AMD eBulletin 10 March 2017

The President's Post

Our RACP trainees sat their exams last week and will be receiving their results in the next two weeks. This is a stressful time for trainees, for their families and also for supervisors of training who play a significant role in supporting trainees through their training and assessment. This is the principle reason that the College exists, and I applaud the efforts of all members who support trainees on this journey. On behalf of my AMD Council colleagues, I acknowledge the hard work trainees have already put in to get to this point in their training, and wish all exam candidates the very best for their results. 

Our AMD Council is preparing to hold the first of its two face​-to​-face meetings this year on 7 April at the College's Sydney office. We will be progressing a number of projects including the sharing of the results of our recent Specialty Society Workforce Survey to better understand how we might work effectively with our affiliated societies on shaping the specialist physician workforce. 

Our initial aim is to explore opportunities for collaboration and determine how to avoid duplication of effort.  In the long term, we hope that this work can lead to an improved ability of the College to capture better data about the Physician workforce, and to use this to help inform the College’s and the societies’ work in preparing members for the workforce that our communities need.

We will also be looking at plans to refresh our AMD Policy and Advocacy Lead Fellow Network to support our important advocacy relationship with the societies. I am keen for us to use the Adult Division as a forum to raise awareness of issues and/or identify opportunities for collaboration.

We will also be discussing ideas about future governance arrangements for the Division, given that the Division will no longer be ‘represented’ on the new, smaller and largely skills based College Board from May 2018.

Several pieces of strategic work being undertaken by the College will also be reviewed, including the review of training site accreditation and the opportunities it offers to support trainees and supervisors, and the work of the Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death (EPAD) Working Party.  

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any thoughts about how the Adult Division can best support you and your work. 

Best wishes,
Assosciate Professor Grant Phelps
AMD President

Specialty Society Joint Forum

Last week a regular joint forum meeting was held with staff from the societies directly affiliated with the Adult Medicine Division. These forums facilitate the sharing of information and help identify any issues relevant to our mutual memberships that need the attention of either a society or the RACP. 

In recognition of the work that societies and the RACP do in promoting their work and engaging with the changing demographic of their respective memberships, members of the RACP Marketing and Communications team presented on social media best practice for organisations.

Out of this discussion came several opportunities for the societies and the College to work together on boosting engagement with members and some solid, practical tips that the societies can use to develop their own social media activity.

Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine update

Planning is wrapping up for the International Medicine in Addiction Conference which is now only two weeks away. If you haven’t already, make sure you secure your registration as well as your ticket to the conference dinner for an evening to enjoy with colleagues and friends at Cockle Bay Wharf. 

I’m pleased to report that the conference has attracted significant international interest with attendees coming from 13 countries outside of Australia and New Zealand. 

The communique reporting on our November 2016 meeting is now available. 

I’d also like to bring your attention to an article of interest in the Internal Medicine Journal on the role of physicians in the management of substance use disorders.

We are always looking for content for this eBulletin and with our dedicated Chapter section I encourage you to consider a feature article on an area of interest. Please email any ideas to the Chapter secretariat via 

Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine President

Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine update

The Chapter Committee held its first meeting of the year on Friday, 17 February and discussed a number of topical matters including current activity in Victoria around legalisation of euthanasia, which several Victorian-based members of the Committee have been involved ​in an individual capacity. The Committee also had a lengthy and constructive discussion with members of the Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party and we look forward to future communication and collaboration on this important issue. 

Progress is being made on a Chapter priority area with the establishment of a Spirituality Training Working Party. This Working Party will further explore and develop recommendations for training in spirituality targeted to Palliative Medicine Advanced Trainees and Fellows. I’d also like to draw your attention to an EOI calling for up to eight representatives to be appointed to the ​Working ​Party, all Chapter members are encouraged to apply. 

Participants required for Case Study and Project Markers 

The Training Committee in Palliative Medicine is seeking Palliative Medicine Fellows interested in joining the pool of case study and project markers for Advanced Trainees in Palliative Medicine. To participate please send a brief statement outlining your current position, what involvement you have with training, and your past experience with the supervision of case report and project requirements to 

Dr Simon Allan
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine President 

Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine update

I’m pleased to report there has been overwhelming interest in the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting, Rise to the Challenge, which is taking place in ​a weeks’ time with online event registration now closed due to the event ​reaching capacity. Over ​100 delegates and speakers are expected to attend the event on Saturday, 18 March. 

