AMD eBulletin 18 September 2020

President's Post

I would like to provide an update following the AMD Planning Day and Council meetings, held via videoconference on 26 August and 4 September, respectively.

The aim of the AMD Planning Day was to reflect, revisit, and refocus on what is important to us in the midst of COVID-19. The pandemic has forced us to become very clear about our priorities: we have learned that we cannot spread our resources too thinly or we risk limiting our effectiveness. As such, the proposed initiatives in the 2021–2022 AMD work plan are:

  • increase equity and fairness in Advanced Training selection
  • grow the Indigenous physician workforce
  • improve capacity to identify workforce composition and areas of need
  • support and grow the Physician Leader
  • improve understanding and clarify the value of the AMD.

I thank all Council members for their thoughtful participation in the development of this work plan. We are fortunate to have great resources available to us to progress work against these priorities, and I particularly look forward to engaging Specialty Societies to work closely with the College to create value for all members.

I would like to highlight that I am looking at working beyond the usual two-year timeline that frames most planning cycles. President-elect Graeme Maguire and I are aiming to build momentum into this work to ensure that it is not disrupted by changes to the AMD Presidency, and we are working to a two-year plan with a four-year vision.

The AMD Council meeting, held just over a week after the planning day, gave us a further opportunity to discuss core business of the AMD and to formally endorse the progression of the work plan. At that meeting, Council members confirmed the importance of workforce data and reflected on the opportunities that will be provided by the Online Communities project. In line with the first of those items, I would like to encourage you all to complete your My Work Profile in MyRACP. The AMD Council is keen to support members in identifying and responding to emerging workforce issues, but to inform any action we need good quality workforce data from our membership. The AMD response rate for this year is currently sitting at 31.5 per cent. 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 AMD workforce.

Finally, I would like to highlight the important work being undertaken to deliver the Indigenous Strategic Framework. At our Council meeting, members received an update on the work taking place to increase the Indigenous physician workforce. I look forward to learning more about this work, and to working with my colleagues in the AMD as well as in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee and Māori Health Committee to advocate for its success.

A communiqué of the September 2020 AMD Council meeting will be drafted and distributed within the next few weeks, and the details of the next AMD Council meeting (to be held in 2021) will be provided once the date is set.

If you have any feedback or comments for the Council, please feel free to contact me through the secretariat.

Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division

AChSHM President’s Post

The AChSHM Committee met via teleconference on 2 September 2020 to discuss key items including Indigenous Health priorities and finalising the new work plan for this term.

Good progress is being made on the AChSHM ASM 2021 with the first Program Committee meeting held virtually on 3 September 2020.

I would like to bring to your attention, that as part of our curricula renewal, the College has developed draft common learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) programs that will establish a baseline for LTA across all Advanced Training programs.

I would like to ask for your expertise to help ensure that the common LTA programs for Advanced Training are robust, appropriate and feasible.

Consultation is now open to all RACP members on the LTA programs and we welcome input from other specialty societies and member organisations. The consultation period ends at 9am, Monday, 12 October 2020.

Nominations for the Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine in the category of Education and Training Research and Award for Best Postgraduate Thesis in Sexual Health Medicine opened close on Wednesday, 30 September 2020.

The Chapter Committee meets again on Wednesday, 11 November 2020. If you have any feedback or comments for the Committee, please feel free to contact us through our secretariat.

Professor Kit Fairley
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine

AChPM President’s Post

The AChPM Committee met via teleconference on 14 August 2020. Topics discussed included the promotion of cross-specialty training and finalisation of the new work plan for this term.

The Committee endorsed the ANZSPM COVID-19 guidelines and provided feedback that was received during the consultation process to the Māori Health Committee and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee of the College.

I am pleased to advise that Dr Jessica Borbasi has been recently elected Palliative Medicine Trainees' Representative in the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine. If you have any feedback or comments for Dr Borbasi, please feel free to contact her through the Chapter secretariat.

The Chapter Committee has its next meeting on Friday, 16 October 2020. If you have any feedback or comments for the Committee, please contact us through our secretariat

Dr Michelle Gold
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChAM President’s Post

The Committee remains active in policy and advocacy work on behalf of the Chapter and is currently supporting promotion of the recently released Evolve list of the top five low-value practices in addiction medicine. The launch of the list, timed to coincide with International Overdose Awareness Day, was accompanied by a media release that focused on one of the recommendations. Communications and dissemination activities related to the list are forthcoming.

