AMD eBulletin 20 August 2021
Greetings to all.
This year’s specialty society webinar program is underway. The program commenced at the end of June and ten sessions have already been held. The webinar program started in 2016 and has been a great opportunity for specialty society members, as well as RACP members, to receive valuable updates on a variety of interesting topics. Since the program started, there has been a total of 20 specialty societies involved, with more than 100 webinar recordings. All of the webinars for this year, and previous years, can be found on the College website.
Our fourth AMD Executive Committee meeting in 2021 was held at the end of July. The Committee focused on further developing AMD’s involvement in the field of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (AYAM), as well as continuing discussions around supporting the physician leadership workshop and finalising the agenda for the AMD Council 02-2021 meeting.
I am looking forward to meeting with AMD Council members next month. We have a full agenda for our four-hour meeting. The agenda includes discussions around AYAM, policy and advocacy, the constitutional reform and workforce. We will also receive valuable updates on other College activities like the Gender Equity in Medicine Working Group, growing the Indigenous Physician Workforce and reports from the specialty societies.
Also, next month I will be meeting with the Addiction Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Sexual Health Medicine Chapter Presidents to continue discussions around our respective work plans and priorities. These meetings allow us to identify shared priorities and further the work in a collaborative way. This is something I am very passionate about and will continue to focus on during my presidency.
If you would like to discuss any of the above, I encourage you to reach out to me via the AMD secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division President
I am pleased to advise that the new AChSHM Indigenous Scholarship will offer medical students, junior medical officers, registrars and physician trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori, the opportunity to attend the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday, 19 March 2022.
The prize provides educational and networking opportunities to connect and meet influential healthcare professionals, exposure to career pathways in sexual health medicine, and supports an understanding of the health needs of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori people. The prize is currently open for applications and will close on Tuesday, 5 October 2021.
The AChSHM is also accepting nominations for the Award for Best Postgraduate Thesis in Sexual Health Medicine. The award closes on Tuesday, 31 August 2021. The Penelope Lowe Prize opens on Wednesday, 1 September 2021 and closes on Tuesday, 30 November 2021. I encourage you to consider nominating colleagues for these.
The AChSHM committee is currently seeking an Aotearoa New Zealand representative. If you are interested, please complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) application form on the RACP website and send to the Chapter secretariat by Monday, 30 August 2021.
The Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Committee (AYAMC) is also seeking an AChSHM Fellow to give a dedicated sexual health perspective to the work of the Committee. More information regarding the Committee can be found in the link above, while information relating specifically to the EOI may be found on the RACP website.
Registrations for the 2021 AChSHM Fellows update meeting are now open. The meeting will provide updates on recent Chapter work and all RACP Fellows and trainees are invited. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, 7 September 2021 from 1pm (AEST) at the 2021 ASHM Virtual Conference. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The next AChSHM Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, 1 September 2021. If there are any issues you would like to raise with the Committee, or if you have any feedback for us, please feel free to contact us through our secretariat at email@example.com.
Professor Kit Fairley
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine
The AChPM Committee met on 13 August 2021 and noted the progress of the Spirituality Training Working Group that is currently developing the AChPM spirituality workshop. With COVID-19 restrictions and border closures still affecting face-to-face meetings, the working group is exploring other options for the delivery of this invaluable workshop.
Earlier this month the RACP made a submission to the Queensland Parliament Health and Environment Committee’s Inquiry (the Inquiry) into the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021. Although the College does not have a single position on VAD, a response was provided to ensure appropriate safeguards and processes if VAD legislation should become operational.
I am pleased to advise that registrations for the 2021 AChPM Fellows update meeting are now open. The meeting will provide updates on recent Chapter work and all RACP Fellows and trainees are invited. The meeting will be held on Friday, 12 November from 1pm to 1.30pm (AEDT) at the 2021 ANZSPM Conference.
The AChPM Committee will next meet on Friday, 15 October 2021 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, questions, or comments for the Committee, please get in touch via our secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Michelle Gold
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
The AChAM Committee met on 20 July 2021 and discussed updates to its current work plan, including the implementation of appropriate cultural protocols at committee meetings, behavioural addiction and education pathways for addiction medicine.
