AMD eBulletin 16 October 2020
Greetings to all.
Something that was discussed at length at the recent AMD Planning Day and Council meeting was the importance of supporting and growing the physician leader. The current pandemic has highlighted the complex and evolving role of physicians in our health systems. Further, it has emphasised the importance of ensuring that physicians are adequately prepared to take on leadership positions.
Circumstances provide opportunities for people to grow as leaders. Leadership sometimes takes unlikely forms and this year has provided opportunities for leadership to emerge like no other. We have seen people described as leaders exhibit spectacular failure of leadership; and humble people demonstrate and enact profound leadership qualities, though they do not occupy high office. Leadership is about much more than a job title. It is a way of being and a way of carrying yourself in the world. We can all grow and learn as leaders. Formal training is one such way to be prepared for leadership.
The AMD Council identified supporting and growing the physician leader as an initiative in its 2021–2022 work plan, with members reflecting on the value of a range of informal supports and formal training in developing leadership skills. I look forward to working with Council members as this initiative takes shape.
In this very complex COVID-19 period where all things training have been turned on its head, it is important to remember that there are many extraordinary and unique training opportunities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and that some of these are vital for the health of our most vulnerable people.
Take Katherine, in remote Northern Territory, as an example. This site has a number of accredited Advanced Training positions, offering an incredibly rich clinical experience for trainees across a number of sub-specialties, where remote Indigenous health and tropical medicine collide. There are few places in the world where the opportunity to diagnose and treat young people with complex clinical, social and cultural needs is combined with physician training posts in well-equipped hospitals. Not only do remote settings, such as Katherine and other rural sites across Australia, offer absolutely career-changing experiences, but our College has an obligation to ensure that these services have an ongoing supply of the best trainees to support the sustainability of these little hospitals.
When considering options for career progression over the next few years, trainees who leap into such challenges can be assured that remote training positions will bode them well clinically; both in terms of a mature approach to medicine and a much deeper understanding of the social fabric of this complex nation. I urge you, if you are in a position to take this opportunity, to give it your serious consideration. You will emerge from it with a much greater awareness of the profound health inequalities at play, as well as the incredible strengths and values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. You will also find that you emerge as "a better person, a better doctor and a better Australian," to quote Dr Megan Brown from Alice Springs. The contact person, for those interested to follow up, is Dr Richard Budd at Katherine Hospital. Dr Budd is currently Chair of the Northern Territory Regional Committee and may be contacted via that Committee’s secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, while I can personally only speak to my own experiences in Australia, I am certain that similarly rich clinical experiences are available to trainees across Aotearoa New Zealand.
I would also like to provide a brief update on Congress 2021, as discussed at the recent AMD Council meeting. Congress will be held in early May 2021, with final dates yet to be confirmed. This will be a hybrid event encompassing both virtual and in-person participation. Events are being planned for six physical locations, including Auckland. This approach is designed to minimise risks while still bringing together members and allowing networking, taking into account possible government restrictions at this time due to COVID-19. It offers an exciting solution to a very difficult environment for events of this nature.
I am pleased advise that AMD Council member, Dr Sharmila Ramessur Chandran, was endorsed by the AMD Executive Committee as AMD representative on the Congress Program Committee. Specialty societies are being invited to deliver clinical updates as part of Congress 2021, and AMD Stream Planning is now underway. I thank Dr Simon Quilty for his assistance with the preparation of this message.
Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division
I would like to invite you to join the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Committee (AYAMC). The AYAMC is currently seeking an AChSHM Fellow to give a dedicated sexual health perspective to the work of the Committee. The AYAMC is a joint committee of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) and the Adult Medicine Division (AMD). Expressions of interest close on Friday, 6 November 2020. To find out more, visit the RACP EOI page
I encourage you all to complete your 'My Work Profile' in MyRACP
. The completion of 'My Work Profile' takes around five to ten minutes, so please contribute your information and enable us to better inform our understanding of the sexual health medicine workforce.
The Sexual Health Fellows update meeting takes place on Monday, 16 November from 11.30am to 12.30pm (AEDT). Fellows and trainees are invited to attend and receive an update on the work of the Chapter Committee and for the Committee to share, and receive input on, its priorities. To attend this virtual meeting, please register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Applications for the Penelope Lowe Prize, which is awarded to the AChSHM trainee with the best case presentation at the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), will be open from Sunday, 1 November 2020 to Saturday, 30 January 2021. The prize includes AUD$500 and a certificate presented at the ASM.