The Chapter regularly contributes to policy and advocacy efforts aimed at reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs, most recently through the successful campaign for appropriate pregnancy warnings on alcohol, an endorsement of minimum unit pricing on alcohol in the Northern Territory, and input to Government-facing submissions such as the Pre-Budget Submission 2020-2021 and its update.

The College will soon commence work on the development of its drug policy. This will set out the College’s position on effective drugs policy including preventative measures, evidence-based treatment services and regulatory options to reduce harm from substance use disorders, and the use of drugs more broadly.

This work will be led by a joint AChAM/Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine Drug Policy Working Group. The College is currently seeking expressions of interest from members, and I encourage all interested Chapter members to find out more and to apply via the RACP EOI page.

I encourage you to apply for the AChAM awards and prizes as follows:

  • The Nghi Phung Research Project Prize (formerly the AChAM Research Project Prize) is open to Advanced trainees, and is awarded to the best advanced training research project for addiction medicine submitted for assessment between 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020.
  • The AChAM Indigenous Prize provides an opportunity for medical students, junior medical officers and registrars, who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori to attend the International Medicine in Addiction Conference in 2021. The prize includes full registration, to attend the online conference. Applications close on Wednesday, 30 September 2020.

The Chapter Committee will next meet on Friday, 4 December 2020. If you have any feedback or comments for the Committee, please feel free to contact us through our secretariat.

Professor Nicholas Lintzeris 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Looking for PPE: COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register

Are you looking to source PPE? The following resource may be able to assist you in meeting your requirements.

The COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register has been developed by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, in collaboration with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. It has been established to facilitate capability and demand matching for PPE between Australian businesses and customers in response to the pandemic.

When using the register, members are advised to note the following:

  • Buyers need to do due diligence in establishing the quality of the supply.
  • Find out minimum order for some of the suppliers, as this is not clearly stated in the register.

Go to register

For further information for sourcing PPE in Australia, please visit the RACP COVID-19 webpage > Advice and news > Personal Protective Equipment.

MBS telehealth extended

The Government has today announced a six-month extension of the MBS telehealth items introduced to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. Items used by specialists will continue unchanged.

The RACP recently delivered a survey of its members to the Federal Government that outlined the benefits to patients that have been delivered from telehealth as identified by its members. This was used to advocate for telehealth extension and we are pleased that our constructive discussions with Government have resulted in this outcome.

Changes to Aotearoa New Zealand Advanced Training deadlines

With the recent change to clinical year dates in Aotearoa New Zealand, we have adjusted the 2020 submission dates for Advanced Training paperwork.

If you are finishing/starting rotations in December 2020, your applications and PREP, Supervisor and Trainee Reports are now due Saturday, 31 October 2020.

If you are finishing/starting rotations in February 2021, your applications and PREP, Supervisor and Trainee Reports are now due Saturday, 12 December 2020.

If your current rotations have been extended to 1 February you’ll need to advise us by Saturday, 31 October 2020 by either:

  • completing a Rotation Amendment Form (available on the website under your specialty page)
  • sending us an updated front application page from your current rotation with an amended end date. This must be signed by both you and your Supervisors.

If you are concerned about the changes and how they apply to you please email us.

Have your say on an important part of the new programs for Advanced Training

Have your say and review the proposed common learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) programs and provide your feedback by completing the feedback form before 9am (AEDT), Monday, 12 October 2020.

The LTA has been developed to establish a baseline across all Advanced Training programs.

Your expertise and feedback are vital to help ensure the common LTA programs for Advanced Training are robust and appropriate.

More information about the Advanced Training Curricula Renewal Project is available on the RACP website.

Important information about CPD in 2020

The Medical Board of Australia has stated that AHPRA will not take action if you cannot meet the CPD registration standard when you renew your medical registration in 2020.

The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) announced that all general and vocationally-registered doctors are exempt from recertification program requirements until Sunday, 28 February 2021. Doctors returning to practice from 26 March 2020 are not required to enrol in the Inpractice or College program until Sunday, 28 February 2021.

Additionally, the MCNZ confirmed that doctors will not be audited for compliance with recertification programs between March 2020 and February 2021.

These relaxed requirements were announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and apply to the CPD you are expected to undertake in 2020 and to your renewal declaration in the year that covers 2020 CPD.