The work of the Drug Policy Working Group (DPWG) is underway. Its key deliverable is to develop a position statement that will be used by the College to undertake advocacy to key stakeholders, particularly policy makers, to influence Government policy. Further updates will be provided as the work develops.
In late July, Professor John Saunders and I held an Evolve Webinar Series titled ‘Addiction medicine: First, do no harm’. In the webinar, we discussed inappropriate forms of treatment and forms of treatment that are unsupported by evidence in the context of addiction medicine and beyond. We examined the ways the new Evolve recommendations on addiction medicine are relevant and important for all physicians to understand. The recording is available on the Evolve website. I also encourage you to refresh your knowledge of the Evolve list for addiction medicine.
We continue our advocacy to reduce alcohol-related harm by supporting community efforts to stop the Holy Trinity Anglican Church’s plans to open a 300-seat licensed venue in the vicinity of St Kilda Primary School in Melbourne, Victoria. We are also exploring expanding our campaign for minimum unit pricing by collaborating with other public health bodies across Australia. Watch this space.
I am pleased to advise that registrations for the registrations for the 2021 AChAM Fellows update meeting are now open. The meeting will provide updates on recent Chapter work and all RACP Fellows and trainees are invited. The meeting will be held on Friday, 9 November 2021 from 12.25pm to 1.25pm (AEST) at the APSAD Conference.
The AChAM Committee will next meet on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, questions, or comments for the Committee, please get in touch via our secretariat at email@example.com.
Professor Nick Lintzeris
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
Your College, your voice. We’re listening
There’s still time to share your thoughts about the College via our Member Satisfaction Survey (MSS).
Please complete the survey and have your say so we can understand your overall satisfaction with the College and identify areas for improvement. The survey closing date has been extended by two weeks and will now close on Monday, 30 August 2021. The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes. This is your chance to tell us how we’re doing and have your say.
The survey is being conducted by EY Sweeney, an independent contractor. They will provide aggregated results back to us and any individual comments are not identified as coming from a specific member – your survey responses are anonymous.
How you can access the survey
On Tuesday, 27 July, you should have received an email containing the survey link from firstname.lastname@example.org. You should have also received a reminder email from them on Friday, 13 August with a link to complete the survey. If you didn’t receive these emails, contact us. Further information about the survey is available on the RACP website.
Find out more
To support you in your important role of providing clear and consistent advice to patients on health conditions where an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine is appropriate, we have provided the grounds for exemption below.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) advises persons aged 60 and over are eligible for the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine if they have one of the following conditions:
- past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)
- past history of Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
- past history of idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal, splenic) vein thrombosis
- antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombosis and
- contraindications to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. This means:
- anaphylaxis to a previous dose or to an ingredient of the vaccine
- thrombosis with thrombocytopenia occurring after the first dose of AstraZeneca or
- other serious adverse event attributed to the first dose of AstraZeneca.
Persons aged 60 years and older must provide a letter from their General Practitioner or Specialist doctor stating that they have a history of the above conditions to receive an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
A joint statement is available, ATAGI and the Thrombosis and Haemostasis society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ) on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca which advises that the following groups of people can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as their risk of TTS is not likely to be increased:
- People with a past history of venous thromboembolism in typical sites, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.
- People with a predisposition to form blood clots, such as those with Factor V Leiden, or other non-immune thrombophilic disorders.
- People with a family history of clots or clotting conditions.
- People currently receiving anticoagulant medications.
- People with a history of ischaemic heart disease or cerebrovascular accident.
- People with a current or past history of thrombocytopenia.
Please check the Department of Health advice in your jurisdiction for any potential additional eligibilities for the Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine for over 60s, as we are aware that some jurisdictions have additional details, for example Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory, and South Australia. We are aware that there are plans to align all jurisdiction advice and remove variations, however we do not have confirmation of the timeframe for this, so we encourage you to regularly check your local jurisdiction advice in addition to the Commonwealth advice for potential amendments. We will aim to share further advice when information comes to hand.
For some people, COVID-19 can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after infection, which is referred to as post-COVID-19 syndrome or ‘long COVID’. The RACP will be convening a set of webinars to inform members across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, on understanding the impact of long COVID and how to manage both the short- and long-term practicalities in daily life.
