, titled How are Things Going?, saw Associate Professor Jane Hocking present on analysing statistics in research papers which was particularly useful for our Advanced Trainees and early career research attendees. Maintaining a male health theme, Associate Professor Richard Hillman spoke on HPV infections in males – what is known and what is not.

This was a stimulating meeting which provided lots of opportunities to receive clinical updates on a range of sexual health topics and to enjoy seeing and networking with colleagues.  

The organising committee for February’s Hot and Steamy in Brisbane ASM has worked hard to ensure that the topics presented will be every bit as exciting and interesting as in 2014. Having missed out on having a meeting in 2015, this meeting provides a great opportunity for our Chapter’s Fellows and Trainees as well as anyone who has an interest and passion for Sexual Health Medicine.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Dr Carole Khaw
AChSHM Committee member
CPD Lead, Advanced Training Committee – Sexual Health Medicine 

International Medical Symposium - Future Challenges for the Medical Profession

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in association with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) are pleased to host the 2016 International Medical Symposium:  Future Challenges for the Medical Profession.

We encourage you to join the debate about the future role and challenges of the medical profession. This will be a world class symposium with international and local speakers and is guaranteed to showcase ground-breaking and challenging discussions about the development of our roles as health professionals.  

Keynote speakers at IMS 2016 include:

  • Professor Olle ten Cate, Netherlands 
  • Professor David Sinclair, Australia 
  • Dr Julian Archer, United Kingdom 
  • Dr Susan O’Dwyer, Australia 
  • Dr Victoria Brazil, Australia 
  • Dr Papaarangi Reid, New Zealand

The Symposium will take place at the Amora Hotel Sydney on Friday 11, March 2016. 

For program and registration information please view the website 2016 International Medical Symposium or contact the RACP Events Team at

Registrations are open for RACP Congress 2016

Planning is well underway for RACP Congress 2016, with the Congress website now live and early bird registrations open. 

Speakers at this year’s event include Sir Henry Burns, Professor John Mills, Professor Dinah Reddihough, Professor William Ivan Glass and Professor John Chalmers.

Register before Friday, 11 March to receive a discounted early bird registration rate. 

Also, for this year only, attendees who have attended two of the last five RACP Congress events will be eligible for VIP registration rates. You will have received an email with your unique code. Use this code at registration to receive your special rate.

Visit the 2016 RACP Congress website for more information.

New Zealand President-Elect Announced

Congratulations to Dr Jeff Brown who has been announced as the incoming New Zealand President-Elect.

Dr Brown has been a paediatrician at Palmerston North Hospital, New Zealand, for 20 years and is the current Chair of the New Zealand Paediatrics and Child Health Division Committee.

Throughout his career Dr Brown has made vast contributions to the area of paediatrics in New Zealand in both  the profession and the practice.

As part of his role as Chair of Advanced Paediatric Life Support New Zealand Dr Brown was an integral part in the development of a New Zealand Resuscitation Council Newborn Life Support Course. The course ensures a nationally consistent standard for all health professionals at the birth of a baby.

He also served a six year term with the New Zealand Paediatrics and Child Health Education Committee – reforming the accreditation process and making it consistent with other Colleges. 

In 2009 Dr Brown chaired the Ministerial Taskforce that developed the In Good Hands report.  The report outlined transformative changes to clinical leadership that must occur and the importance of nurturing clinical leadership. 

Dr Brown said that during his time on the New Zealand National Health Board he was able to get a clear picture of the machinery of the health system and the scope of leadership required to improve it. 

Dr Brown’s role as New Zealand President-Elect will begin at the close of the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 16 May 2016.

RACP Foundation Awards

RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence in the Field of Adult Medicine

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition is held annually in each State, Territory and New Zealand, to identify and acknowledge the best trainee research presentations in the field of adult medicine and in the field of paediatric medicine.  

Congratulations to the following trainees who are presenting their research in the field of adult medicine at the 2016 RACP Congress being held in Adelaide:

State/New Zealand  Representative  Topic 
New South Wales Dr Angela Sheu Gestational diabetes is associated with a pro-inflammatory T cell phenotype
Northern Territory Dr Sarah McGuinness Epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of sporotrichosis
New Zealand Dr Tom Wang Comparison of contemporary risk scores for predicting mortality and morbidity after aortic valve replacement
Queensland  Dr Jonathon Fanning Silent and apparent neurological injury in transcatheter aortic valve implantation study (SANITY)
South Australia Dr Alice O’Connell Impact of a standardised patient observation and multitiered escalation response chart and new calling criteria on adverse patient outcomes
Tasmania Dr Jennifer O’Hern Antibiotic allergy and the use of restricted antibiotics
Victoria Dr Gowri Somarajah The burden of diabetes on hospital services: Impact on general internal medical inpatients at Western Health
Western Australia Dr Maree Azzopardi  The PLeural effusion and symptom evaluation (PLEASE) study

Older People's Drug and Alcohol Project: Release of resource package

NSW Health has announced the release of resources arising from the Older People’s Drug and Alcohol Project including the Project Report, the Summary Report and the Report in Brief. 

The full report provides a comprehensive resource for services, detailing the initial policy project work in the area and outlining recommendations for drug and alcohol services, for mental health services, for future policy and planning work and priorities for further research. The accompanying summary report also includes recommendations and is a useful, concise resource document for services. The Report in Brief is aimed at a broader audience and highlights the key issues and messages arising from the project. 

All three resources are available on the NSW Health website

Site accreditation criteria consultation

The Advanced Training Committee  in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine is currently finalising the development of an Advanced Training Program in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine including an Advanced Training curriculum, program requirements, and site accreditation criteria. The program is due to commence in 2017.

The draft site accreditation criteria for this new program are now open for feedback from members.

Download the draft criteria and complete a short survey to participate in this consultation process.

Consultation is open until Wednesday, 17 February 2016.

Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) Process Reforms

The Department of Health (the Department) engaged the Apis Group (Apis) in June 2014, to review the MSAC process and provide advice on improvements, based on stakeholder discussions. In October 2014, Apis provided the Department with a final report that identified potential for significant improvement, and made eight recommendations. 

At its broadest level, the proposed reforms will deliver a set of streamlined MSAC processes and supporting activities. The aim of the reforms is to ensure that the MSAC process is: 

  • sustainable 
  • transparent, accountable and independent
  • consultative
  • administratively efficient
  • flexible and fit for purpose
  • informed by robust and relevant evidence.

This is the first set of draft documents about the MSAC process reforms released for public consultation. Consultation with MSAC stakeholders is critical to the success of the reforms and is being strongly embraced. The Department now seeks comment and feedback on a number of draft documents from all stakeholders interested in the MSAC process. These documents can be accessed from the Department’s consultation hub, Citizen Space.

Please email if you have any questions about the MSAC reforms. 

Medical Council of New Zealand Statement on Telehealth review 

The Medical Council of New Zealand is reviewing its Statement on Telehealth. The revised statement is intended to apply to: 

  • doctors registered in New Zealand and practising telehealth in New Zealand and/or overseas 
  • doctors who reside overseas and provide health services through telehealth to patients in New Zealand.

Submission or suggestions on the revised/proposed Statement on Telehealth are being accepted. Relevant documents and a response form can be found on the Medical Council of New Zealand website

Submissions close Tuesday, 29 March 2016. For any enquiries, please contact Kanny Ooi on +64 4 381 6793 or email 

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