The last Chapter Committee meeting of 2020 is scheduled for Wednesday, 11 November 2020. As always, feedback or comments for the Committee are welcomed. Please feel free to contact myself or the Committee through our secretariat at email@example.com.
Professor Kit Fairley
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine
I am pleased that advocacy led by the Chapter of Palliative Medicine, Palliative Care Australia and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine has resulted in changes being made to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). These changes will optimise appropriate access to analgesic opioid medications for palliative care patients. Please read the media release
The Chapter Committee will continue to advocate for improved regulation of and education on opioid prescribing in end-of-life care patients during COVID-19.
My participation in the fortnightly Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group (ACPCWG), as part of a coordinated approach to the evolving effects of COVID-19, continues. Updates on the work of the ACPCWG, including regular newsletters, are available on its website.
I encourage you all to complete your 'My Work Profile' in MyRACP. The completion of 'My Work Profile' takes around five to ten minutes, so please contribute your information and enable us to better inform our understanding of the palliative medicine workforce.
The Chronic Breathlessness in Advanced Illness Working Group (CBAIWG) has almost completed the new eLearning resource. We expect this excellent resource to be available to members by early November.
We will hold the last Chapter Committee meeting of 2020 on Friday, 16 October 2020. If you have any feedback or comments for the Committee, please feel free to contact us through our secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Michelle Gold
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
The Chapter Committee is working closely with the College Policy & Advocacy team in highlighting the importance of alcohol and other drugs services during the pandemic. We are also identifying priorities for our 2021-2022 work plan, including doing further advocacy on addressing the potential unintended consequences of real-time prescription monitoring.
I would like to invite you to apply for the newly created Drug Policy Working Group. This work will be led jointly by AChAM and the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM), and its purpose is to highlight the need for the Australian and New Zealand Governments’ drug policies to adopt a health-focused approach to substance use. The deadline for expressions of interest has been extended to Friday, 16 October 2020. To find out more, please visit the RACP EOI page.
I encourage you all to complete your 'My Work Profile' in MyRACP. The completion of 'My Work Profile' takes around five to ten minutes, so please contribute your information and enable us to better inform our understanding of the addiction medicine workforce.
The AChAM Indigenous Prize applications are open, closing on Friday, 30 October 2020. This Prize offers medical students, junior medical officers and registrars, who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori, the opportunity to attend the International Medicine in Addiction Conference (IMiA) being held online in February 2021. See the webpage for further details.
The Chapter Committee next meets on Friday, 4 December 2020. Please feel free to send any feedback or comments for the Committee’s consideration through our secretariat at email@example.com.
Professor Nicholas Lintzeris
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
5pm to 6pm (AEDT), Monday, 19 October 2020, via Zoom
Don’t forget to register for next Monday’s virtual Town Hall meeting to discuss a range of topical health policy issues hosted by the RACP President, Professor John Wilson AM and President-Elect Dr Jacqueline Small. We’re also excited to welcome the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health to join us to speak directly with you, our members.
Please register via Eventbrite and you will be sent the Zoom link ahead of the event. If you have a question for the Minister, please provide it during the registration process via Eventbrite. We can’t guarantee that we’ll have time to ask every question, but we hope to cover all the main themes.
AChSHM Penelope Lowe Prize
The RACP awards the Penelope Lowe Prize to the AChSHM trainee with the best-case presentation at the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). The prize includes AUD$500 and a certificate presented at the ASM. Applications open Sunday, 1 November, close Saturday, 30 January 2021.
AChAM Indigenous Prize
This prize offers medical students, junior medical officers and registrars, who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori, the opportunity to attend the International Medicine in Addiction Conference being held online in February 2021. See the webpage for further details.
The 2020 Physician Training Survey will open on Thursday, 22 October.
This is your chance to help strengthen RACP training programs and the workplace experiences in the settings in which you work and train. With the impacts of COVID-19 on training throughout this year, it’s more important than ever that we understand your experience.