Understanding and managing long COVID
Thursday, 2 September 2021, 5pm to 6.30pm (AEST) / 7pm to 8.30pm (NZST)
This webinar will help participants understand the impact of long COVID and how to manage matters in the early phase. Attendees will have a better understanding of how to investigate and diagnose long COVID, and how to manage patients in the sub-acute phase of their disease.
Living and working with long COVID
Thursday, 9 September 2021, 5pm to 6.30pm (AEST) / 7pm to 8.30pm (NZST)
This webinar will allow participants to further understand the pathophysiology of long COVID, and how to manage the longer term practicalities of living and working with the consequences of this disease.
The Medical Board of Australia’s Medical Training Survey (MTS) will be running for another month. Eligible participants are all doctors in training, including RACP trainees in Australia.
A survey link is provided after you renew your registration. If you miss it, you’ll find it in your Ahpra confirmation of registration email. We encourage you to complete this important survey and have your say on medical training in Australia.
About the Medical Training Survey
The MTS is a national survey of all doctors in training in Australia. Results provide a snapshot of the quality and experience of medical training in Australia. The survey is independently administered by research company EY Sweeney. The MTS is anonymous and your answers will be handled in line with the privacy policies of the Medical Board of Australia, Ahpra and EY Sweeney. Only de-identified survey data will be provided to Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia.
Further details can be found by visiting the MTS website. If you have questions regarding the MTS, please email MTS@ahpra.gov.au.
The results of the 2020 Physician Training Survey are now available to RACP members through an interactive reporting dashboard. You can access the dashboard through your MyRACP login.
View the Physician Training Survey 2020 Summary Report for an overview of the key findings for all physician trainees and educators and how they compare to those from 2018.
The survey results indicate that most trainee and educator respondents were satisfied with their overall training experience in 2020 and would recommend their workplace training setting to others. However, it is evident that last year, service provision took priority over education compared to previous years and educational opportunities were reduced. Ongoing issues regarding workload, wellbeing and workplace culture were highlighted once again, with increased rates of burnout, bullying, harassment and discrimination. While some of the concerning findings may be temporary impacts of COVID-19, the results highlight ongoing systemic issues that need to be addressed.
Through the Physician Training Survey, the RACP:
- supports individuals by providing confidential support to respondents who raised wellbeing concerns through the RACP support program
- drives improvements in training settings by providing feedback and identifying settings with results that indicate potential concerns and asking the training setting’s executives to respond to the feedback
- informs systemic change by using results in the development of strategic approaches to improve physician training and the culture of medicine.
We thank all trainees and educators who took part in this important activity.
About the Physician Training Survey
Eligible RACP trainees and their educators were asked to reflect on their training experiences during Term 3 in Australia and Quarter 4 in Aotearoa New Zealand. 21 percent (n=1675) of trainees and 17 percent (n=907) of educators responded to the survey. The survey explored topics aligned to the Training Provider Standards. We also sought feedback on the impacts of COVID-19 on training.
The survey is independently administered by research company ENGINE, ensuring we receive anonymous survey data only. Data is not reported where there are less than five participant responses.
Further details about the Physician Training Survey are provided on the RACP website.
Applications close Tuesday, 31 August 2021, 5pm (AEST)
Are you a trainee or a first year Fellow who would like to be recognised for your research? This is your last chance to submit your abstract for the 2021 RACP Trainee Research Awards.
This prestigious event is held annually and open to all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters. A winner from Adult Medicine and a winner from Paediatrics & Child Health will be selected from each Australian state/territory and from Aotearoa New Zealand.
The best presenters from each Australian state/territory and from Aotearoa New Zealand are invited to be part of the Research and Innovation stream at RACP Congress 2022, with complimentary registration and travel. Abstracts are also published in the Congress supplement of the Internal Medicine Journal or Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.
For information about application, eligibility, selection criteria and process, the abstract submission guideline, the prize details and a list of past winners please view this webpage. Submit your application by Tuesday, 31 August 2021, 5pm (AEST).
Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal
The Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal is awarded by the RACP once every five years to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The medal was last awarded to Professor Roger Reddel.
This prestigious award is open to both RACP Fellows, as well as individuals outside the College. However, the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of RACP to be considered. Details on the application process and selection criteria is available on the RACP website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.
College Medals and Awards
Recognise your colleagues for their outstanding contributions and achievements in their respective fields:
- The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of RACP and its members.
