AMD eBulletin 15 November 2019

President's Post

Moving College Journals to Online Format

At its meeting on 25 October 2019 the College Board decided to transition its flagship journals, the Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) and the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (JPCH), as well as RACP Quarterly, from print to online formats. The decision was made on the basis of considerations relating to the contemporary use of journals and the environmental implications of paper publications. 

As members will know, both journals are of high repute and play an important role in the life of the College. The IMJ was established in 1952 and is printed monthly and circulated to approximately 12,500 members and subscribers worldwide. The JPCH was established in 1965, is also printed monthly and is circulated to about 4,000 members and subscribers. Both journals have highly skilled editorial boards composed of Fellows of the College, which include many subspecialty editors, as well as expert staff. Articles are received from around the world and cover a wide range of topics, including all the fields of speciality of the College, as well as social, cultural and ethical commentary. The RACP also publishes the magazine RACP Quarterly which provides news and articles of topics of interest to both members and the public and is circulated to about 20,000 members.

In addition to the distribution of print copies, articles from the IMJ and JPCH are – as with all other medical journals today – accessed electronically. From 2009 to 2018 reader downloads of IMJ articles increased from 120,000 per annum to more than 350,000 and JPCH downloads have approximately doubled to about 600,000. This clearly means that the overwhelming majority of readers access the journals electronically rather than in print.

The environmental impact of a print journal is not negligible. It is estimated that paper production for the 2018 volumes of IMJ and JPCH generated emissions of 13,380 and 3,792 tonne carbon dioxide equivalents respectively, with additional emissions produced during printing and distribution. Our commitment to reduction of CO2 emissions is a significant argument for moving from universal print distribution. In addition, printing the journals is quite expensive and requires a subsidy from the College of a total of about $550,000. If the journals were not printed they would be self-sustaining and this amount of money could be applied to other services for members. 

However, while there are strong arguments for moving from print to electronic format it has to be admitted that this is not the full story. As many people have observed, the process of reading online is rather different from reading hardcopy, with the difference probably reflecting more than merely age and habit. In addition, if one receives a hardcopy version of a journal one is much more likely to scan other articles in the issues and read about topics one might not otherwise encounter. 

When one engages electronically with the medical databases one often will search for a particular topic of interest. Few readers routinely scan tables of contents and go to the trouble of accessing journals, usually via cumbersome processes provided by their institution, on a regular basis. The old habit of visiting a library and leafing through recently arrived copies of journals in the hope that one might find something of unexpected interest is probably dying. 

Although no decision was taken to this effect it will still be possible to provide print copies on an opt-in basis. The cost of this would need to be calculated and may depend on the demand. However, it will be of interest to know whether members of all ages still value the concept of the print version and whether there is a feeling that its passing is likely to affect the nature and quality of medical services we deliver. 

As always, feedback on the President's Posts is welcomed. Please send comments to:

Paul Komesaroff
Adult Medicine Division
Telephone: +61 (0) 417 55 26 59

AChSHM President’s Post

Registrations are open for the 2020 AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), which will be held at the RACP event space in Sydney on Saturday, 21 March 2020. The theme for our 2020 ASM is 'Sex, syndemics and special populations', with a focus on syphilis outbreaks in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Māori communities, the intersection of chemsex and sexual health among men who have sex with men, and the sexual health of trans and gender-diverse people.

I am delighted to announce that the following speakers have been confirmed:

  • Dr Nathan Ryder and Dr Sunita Azariah will present on syphilis epidemiology in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Associate Professor James Ward will present on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health.
  • Associate Professor Adam Bourne will present on chemsex among men who have sex with men.

Applications have opened for the Penelope Lowe Trainee Prize, which will also be held at the 2020 ASM in March. The $500 prize is awarded to the best case presentation by an Advanced Trainee in sexual health medicine. I encourage all trainees to submit a case – this is an excellent opportunity to practice your presentation skills at a scientific meeting.

The Chapter Committee will next meet face-to-face on Friday, 6 December 2019. If you have any feedback or issues you would like to raise with the Committee, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our secretariat at

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

AChPM President’s Post

The Chapter Committee met on 8 November 2019 in Sydney for a productive meeting where topics included policy and advocacy priorities, spirituality training, RACP Congress 2020 and the Committee’s 2019-2020 work plan.

The Committee also discussed the upcoming RACP elections, with current committee terms due to end at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting at RACP Congress 2020 in May. Nominations for positions commencing in May will open in the coming months. There will be six Fellow positions and one trainee position available on the AChPM Committee at these elections. I encourage all interested Fellows and trainees to put themselves forward. It is important that the AChPM Committee is representative of the membership, including members from different jurisdictions and at all stages of their career.