The first meeting of the Sexually Transmissible Infections Working Party took place on Thursday, 23 February with a change of name confirmed to the Sexual Health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Working Party (ATSIC Sexual Health Working Party). The Working Party will continue to liaise via email and will meet again in a month’s time to undertake more detailed work. 

The Chapter held its first meeting of the year on Thursday, 2 March discussing a range of matters including continued discussion on communication with RACP State and Territory Committees and Foundation Awards for 2017 and 2018. 

The communique reporting on our 25 November meeting is now available. 

Dr Graham Neilsen
Australasian Chapter of ​Sexual Health Medicine President

Palliative Medicine Communication Skills Workshop – Registrations now open 

Registrations are now open for the 2017 Palliative Medicine Communication Skills Workshop. An online application form is available via the Palliative Medicine specialty webpage

The workshop is a three day experiential learning opportunity run by experienced facilitators with the aid of simulated patients. It will enable participants to develop and enhance their communication with patients, their families and with other health workers.

Previous participants have rated the workshop highly.

The workshop will take place at the RACP Sydney office from Monday, 24 to Wednesday, 26 July 2017. It is suitable for all Advanced Trainees in Palliative Medicine, as well as Fellows and those training in other specialties who have an interest in further developing their communication skills.

The format will be learner-centred involving a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, role play and feedback in carefully facilitated groups in an environment of mutual respect and a willingness to share ideas and experiences.

Places are limited and priority will be given to currently enrolled trainees in Palliative Medicine and Fellows of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine.

The course fee is A$2472 for trainees and A$3090 for Fellows. This includes materials, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.    

Please contact if you have any questions.

RACP Congress – something for all specialists

2017 Australian of the Year, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim will be special guest presenter at RACP Congress 2017 addressing the topic of medical breakthroughs and future practice in molecular medicine.

Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim is an international leader in stem cell research, his dedicated research and international leadership has led to ground breaking advances in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim is a global authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells and led the world’s first clinical trial using these cells in spinal cord injury. 

Infectious diseases specialist Associate Professor Patrick Charles will also feature in the program, presenting a session on exploring innovations across infectious diseases, biosimilars, transplantation and immunotherapy in medical oncology.

Read the full program details and register at the RACP Congress website. Attendance at RACP Congress 2017 is a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity eligible for MyCPD credits.

Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: Monday, 8 to Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Registration: Visit

Hear about genomics, get CPD credits

A special double feature of Pomegranate, the RACP’s podcast, takes a look at Genomics for the Generalist.

The two episodes take a look at the place of genomics in clinical practice and how physicians can keep up with the pace of discovery and technological development.
Read more

Become a Booze Free Sport ​Fan  

The Foundation for Alcohol Research (FARE), an important partner in the RACP’s alcohol advocacy, is running a Booze Free Sport campaign calling for unhealthy alcohol sponsors to be phased out from professional sports.

Support FARE’s Booze Free Sport campaign by heading to the FARE website and becoming a Booze Free Sport Fan.

Read more

Support for Rural Specialists in Australia – Apply for CPD grants today

Applications for the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) Funding Round 1 for individual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) grants are now open.

Read more

Consultation – National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) draft RACP Position Statement for feedback

The RACP is seeking feedback on its draft Position Statement on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a reform which is fundamentally transforming the delivery of support services to Australians living with disability.  

Consultation – Medical assistance in dying in Victoria, draft RACP submission for comment

The College is developing a submission in response to the Victorian Government’s Discussion Paper regarding proposed legislation that would enable individuals in Victoria to access medical assistance in dying in certain circumstances.

Feedback is sought from Fellows and ​trainees on the RACP’s draft submission. 

Read more.