The survey will open to trainees and educators across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and includes for the first time our Public Health and Occupational and Environmental Medicine trainees and educators.
The survey is completely anonymous. Your participation helps us build robust data so we can make evidence-informed improvements to training. This includes support for your health and wellbeing.
For information about the survey, including confidentiality and how you could win an iPad in the prize draw, please visit the Physician Training Survey page.
The Physician Training Survey has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) – Concord Repatriation General Hospital of the Sydney Local Health District 2019/ETH12472.
If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of the research study, you may contact the Executive Officer of the Ethics Committee, at SLHDfirstname.lastname@example.org or on +61 2 9767 5622.
Support your trainees by watching them compete at the regional events over Zoom. The best presenters selected at each event are invited to present as part of the 2021 RACP Congress Program. See the Trainee Research Awards webpage for event details and to register.
The RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program aims to support those medical graduates and current trainees of the RACP 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 Aotearoa New Zealand.
Several scholarships are available for 2021:
Basic, Advanced or Chapter training
- College Indigenous Australian and Māori Health Scholarship
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
- NZ Aotearoa Māori Health Scholarship
- Aotearoa New Zealand Pacific Islander Health Scholarship.
Also offered for Faculty training:
- Indigenous Health Scholarship for Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- Indigenous Health Scholarship for Rehabilitation Medicine
- The John McLeod Indigenous Health Scholarship in Public Health Medicine.
Applications close Monday, 30 November 2020.
Further details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.
A special three-part COVID-19 Symposia series has been included in this year's Online Congress Series.
2020 has been a challenging year for healthcare and our community. Over three sessions we will explore the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus will be on clinical aspects of COVID-19 and will involve clinicians who have been treating COVID-19 patients, experts in epidemiology, drug therapy, vaccines and research.
Register now for the second and third symposiums. Recording of symposium one will soon be made available via the Congress Online Learning Series.
Symposium one: COVID-19 – Emerging patterns: in illness and in therapies
Our understanding of COVID-19 and its clinical course, especially post-acute, continues to develop. We know that many chemicals can kill viruses like COVID-19 in the lab. However, ensuring they are safe and effective for patient use is a completely different process. Before we can design any drug therapy trials, we need knowledge of drugs, pharmacology and a clinical understanding of the physiology of COVID-19.
Held on 15 October 2020, Chair, Dr Jacqueline Small was joined by our panel, Mr Karl Schurr, Professor Greg Dore, Professor Jennifer Martin and Dr Philip Britton.
Recording will shortly be available via the Congress Online Learning Series.
Symposium two: Vaccinations: What we know and where we're going
Thursday, 22 October 2020
5.30pm to 7pm (AEDT), 7.30pm to 9pm (NZDT)
Chaired by RACP President, Professor John Wilson AM, the panel will address emerging vaccine contenders, safety, strategies for the elderly population and implementation of population vaccination programs.
Professor Terry Nolan will discuss the science of vaccines and describe the front runners in COVID-19 vaccine development.
Professor Kristine Macartney will provide an overview of safety concerns, delivery methods and implementation strategy.
Professor Tony Cunningham will present a vaccine strategy for the elderly population and discuss therapeutic treatments for the very sick and elderly in the absence of a vaccine. He will look at efficacy results in people over 60 years of age and why their response is different to younger people.
Associate Professor Margie Danchin will ask the difficult questions about vaccine program effectiveness. Which groups should be prioritised? Why mandatory vaccination should wait. How do we achieve high uptakes rates on an Australian, Aotearoa New Zealand and global scale?
There will be time for Q&A at the end of the presentations.
Symposium three: COVID-19: Redesigning healthcare systems
Thursday, 29 October 2020
5.30pm to 7pm (AEDT), 7.30pm to 9pm (NZDT)
Join the panel:
- Professor Don Campbell, Medical Director of the Hospital Without Walls and Staying Well Program, Northern Health
- Professor Graeme Maguire, Head of the General Internal Medicine unit at Western Health Melbourne
- Dr Jade Tamatea, member of Te Rōpū Whakakaupapa Urutā, the National Māori Pandemic Group
- Mr Ben Gauntlett, Disability Discrimination Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission
Chair: Dr George Laking, RACP President Aotearoa New Zealand
- community support from a Victorian perspective
- innovative models of care for different patient groups such as inpatients, and those in ICU
- Indigenous community led decisions, the Aotearoa New Zealand experience
- equity and human rights especially for people with disabilities.