In line with this regulatory advice, we will not be monitoring or auditing your 2020 CPD record, however it will remain open if you wish to record your CPD activities undertaken throughout 2020.

We know many of you will complete a multitude of CPD activities this year, whether upskilling in the use of telehealth for virtual consultations, reviewing online mental health resources, or vaccine development for those in immunology and infectious diseases research. The innovation we are currently seeing from our medical profession is perhaps the ultimate CPD.

In line with regulatory advice the College will resume monitoring and auditing CPD records in 2021.

If you have any queries relating to your CPD requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Help develop the RACP's Drug Policy

The College will soon commence work on the development of its drug policy. This will set out the College’s position on effective drugs policy including preventative measures, evidence-based treatment services and regulatory options to reduce harm from substance use disorders, and the use of drugs more broadly.

This work will be led by a joint AChAM/Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) Drug Policy Working Group. The College is currently seeking expressions of interest from members.

Find out more and apply 

RACP Online Congress Series

The 2020 Online Congress Series continues throughout the rest of the year and is available on the Online Congress Series platform for you to access at any time. Register now to attend the upcoming live webinars.

The Gender Equity in Medicine panel discussion

Date: Thursday, 24 September 2020
Time: 12pm to 1pm (AEST) / 2pm to 3pm (NZST)
Chair: Professor Christine Bennett AO, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of Campus, Sydney, The University of Notre Dame Australia

Register now

The AFPHM John Snow Scholarship Finals

Date: Thursday, 24 September 2020
Time: 5.30pm to 7pm (AEST) / 7.30pm to 9pm (NZST)
Chair: Professor Donna Mak, Head of Population and Preventive Health, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Perth, Western Australia

Register now

Heart disease management update across the life continuum

Date: Tuesday, 6 October 2020
Time: 6pm to 7pm (AEDT) / 8pm to 9pm (NZDT)
Chair: Dr Yong Shen Wee, Cardiologist at Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane

Register now

Online Congress Fringe Experience

We recognise how important it is to take time out for your health and wellbeing. Many healthcare professionals do extraordinary things outside of medicine and we are showcasing them again this year in the Online Congress Fringe Experience.

We hope you enjoy the latest meditation by Dr Susannah Ward and violin performance by Dr Hecham Harb.

Te Hui ā-Ataata mō te Waiora o ngā Tauira Mahi
Trainees' Wellbeing Webinar: What's in your toolbox?

To equip you with strategies for finding the joy in medicine, you're invited to the Trainees' Wellbeing Webinar. This free online event will be held on Thursday, 15 October from 6pm to 9pm (NZDT) or 4pm to 7pm (AEDT). 

The webinar will bring together trainees from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia to share inspirational ideas and practical strategies to help you at work. With an industry-leading keynote speaker, thought-provoking panel discussions, interactive breakout discussions and elements of Tikanga woven throughout the webinar, you won’t want to miss this event.

Register now

Indigenous Health Scholarships

The RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program is an opportunity for those who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori or Pacific Islander to receive support throughout their Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Several scholarships are available for 2021 to support Basic, Advanced or Chapter training:

  • College Indigenous Australian and Māori Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • Aotearoa Māori Health Scholarship
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Pacific Islander Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health.

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.

Recipients of these scholarship receive the following support:

  • RACP training fees for the duration of the selected training program
  • examination fees
  • annual attendance at either RACP Congress, relevant Scientific Meeting or trainee days
  • AUD$2,500 cash assistance at the beginning of the Scholarship
  • other support as advised in the letter of offer.

Applications are open from Thursday, 1 October to Monday, 30 November 2020.

Further details on these scholarships are be available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Participate in the ethics online learning course

Ethics lies at the very heart of what it is to be a physician and is as relevant now as it was when first discussed 2,500 years ago. The ethics online learning resource focuses on the sorts of ethical issues that are a constant feature of health care, and it also addresses some of the ideas that underpin ethics, such as the relationship between ethics and the law and the difference between ethics and rights. 

The aims of this course are to:

  • encourage discussion and broaden thinking about the main ethical issues facing physicians
  • encourage reflection on appropriate courses of action in situations that may be ethically challenging
  • challenge participants’ understanding of, and attitudes towards, ethics
  • model ethical practice
  • help participants reflect on their own and their profession’s ethical commitments. 

RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

International Medicine in Addiction Conference 2021 – IMiA21 Virtual


This year’s theme ‘Connecting the Disconnected’ acknowledges that substance use can form part of a complex set of issues including disconnection and marginalisation. This complexity, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, calls upon medical professionals to connect with each other, to connect with their patients and to connect those patients with essential services and treatments.

By moving to a virtual platform, the Organising Committee has ensured that it will be able to deliver a stellar scientific program, accessible by experts across the world, with keynote speakers to be announced very soon.

Register now

IMiA21 Abstract submissions

For the first time IMiA21 is accepting case study abstract submissions. Delegates have an opportunity to submit a case study and have it discussed by a panel of industry experts.

The Organising Committee is pleased to announce the launch of the poster idol competition to celebrate and showcase our extremely talented registrars. Selected finalists will have the opportunity to give a short presentation of their poster during the conference, after which delegates will vote for the best poster presentation.

Read more on abstract submissions

Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to your participation at IMiA21 Virtual.

Ensure you are up to date with the latest evidence from Evolve on addiction medicine

The RACP, in partnership with the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, has launched the latest Evolve Top-5 recommendations on low-value practices. 

Practitioners of all disciplines, not just addiction medicine specialists, will come across patients who experience substance addiction and may have to play a substantial role in their management.

The newest Evolve Top-5 recommendations asks clinicians to:

  • be aware of the potentially detrimental consequences of deprescribing opioids to people with chronic pain who are opioid dependent (even as they are also aware of the harms of overprescribing opioids for chronic pain)
  • follow best-practice approaches to elective withdrawal and pharmacological care for substance use disorder by ensuring that support plans and services are available to affected patients
  • be cognisant of the fact that patients and their carers are often in such distress that they might advocate for treatments that are not evidence-based. In such cases, practitioners might refer to off-label use guidelines, seek a second opinion, and provide the patent/carer with clear information on such treatment options
  • embrace a universal precautions approach for any medication with a potential for misuse, so that risk assessment, monitoring, clear communication and harm minimisation are all standard components in treating patients who use such medication. 

For more information about the latest Evolve recommendations visit the Evolve website.

Get involved with Evolve

If you want to be more involved in shaping Evolve, consider joining the Evolve Policy Reference Group. The RACP regularly consults, collaborates and partners with Fellows and trainees in the Evolve Policy Reference Group. The group plays an important role in leading and shaping Evolve to make it more relevant and fit-for-purpose. Email to find out more.

Call for member feedback: College submission to IHPA Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2021-22

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) has released its Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2021-22 and is inviting submissions. The College is intending to produce a submission.

To help us develop a submission we are seeking the views of public hospital physicians. If you are interested in contributing, please download the full consultation paper and send your responses to any of the consultation questions to by close of business Friday, 25 September 2020.

The following are questions that we are particularly interested in seeking feedback from our members on.

Impact of COVID-19

  • What changes have occurred to service delivery, activity levels and models of care in public hospitals as a result of COVID-19?
  • How will these changes affect the costs of these services in the short and long term?

Alternate funding models

IHPA is currently assessing the Victorian HealthLinks program, which uses a capitation model, for inclusion on the General List of In-Scope Public Hospital Services. This program aims to provide an alternative funding model to Activity Based Funding (ABF) and promotes innovative ways of funding care pathways such as chronic care.

IHPA has also conducted some initial analysis of activity data associated with Adjacent Diagnoses Related Groups (ADRGs) to assign ADRGs to suitable funding models (e.g. ABF, bundled payments or capitation payments).

  • What comments do you have regarding the innovative funding models being considered by IHPA
  • What factors should IHPA consider in its analysis to determine which patient cohorts or ADRGs are amenable to certain funding models?

Palliative and end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian palliative care clinicians are facing the likelihood of significant challenges to the delivery, availability and quality of palliative care for existing patients, new patients with diseases other than COVID-19, and those who might die from COVID-19.

A report written for the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group, of which the RACP is a member, has been published by Palliative Care Australia to guide a greater understanding of the challenge of the pandemic for the delivery of palliative care.

The report describes the role of palliative care in supporting various patient journeys during COVID-19, including the importance of Advance Care Planning, the ethical considerations that may arise if resource allocation or rationing become necessary, the principles that govern the distribution of finite resources, and the practical realities of how such principles are implemented.

