AMD eBulletin 20 September 2019

President's Post

Report on AMD President's visit to China, Myanmar and Indonesia

Over two weeks last month, in my capacity as AMD President I undertook a visit to China, Myanmar and Indonesia. The primary purpose of my visit was to explore opportunities for expanding the RACP’s International Strategy in the areas of two-way partnerships, educational placements, exchanges, research and other collaborations. The meetings involved clinicians, researchers and Government officials, and covered the three areas in which the RACP is most active: namely, education, research and policy development.

In all three countries I was received with warmth and hospitality and considerable interest was expressed in expanding relationships with Australia and New Zealand. The meetings in China focused on postgraduate medical training and the development of an aged care capacity for the country. It is evident that there is considerable uncertainty at the present time in relation to the trade war with the USA. A significant amount of postgraduate education occurs in the USA and if a major decision is taken to redirect the location of training there will be a need for new locations, possibly creating many possibilities for Australian and New Zealand trainees to visit China to broaden their experience. There was also discussion about the problems faced in the field of aged care by China, which is keen to explore ways of working with the RACP and its experts to help it develop policies, training programs and institutional structures to address the challenges it presently faces.

In Myanmar, I was struck by the sense of optimism and determination of the local physicians, even in the face of the great challenges faced by the country. Myanmar has major needs in postgraduate medicine education, where much of the training has long been undertaken through the Royal College of Physicians, UK, and where there are active ongoing associations with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian College for Emergency Medicine. There was much interest in establishing formal partnerships to deliver postgraduate training, with the understanding that exchanges in both directions will be subject to accreditation standards and other formal requirements.

At Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, the focus was on developing partnerships in relation to postgraduate education, development of research capacity, development of research ethics capacity, supporting two-way exchanges, and specific ways in which the RACP might help facilitate partnerships in areas of common interest across the three countries. In Indonesia, the development of research capacity is a particular need, and this was seen as a key area in which individuals linked to the RACP could assist. There is keen interest in providing a facilitated program to train researchers and develop collaborations and partnerships. There is also enthusiasm for creating opportunities for Australian and New Zealand trainees to come to Indonesia to undertake periods of advanced training in areas of common interest, covering both adult medicine and paediatrics.

In summary, my visit has shown that: (1) there are many unmet needs in relation to international engagement in aspects of the health field that are of direct relevance to the RACP; (2) multiple opportunities exist for the College to extend and deepen its engagements with countries in our immediate region and beyond; (3) many benefits are available for College members and our potential partners, in relation to education, research and policy; (4) there are significant opportunities for the College to extend its services to its members, while contributing constructively to the health systems in developing countries.

Many Colleges around the world, in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, have already taken vigorous and decisive steps to extend their engagement with medical communities in other countries. The RACP now has the opportunity to draw on its admirable international strategy focused on the Asia Pacific to create a somewhat expanded program that can serve the diverse needs of our members.

To develop these ideas further it will be very helpful to know more about the interests and aspirations of our members and for this we would like to hear from trainees and Fellows about your personal feelings and engagement in this area. If anyone wishes to share personal experiences, suggestions or ideas please feel free to do so.

As always, feedback on the Presidential Posts is welcomed. Please send comments to:

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

AChSHM President’s Post

The AChSHM Committee met via teleconference on 5 September and discussed key policy and advocacy items, including the syphilis epidemic and the recent gender dysphoria discussions.

Good progress is being made on the program for the 2020 AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting which will be held on Saturday, 21 March 2020 in Sydney. Details of how to register for this exciting event will be sent out shortly.

It was great to see you all at the AChSHM Fellows’ Update at the Joint Australasian Sexual Health and HIV&AIDS Conference in Perth. Thank you for your time and I hope you found the session as rewarding as I did. 

Finally, I would like 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 your MyCPD throughout the year to minimise your stress at deadline time. The RACP’s CPD team have developed useful FAQs, but the team are also able to respond to any of your queries directly if you need support or assistance: or 1300 697 227.

The Chapter Committee will next meet face to face on 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 AChPM Committee met via teleconference on 4 September 2019 and topics for discussion included RACP Congress 2020 and ongoing work regarding the planning of the spirituality workshop – we’re hopeful of holding the pilot workshop in early 2020 and will provide more details in due course.