IMiA21 Virtual invites abstract submissions for poster presentations and case studies.
All abstracts must follow the instructions on the IMiA21 Virtual abstracts webpage and be submitted online by midnight (AEDT), Friday, 23 October 2020. Please note that the closing date for submissions will not be extended and will only be accepted if the presenting author has registered and paid by the presenter registration deadline of Friday, 27 November 2020.
All enquiries regarding abstracts for IMiA21 Virtual should be emailed to email@example.com.
Don’t miss your chance to register for Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) 3, our last online course of the year. Running from Monday, 19 October to Monday, 23 November 2020, this work-based learning and assessment is a five-week, online facilitated course. The program covers important topic areas including the learning and assessment cycle and determining trainee performance and progression based on evidence of learning and achievement. This is a great opportunity for those who enjoy learning with peers through discussion and shared experiences and prefer time flexibility.
Note that supervisors are required to complete:
- one SPDP workshop by the end of 2021 (an extension of 12 months)
- all remaining workshops by the end of 2022.
Please visit the SPDP webpage for more information, or contact us to register with your full name and MIN. RACP Online Learning resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.
Each trainee is responsible for completing their own research project. Trainees can learn about conducting a research project via our Research Projects online course. It’s designed to support trainees with a detailed walk-through of the research process.
A trainee’s experience can be greatly enhanced by a supportive and informed supervisor. The Research Supervision online course helps supervisors who want an update on research project requirements and the research process in general.
We understand you are busy and on-the-go, and that’s why our online courses are designed to enable you to dip in and out, or just do the parts that are relevant to you.
RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.
The RACP Ethics Committee is pleased to advise members of a new RACP clinical ethics resources webpage. Curated by the RACP Clinical Ethics Working Party, the new webpage provides a set of clinical ethics resources for Fellows and trainees.
The clinical ethics resources webpage will assist with reflection on the role clinical ethics plays in practice and healthcare settings. The new webpage includes clinical ethics information for:
- professional development
- trainee education
- clinical ethics services
- academic studies
- research and fellowships, and
- other clinical ethics related resources.
RACP Fellows and trainees are encouraged to review the new webpage and consider clinical ethics as part of their education and continued professional development. The site provides information about clinical ethics support services, and access to clinical ethics information.
Two new Medical Specialist Access Framework case studies have been released – ‘ANTAC and the Ngangkaṟi Healers of Central Australia’ and ‘Regional specialist services in the Kimberley’. The Medical Specialist Access Framework is a guide for health sector stakeholders to promote and support equitable access to specialist care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The case studies demonstrate successful approaches to increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to specialist care across Australia in various health settings.
RACP members are encouraged to read the Medical Specialist Access Framework, the case studies and use the Guide for Physicians to implement these tools in your workplace and professional practice. Please share the Medical Specialist Access Framework and case studies with your networks.
During the COVID-19 crisis there has been some criticism of the World Health Organization (WHO) as to whether it declared a pandemic soon enough or covered up for China’s failings.
But few commentators have explained the role and responsibilities the WHO shares with its member states in dealing with a pandemic. A prototype of the International Health Regulations (IHR) was conceived during the cholera epidemics of the mid 1800s, and the most current version of the IHR was formalised in 2005 in response to SARS. Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott has documented the political and social factors that have accompanied the implementation of the IHR.
In this podcast we consider how the unprecedented scale of the current pandemic and the mixed response from member states has challenged the viability of the WHO.
- Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott (University of Sydney, United States Studies Centre)
Climate change: What can we do?
Saturday, 24 October, 10am to 12.30pm AEDT (12pm to 2.30pm NZDT), online.
This webinar will discuss topics such as zoonoses and pandemics, as well as bushfires and emergency medicine.
Investigations in medicine
Saturday, 7 November, 9am to 5pm AEDT (11am to 7pm NZDT), online.
This webinar will cover:
- ECG and electrophysiology
- cardiac catheters
- blood films.