On 11 November 2019, Professor Chris Poulos FAFRM, Dr Gregory Bowring FAFRM, Dr John Maddison FRACP (Geriatric Medicine) and I participated in a preliminary teleconference with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Royal Commission is seeking to develop its understanding of issues associated with the interface between aged care and health care services and wished to ascertain the views of the members of our College. 

If you have any feedback or comments for the AChPM Committee, please do not hesitate to contact us through the Chapter secretariat at

Professor Greg Crawford
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChAM President’s Post

The AChAM Committee will meet next week on Friday, 22 November where the key issue on the agenda will be a discussion regarding the development of a College drug policy.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind all Chapter Fellows of the new MyCPD Framework which came into effect in January 2019. The new framework changes the CPD activities you need to record to meet CPD requirements, and is designed to help members to prepare for future regulatory requirements to be introduced with the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework.

I encourage Chapter members to familiarise yourselves with the new requirements and continue to update their MyCPD throughout the year to minimise your stress at deadline time. The RACP’s CPD team have developed useful FAQs, and the team are also able to respond to any of your queries directly if you need support or assistance via or call 1300 697 227.

If you have any feedback, questions or comments for the Committee, please get in touch via our secretariat at

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

RACP My Work Profile - homepage banner

My Work Profile

Many Government decisions on workforce are based on anecdotal data. As a response to this we are updating our records to assist our future decision making for physician education programs.

Did you know the hours you work, the professional activities you are engaged in and where you work impact the paediatrics and adult medicine workforce?

You’ll find My Work Profile in MyRACP.

MyRACP supported internet browsers are Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

How does My Work Profile benefit you?

Workforce data will be made available to you and will help:

  • new Fellows decide which geographic area to work in Australia and New Zealand
  • new Fellows choose between private or public practice
  • you understand how your work hours compare with your peers
  • the RACP and stakeholders including government policy-makers make better workforce decisions, based on current data
  • Fellows understand activities they are undertaking; research, administration or clinical.

Hear what others have to say about My Work Profile

For more information, please read the My Work Profile FAQs. For details on what data will be collected and how it will be stored, please read the Privacy Statement.

Complete today

Register for RACP Congress 2020 – Balancing medical science with humanity

Monday, 4 to Wednesday, 6 May 2020, Melbourne Convention Centre

We are excited to announce more inspirational speakers at RACP Congress 2020.

Keynote speaker, Professor Catherine Crock AM, presenting on Balancing science with humanity: how kindness restores the whole in medicine. Professor Crock is a doctor at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, music and theatrical producer, humanitarian, mother and strong advocate for culture change in healthcare.

We will discuss the application of genomics, a rapidly evolving multidisciplinary field with Professor Kathryn North AC, Director of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the David Danks Professor of Child Health Research at the University of Melbourne.

We will explore the impact of transfers of responsibility when transitions from child to adult health occur with Ms Evelyn Culnane, Lead Transition to Adult Care at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and Dr Jeremy Lewin, Medical Director of ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service.

Find out more and register

Tri-nation Alliance International Medical Symposium

Registrations are now open for the Tri-nation Alliance International Medical Symposium (IMS) to be held on Friday, 20 March 2020 at the Amora Hotel Sydney, Australia.

Now in its ninth year, IMS is an annual event that reinforces the strong historical relationship between medical professions from Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Cementing these ties, a formal agreement between the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australasian College of Psychiatrists created the Tri-Nations Alliance. 

The IMS 2020 theme, Providing care to underserved populations, is relevant to health professionals from all member countries. With a focus on higher medical education, delegates will explore how specialist training can support and enhance access to healthcare for critical populations experiencing difficulties in accessing healthcare, potentially due to location or isolation, social determinants or other specific issues.

Find out more and register

AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting

Indigenous Scholarships and Prizes

The RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program supports medical graduates and current RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori on their chosen career path to becoming a physician.

The scholarships provide a funded pathway through Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and/or New Zealand. Applications close Saturday, 30 November 2019, so submit your application today.

The RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori. The selected applicant will receive support to attend RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. The opportunity allows you to gain educational and networking opportunities, as well as exposure to career pathways within the College.

The prize includes:

  • full registration for RACP Congress 2020, held in May in Melbourne
  • return economy airfares to Melbourne
  • up to three nights’ accommodation.

Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before applications close on Friday, 31 January 2020.

Further details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

2020 PREP Basic Training Program Requirements handbooks now available

Please note that no program requirement changes were made to the Basic Training in Adult Internal Medicine program in 2020.

As a trainee or supervisor, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you are following the correct requirements for each training year.

View handbook

Be part of the change to improve physician mental health

We’ve partnered with the Black Dog Institute and are looking for supervisors to join the Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) as part of the development of an online mental health training program.