- The College Medal is aligned to the College motto 'Hominum servire saluti'. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
- International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
- Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
- Trainee of the Year Award recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.
- The Eric Susman Prize is awarded by the College to a Fellow for best contribution to the knowledge of internal medicine.
Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.
New Award: AChSHM Indigenous Scholarship
This new scholarship offers medical students, junior medical officers, registrars and physician trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori, the opportunity to attend the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday, 19 March 2022.
The scholarship provides educational and networking opportunities to connect and meet influential healthcare professionals, exposure to career pathways in sexual health medicine, and supports an understanding of the health needs of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples.
The scholarship includes registration to the annual AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting, as well as associated travel and accommodation up to the total value of AUD$2,000, and one year of mentoring support from a member of the AChSHM Committee.
See the RACP website for further details and to apply.
AChSHM Award for Best Postgraduate Thesis in Sexual Health Medicine
The AChSHM recognises the importance of training its workforce in research. Recognise an AChSHM Fellow or trainee for their outstanding postgraduate work. The recipient will be formally acknowledged at the AChSHM ASM. Self-nominations are accepted.
See the RACP website for more information. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.
Practising rural and remote medicine offers opportunities, career progression and a lifestyle simply not available in Australia’s big cities. You can watch a fascinating new series of short videos In our Own Words, about the critical role our Fellows and trainees fulfil in providing healthcare to small towns, the regions and remote Australia, via the Specialist Training Program (STP).
The STP is a funding initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health. There are around 900 STP-funded training positions across Australia, managed by 13 medical colleges. The RACP currently manages around 380 positions.
With funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health, we’re increasing awareness and understanding of the Program. Our members tell their own stories, what it has meant to them and the communities they serve.
We will be releasing these to you weekly over the coming months. The videos will be available on the RACP website, where we have created a new mini-site information about the program.
A reminder for cardiology and rheumatology RACP Fellows to complete this one-minute online questionnaire, in affiliation with the University of Sydney and Western Local Health District, assessing clinician perspectives on psoriasis.
Your responses will be informative as to standard practices of care, which is important for establishing a collective approach to managing this cohort. We strongly encourage you to participate.
Please complete the online survey now:
Please disregard this reminder if you have already completed the survey.
Dr Belinda Lai, Dr Fiona Foo, Associate Professor Peter Wong, Professor Clara Chow, Professor Pablo F. Peñas and Dr Annika Smith.
On 9 August 2021, we acknowledged International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The theme of the Day was ‘Leaving no one behind: Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract’. In Australia, a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a form of social contract, which provides a structure for Australian organisations to support the national reconciliation movement, formalises efforts to achieving reconciliation and is endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
We are pleased to launch our second Reflect RAP: July 2021 to July 2022, which is a strategic initiative of the RACP Indigenous Strategic Framework Priority 4 focused on fostering a culturally safe and competent College. The development of our RAP has an important role in supporting our Indigenous Strategic Framework’s commitment in Australia to:
- reducing health inequities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander physicians
- creating a culturally safe College for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Our RAP focuses on relationships, respect, opportunities and governance. We encourage all members based in Australia to read and learn more about our latest Reflect RAP and look into how they can contribute to RAPs in their own workplaces.
Read Reflect RAP
This new online course has been designed to help physicians and trainees better understand the RACP’s Medical Specialist Access Framework and take steps to apply its principles in their daily practice, with the aim of addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s inequitable access to specialist healthcare by connecting stakeholders involved in delivering specialist medical care. The course focuses on steps that individual practitioners can take, highlighting successful case studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accessing specialist care.
Interested Fellows and trainees are invited to submit expressions of interest to join a Working Group to develop a new Quality and Safety Spaced Learning course. The Quality and Safety Spaced Learning course will be delivered via Qstream and will comprise of six case study questions. Participants will receive case studies directly to their inbox and can complete them at a time that suits them over a four-week period. The Working Group will assist in the development and drafting of case study questions.
Find out more and apply by Friday, 27 August 2021
The RACP President, the Presidents of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and the Paediatrics & Child Health Division and the Chairs of all Regional Committees have asked the Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Greg Hunt, for the release of the Preventive National Obesity Strategy for an urgent final review and action.