In 2019, the College joined the Obesity Collective, a platform for individuals and organisations across the community to take on the obesity challenge together, with empathy and from a whole-of-society perspective. We invite members to explore the key activities of the Collective: its system activity mapping that sets out current obesity-related actions and opportunities for action, the frequently updated Obesity Evidence Hub, the advocacy of the peer-led Weight Issues Network and the ongoing campaign to shift away from shame and blame towards a better understanding of the obesity challenge.
The Obesity Collective has recently issued a statement on the Healthy at Every Size® (HAES) movement. The Collective supports most of the principles of HAES and believes it is possible and positive for people to take steps to improve their health at any size, that equitable access to health care should be available to people of all sizes and that there is an urgent need to reduce societal weight bias and stigma to prevent harm to physical health, mental health and wellbeing. The Collective also acknowledges that obesity is a serious public health issue and advocates for respecting the diversity of people’s wishes for support in managing their health and weight. Read the Collective’s full statement.
Notable to early career professionals, the Emerging Leaders of the Collective are gearing up for their next event, ‘Systems thinking for healthier environments’, on Tuesday, 24 November 2020. The Emerging Leaders recently hosted their first virtual event, 'Obesity as a systems challenge'; presentations from Ms Jane Martin, Professor Stephen Simpson, Associate Professor Michael Talbot and Ms Clare Mullen are available for viewing.
Find out more about the Collective
The End of Life Law for Clinicians (ELLC) national training program has been extended to June 2023. ELLC is a free training program funded by the Department of Health that delivers education to clinicians about the law at end-of-life. The program for clinicians and medical students focuses on the law relating to end-of-life decision-making, including the law about decisions that happen in the last days and months of life, as well as earlier Advance Care Planning (ACP). The next phase of ELLC will deliver updated modules tailored to medical practitioners, medical students, nurses and allied health professionals. New content will be produced for clinicians working with specific populations at the end of life. These will focus on care for older people, people living with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people who identify as LGBTIQA+, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Workshops and webinars will commence in 2021.
Further information about ELLC can be found on CareSearch Blog. You can register for the ELLC training modules or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the ELLC mailing list.
In a related development, the recently updated Factsheet for clinicians – Informed consent in health care from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care provides information for clinicians on the key principles for informed consent, how to obtain informed consent, principles for assessing legal capacity and legal obligations. Members might also be interested in a recent article in the Internal Medicine Journal that sets out key recommendations for policy and practice in the system-wide implementation of ACP, to enable a more ethical, coordinated and person-centred response in the COVID-19 context.
Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) has residual funding available to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s healthcare sector.
The initiative is providing women with grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 to enable participation in one of three programs that cover such things as elements of a successful team, communication, presence and influence, driving performance, problem solving and decision making, and progressing diversity and inclusion.
The scholarship funding is provided with the specific intent of providing powerful and effective development opportunities for healthcare sector women.
The funding needs to be allocated by the end of 2020.
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form on WLA’s website by Friday, 4 December 2020.
Cancer Australia has released a new evidence-based resource for health professionals to guide the management of patients with early breast cancer in Australia. Guidance for the management of early breast cancer comprises approximately 200 recommendations and practice points underpinned by the current evidence-base to assist health professionals and patients engage in shared decision-making and support the delivery of best practice patient-centred care for people with early breast cancer.
The TGA has developed new communication materials to help consumers and health professionals understand access pathways for medicinal cannabis in Australia including videos and printable infographics. This new material is available from the TGA Medicinal Cannabis webpage.
The CANVAS clinician survey is open to any physicians based in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand dealing with skin lesion excisions.
The survey aims to get opinions on skin suture choice as part of a collaborative study. It will take three to seven minutes to complete the survey, depending on one’s answers. Deadline for responses is end of January 2021.
If you’re interested, you can join the full study to get PubMed cited. Find out more on the ACTPRAS website.
AChSHM Fellow position on Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Committee
The Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Committee (AYAMC) is seeking an AChSHM Fellow to give a dedicated sexual health perspective to the work of the committee. Please note that the position is not a formal representative position and therefore no formal reporting obligation exists. The AChSHM Fellow does not need to be an existing member of a committee in order to express interest in this role, rather the AYAMC is seeking the expertise of a Fellow in sexual health medicine more broadly.
Check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.
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.
Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.
Please see the College website to view all medical positions vacant.
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