The program will give supervisors the skills to better manage and support the mental health needs of trainees.

Your involvement

As a part of the RCT you will be asked to complete:

  • four questionnaires over six-months.
  • the online HeadCoach for Physicians program:
    • consists of nine modules (less than 10 minutes each)
    • can be completed over three-weeks at your own pace
    • can be completed on your computer, tablet or phone.


Register for the RCT today on HeadCoach for Physicians website or contact  if you have any questions.

More information on the main trial, including information about confidentiality, is available in the Participant Information Sheet.

This research has been reviewed and approved by The University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or concerns about the research project please email or phone +61 2 9385 6222 quoting the following number HC190628.

IMJ November 2019 released online

The November 2019 issue of the IMJ (Vol 49 Iss 11) is now live on the RACP website and IMJ Wiley page.

Key highlights from the issue are:

  • Biologic agents in the management of uveitis
  • Why we should stop performing vertebroplasties
  • Calcium metabolism in type 1 myotonic dystrophy
  • Time to treatment in acute stroke halved
  • New therapies for castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • Healthcare resource allocation: ethics.

The Editor's Choice is an Original Article titled 'The cost of screening for lung cancer in Australia' by Henry M. Marshall, Nicola Finn, Rayleen V. Bowman, Linda H. Passmore, Elizabeth M. McCaul, Ian A. Yang, Luke Connelly and Kwun M. Fong.

Tools to help you meet your CPD requirements

Participating in audit activities is one of the key ways doctors will meet requirements of the MyCPD Category 3 – Measuring Outcomes. If you’re unsure how to do an audit, or deciding an area of your practice to audit, we have developed an audit template to help you.

The audit template:

  • provides a guide to completing an audit
  • explains each step and provides a link to other resources that may assist Fellows.

For audit ideas, access the following resources:

Discover your online learning options today

We understand you’re busy and on-the-go, so discover our quality online education. Accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning, access a range of online learning courses, resources, lectures, curated collections and podcasts. Developed by members, for members, the interactive nature of our online learning resources enable you to learn from your peers. RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. 

Watch 'Discover your online learning today'

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep53: Marrabinya – a hand outstretched

Marrabinya is a Wiradjuri word meaning 'hand outstretched'. It’s the name of a service in the Western New South Wales Primary Health Network which financially supports Indigenous Australians to attend specialist consultations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples receive specialist medical care 40 per cent less often than non-Indigenous Australians. It’s easy to imagine communities out in the red desert and blame culture clash or the tyranny of distance, but most Indigenous Australians live in cities or regional communities. The Marrabinya staff explain how socioeconomic factors and institutional biases can accumulate to prevent Aboriginal patients from receiving the care they need.

Marrabinya is an exemplary model of principles that RACP has formalised in the Medical Specialist Access Framework. Indigenous leadership, cultural safety, person and family-centred approach and a context-specific approach can all contribute to great gains in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Guests: Marrabinya Executive Manger Donna Jeffries and chronic care link staff Desley Mason, Kym Lees, Possum Swinton, Sandra Ritchie, Donna Jeffries, Melissa Flannery, Joanne Bugg, Jacob Bloomfield and Gaby Bugg.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources.

Subscribe to
Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunes, Spotify or any Android podcasting app

Listen to podcast

Launch of the 2019 MJA-Lancet Countdown on health and climate change

Listen to experts discuss report highlights and key challenges at the Sydney MJA-Lancet Countdown Launch at Macquarie University on Thursday, 28 November 2019 at 4pm. The RACP was involved in the development of the MJA-Lancet Countdown Policy brief for Australia, which will be launched as part of this event.

Register now 

National Register to support Bowel Cancer Screening Program

From Monday, 18 November 2019, the National Cancer Screening Register (the National Register) will begin supporting the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).

The Australian Government’s NBCSP is a population-based screening program, that aims to help detect bowel cancer early and reduce the number of Australians who die each year from the disease.

The current NBCSP Register operated by the Department of Human Services, will transition over to the National Register to create a single national record for participants of the NBCSP and the National Cervical Screening Program.

Conference and events

Specialty Society Webinar Series

The Specialty Society Webinar Series is now live. The webinar series is being undertaken by RACP in partnership with its affiliated specialty societies. Please see below for information on upcoming webinars.

Professor Louise Maple-Brown – Musculoskeletal health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Monday, 25 November 2019, 6pm (AEDT)

Dr Helen Keen – CPD credits for outcome measures: Audit
Monday, 25 November 2019, 6pm (AEDT)

Dr Jui Ho – Endocrine conditions in pregnancy
Monday, 18 November 2019, 6pm (AEDT)

Dr Sarah Price – Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Tuesday, 19 November 2019, 6pm (AEDT)

Expressions of Interest (EOI)

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