The letter to Minister Hunt stresses the College's concern that the much-delayed strategy is at risk of becoming obsolete and ineffective if not acted on in a timely manner. The letter also notes that work on the Obesity Strategy's treatment aspects should proceed as the second phase of this critical undertaking.
Similar letters have been issued to all Australian health ministers and Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler. The letter is part of the College's ongoing efforts to tackle the challenge of obesity in a timely and resolute manner.
Read letter to Minister Hunt
Given the cultural sensitivities surrounding death, it is important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural beliefs and practices are acknowledged and accommodated during the palliative and end-of-life care journey. The Gwandalan National Palliative Care Project aims to improve the quality of palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. New free education for health professionals who provide palliative and end-of-life care to Indigenous Australians is now available.
The training does not address clinical palliative care content, but rather supports the provision of culturally safe and responsive palliative care by upskilling frontline staff to contextualise care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and deliver services in a way which supports a good ‘finishing up’. Visit Gwandalan to register for the training.
End of Life Law for Clinicians (ELLC) has launched 10 new and updated online training modules for medical practitioners, nurses, allied and other health professionals and medical students. The training can be accessed for free at the ELLC online training portal. Some of the topics covered include:
- the role of law in end-of-life care
- capacity and consent to medical treatment
- withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment
- Advance Care Planning and Advance Care Directives
- substitute decision-making for medical treatment
- legal protection for administering pain and symptom relief
- children and end-of-life decision-making
- futile or non-beneficial treatment
- emergency treatment for adults
- managing conflict.
The modules include clinical case studies, vignettes of clinicians sharing their end-of-life experiences, legal cases and interactive learning. For further information please visit the ELLC online training portal or email email@example.com.
RACP members are invited to take part in a brief anonymised online survey to assess clinicians’ attitudes to recent changes to fungal name changes.
Dr Juliet Elvy
Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs
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.
Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society
Monday, 30 August 2021, 6pm (AEST) / 8pm (NZST) / 5.30pm (ACST) / 4pm (AWST), online
Speaker: Dr Jasna Aleksova
Topic: Chronic kidney disease related metabolic bone disease
Join Dr Jasna Aleksova, an endocrinologist at Monash Health and Postgraduate Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, discussing bone health in chronic kidney disease. Dr Aleksova has completed a PhD examining metabolic bone disease risk factors and outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease. The webinar is part of the Specialty Society Webinar Service pilot that is being undertaken by the RACP in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society.
Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine
Wednesday, 15 September 2021, 6pm (AEST) / 8pm (NZST) / 5.30pm (ACST) / 4pm (AWST), online
Speaker: Dr Umbreen Qazi
Topic: Palliative care in heart and lung transplantation
Heart and lung transplantation are complex and comprehensive treatments that are increasingly offered to carefully selected patients living with and dying from end-stage heart and lung failure worldwide. Successful transplantation improves both quantity and quality of life. Patients who are candidates of lung and heart transplantation experience a significant symptom burden and decline in quality of life until a donor's lung and heart are available. Although there is a considerable improvement in post-transplant patients' symptoms, there is also the risk of developing organ rejection. There is a growing need for palliative care services for lung and heart transplant candidates and recipients, including family and carers.
ANZSBT Webinar Series 2021 – Guideline update: Laboratory and clinical management of fetomaternal haemorrhage
The Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) is excited to announce the next ANZSBT webinar on ' Guideline update: Laboratory and clinical management of fetomaternal haemorrhage’. The webinar is being held on Friday, 27 August 2021, 1pm to 2pm (AEST) and is kindly sponsored by the National Blood Authority.
Hear Ms Nicole Zacher (Chair, ANZSBT Transfusion Science Standing Committee) and Dr Giselle Kidson-Gerber (Haematologist, Prince of Wales Hospital and HOW Collaborative) discuss the soon to be released ANZSBT Guidelines for Laboratory Estimation of Fetomaternal Haemorrhage. They will highlight key differences between the old and new guidelines and discuss some of the controversies and challenges faced as they set about updating the guideline.
The ANZSBT is honoured to have Professor Helen Liley (Neonatologist, Mater Mother’s Hospital) present an update on the recently released Guideline for the Prophylactic Use of RhD Immunoglobulin in Pregnancy Care on behalf of the National Blood Authority.
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.