The report says Australia has not yet comprehensively addressed these issues and invites Australian governments to take the lead in working with clinicians and communities to create the much-needed guidelines for difficult decision-making during a disaster or pandemic.

In a related development, the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses has issued a Position Statement intended to guide critical care nurses in facilitating next-of-kin presence for patients dying from COVID-19 in the intensive care unit (ICU). The statement endorses practices aimed at facilitating family visitation in critical care where resources such as Personal Protective Equipment and staffing permit it.

IMJ September 2020 issue available online

The September 2020 issue of the IMJ (Volume 50, Issue 9) is now live on the RACP website and IMJ Wiley page.

Key highlights from the issue are:

  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • intracranial haemorrhage in aged care facility residents
  • direct-acting antivirals to treat hepatitis C
  • efficacy of methotrexate in polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Bortezomib use and outcomes in treating multiple myeloma
  • Botulinum toxin A in paediatric rehabilitation

The Editor's Choice is a OA 'Bortezomib use and outcomes for the treatment of multiple myeloma' by Crystal Loke, Peter Mollee, Ian McPherson,  Euan Walpole, Mimi Yue, Howard Mutsando, Philip Wong, Helen Weston,  Ross Tomlinson and Samantha Hollingworth.

Read IMJ

Medical Training Survey

The 2020 Medical Training Survey will be closing soon. This survey is run by the Medical Board of Australia to gather feedback on your experience of medical training this year.

Information about the Medical Training Survey is available on the Medical Training Survey website. The survey link was sent by email from the Medical Board of Australia.

Free webinar – physician wellness in the era of COVID-19

Wednesday, 30 September 2020, 8am (AEST), online

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is pleased to invite all medical professionals to this free webinar presented by Dr Michael Myers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made, and continues to make, a seismic shift in the wellbeing of physicians worldwide. In this webinar, Dr Myers will discuss the myriad of ways in which physicians have been impacted.


COVID-19 Australian Frontline Healthcare Worker Study Information

Future proofing the frontline: Investigating psychosocial and mental health needs of frontline health workers during COVID-19 and beyond

The research team, which represents multiple universities and healthcare organisations, and importantly includes frontline health care workers, is undertaking a research survey to investigate the extent of mental health, psychosocial and workplace issues experienced by frontline health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As frontline health staff work in stressful environments under usual working conditions, it is crucial that they understand the additional burdens that crises such as pandemics generate and how best support programs can respond to these events.

From this study, they hope to understand the strategies and mental health services used and desired by frontline health workers in times of crisis. They will use this information to make recommendations to address these needs during future crisis events. This survey is open to all healthcare workers in Australia and explores the important social, occupational and mental health effects experienced by frontline health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Data collected will remain anonymous, unidentifiable and will only be accessed by the investigators of this study. The study has received ethics approval from the Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC 2020.241).

Access survey

The research team is aware that asking health workers to reflect on the changes that have occurred during the pandemic may cause some distress, and they encourage health workers to seek support if this is the case.

The RACP Support Program is a fully confidential and independent help line available 24 hours, seven days – free for Fellows and trainees. The research team also recommends the telephone support lines, web-based resources and apps offered by the following organisations:


Please feel free to contact the research team if you would like further information or would like to discuss the project. The team thanks you very much for your support.

Associate Professor Jane Munro, MBBS FRACP MPH MHSM
Head of Rheumatology
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Professor Karen Willis
Co-lead Investigator
Allied Health Research Consultant
The Royal Melbourne Hospital
La Trobe University

Associate Professor Natasha Smallwood
Co-lead Investigator
Consultant Respiratory Physician
The Royal Melbourne Hospital
University of Melbourne

Expressions of Interest

Check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.

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.

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

Career opportunities 

Please see the College website to view all medical positions vacant.

Your Member Advantage insurance offers

As a valued member you can access insurance from Vero.

Vero has two levels of home and contents insurance cover to protect your home, contents and valuables. Compare the options below and choose the best cover for you.

Secure Home Extra Insurance cover for your home and contents in the case of insured events such as storms, fire, flood, theft, burglary, and vandalism. You can upgrade to Secure Home Elite Insurance to also include accidental damage cover.

Visit your Member Advantage benefits website for more information.

This may contain general advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Conditions and Exclusions apply. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available for this product and can be requested when you call for a quote or can be downloaded from the Vero website: You should consider the PDS before deciding whether to buy any of these products. The insurer is AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance.

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