Internal Medicine Journal – March 2017 edition

The March issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now available on the Wiley Online Library. Articles include:
  • Immunotherapeutic strategies in antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Is food allergy prevalence increasing? 
  • Hepatitis C infection in an interferon-free era
  • Mobile technology in the clinical setting 
  • Breast and ovarian cancer referral guidelines
  • Managing patients treated with ruxolitinib for myelofibrosis
The Editor’s Choice for the month is a Clinical Perspectives article by Mimi L. K. Tang and Raymond J. Mullins (pages 256-261) - Food allergy: is prevalence increasing?

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Notice: Alert for Zostavax (shingles vaccine) and immunocompromised individuals 

The Commonwealth Department of Health has provided the College with the following advice.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has received a report of a death occurring in a patient with compromised ​immune functioning following administration of Zostavax. Zostavax is contraindicated in patients who are immunocompromised. 

Zostavax contains live attenuated varicella-zoster virus, containing 14 times more virus than childhood varicella vaccines. Administration to people who are immunocompromised is associated with risk of a disseminated disease from the vaccine virus.

  • You should carefully consider a patient’s immunological status prior to vaccination with Zostavax.
  • Do not administer Zostavax to patients who are immunocompromised.
  • If in doubt seek advice from a specialist or state based vaccination services.
  • Urgently seek specialist advice if Zostavax is given to a person who is immunocompromised.
Further Information

RACP Foundation Awards and Prizes

Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine 

Abstracts are now being accepted for: 

Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine – Fellow 

Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine – Trainee 

Abstracts may be submitted via the College Congress website.

Applications close this Sunday, 12 March 2017.

Career Opportunities

South Australia

Private practice opportunity for new Fellows, all physician specialities in Hutt Street, Adelaide. Options include room and administration/billing support along with referrer lists to help new Fellows starting out.
Contact Dr Rabin Bhandari (FAFRM) on +61 488 596 760 for more information. 


General Physician, Albury Wodonga Health 
Enquiries: Ms Liz Caunt, Manager, Medical Workforce Unit or +61 2 6051 7543
Applications close: Wednesday, 15 March, 2017 

Western Australia

Director Clinical Services, Mental health Commission
Enquiries: Ms Susan Alarcon +61 8 9219 1856
Applications close: Friday, 31 March, 2017 

Australian Medical Association (AMA) Public Health Awards 2017 - Call for Nominations 

The AMA is seeking nominations of people or groups who have made an extraordinary contribution to health care and public health. 

Recipients will be invited to attend the 2017 AMA National Conference in Melbourne at the end of May 2017, where the awards will be announced and presented. The AMA may contribute to travel costs for recipients to attend the presentation. 

In the year following the presentation of the awards, recipients will have the opportunity to participate in interviews with interested media, and engage in AMA supported activities promoting their work in their field of expertise. 

All awards are presented subject to a sufficient quantity and/or quality of nominations being received in each category. 

Nominations are sought in the following categories:
  • AMA Excellence in Healthcare Award
  • Woman in Medicine Award
  • Women's Health Award
  • Men's Health Award
  • Youth Health Award
Nominations are open from Wednesday, 1 February 2017, and the closing date for receipt of nominations for each award is Wednesday, 19 April 2017. For further information visit the AMA website.

Reminder - Australian Prescriber Available Online 

Since August 2016 Australian Prescriber became an online-only publication. 

Australian Prescriber is an independent, peer-reviewed journal with critical commentary on drugs and therapeutics for health professionals.

All content is open access and available via the NPS MedicineWise website and you can subscribe to receive a bi-monthly e-alert when each edition is published.

Clinical trial – pneumococcal vaccine

Are you, or any of your patients aged 55 – 60? Do you, or your patients, suffer from two of the following conditions: high cholesterol; high blood pressure; excess bodyweight?

Could the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine protect against heart disease?

Researchers at the Australian Study for the Prevention through Immunisation of Cardiovascular Events (AUSPICE) believe it can and are looking for 6000 Australians to be part of their study to determine if this safe, existing vaccine can reduce the risk of heart disease. 

If you, or your patients, have not previously had a stroke or heart attack, you could participate in this simple study. Visit the AUSPICE website for more information. 

Conferences and events

View all ​Adult Medicine events.

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