The Committee is also exploring the idea of non-monetary awards to recognise the outstanding contributions our Chapter Fellows and trainees provide to palliative medicine.

It was great to see some of the Chapter at the Fellows’ Update at the Oceanic Palliative Care conference in Perth on 13 September. Thank you for your time, and I hope that you found the session as rewarding as I did.

The Chapter Committee will next meet face-to-face on 8 November 2019. If you have any feedback or comments for the Committee, please do not hesitate to contact us through our secretariat at

Professor Greg Crawford
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChAM President’s Post

The AChAM Committee met via teleconference on 30 August 2019 with a full agenda, including items regarding the development of a Drug Policy and recent advocacy work regarding the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

The Committee remains active in policy and advocacy work on behalf of the Chapter and has also provided submissions on the RACGP’s draft National Drug and Alcohol Education Program guidelines, and the Parliament of New South Wales Joint Select Committee on Sydney’s night-time economy.

On 11 September I attended a meeting of AOD organisations in Canberra to develop a consensus statement in order to present a case to government seeking increased resources for the AOD sector. In addition I, and others, met with a number of politicians to provide our support in expressing our opposition to the government’s plan to drug test welfare recipients. No doubt we will hear more about this in coming weeks.

The AChAM Committee is due to meet face-to-face on 22 November 2019. If you have any feedback, questions or comments for us, please get in touch via our secretariat at

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Meet the College Board

You are invited to join members of your RACP Board at an informal meeting on Thursday, 26 September from 5.30pm to 7.15pm at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. You will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and network with other Fellows and trainees.

Numbers are limited, so register today to avoid disappointment. Please RSVP and advise any dietary or accessibility requirements.

Register now

Contribute to improving global standards of stroke prevention

Reviewers are needed to help with a new guideline for stroke prevention for the International Union of Angiology. The Faculty Advocating for Collaborative and Thoughtful Carotid Artery Treatments (FACTCATS) are a voluntary group of international experts from many clinical specialist and research groups. They promote scientific evidence to inform policy, practice and research regarding prevention of stroke associated with carotid artery disease.

The FACTCATS are seeking enthusiastic multi-disciplinary, multi-specialty health professionals and consumer representatives to help with a new guideline on stroke prevention. All members, trainees and Fellows, are welcome to apply. The guideline is being produced in association with the International Union of Angiology (IUA) and aims to help update the field and overcome procedural biases in existing guidelines.

The role will include:

  • systematic reviews of guidelines and studies
  • advising how to best define and modify arterial disease risk factors for primary and secondary prevention.

The project is being conducted in stages, with each stage expected to last between six to 12 months. The time commitment required will vary and flexibility for reviewers can be accommodated. All correspondence will be sent via email.

How to apply

To apply, email Associate Professor Anne Abbott.

For more information, visit

What’s happening in Basic Training curricula renewal

We’re excited to announce the training settings that will be the first to adopt the new Basic Training program.

We will be working with the Gold Coast University Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital Auckland, The Townsville Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide to start rolling out the new Basic Training programs from 2020.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an expression of interest to become an early adopter of the new program.

We are also seeking expressions of interest for additional training settings to join those listed above as early adopters of the new Basic Training programs from 2021. 

Key changes coming to the Basic Training programs

Watch our video to learn more about RACP's Basic Training curricula renewal.

More information on the new Basic Training programs is available on the Basic Training curricula renewal pages.

RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships

The RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program is an opportunity for Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori or Pacific Islander to receive support throughout their training in Australia and New Zealand. Each scholarship is valued up to $40,000 over three to four years, depending on the training pathway taken. Several scholarships are available for 2020 to support Basic, Advanced or Chapter trainees.

Scholarships available for Basic, Advanced or Chapter trainees include:

  • College Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • New Zealand Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • New Zealand Pacific Islander Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health

Applications are open from Tuesday, 1 October to Saturday, 30 November 2019.

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

Eric Susman Prize

The Eric Susman Prize is awarded annually to a Fellow of the College for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine (adult medicine or paediatrics). Submit your nominations before Monday, 30 September 2019. For further details on these and other prizes, please visit the RACP Foundation webpage.

Chapter Prizes

AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine

Nominate a Fellow who has made an outstanding overall contribution to the discipline of sexual health medicine for the AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine. The successful recipient will be presented with a certificate at the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting in March 2020. Nominations close Monday, 4 November 2019.

AChSHM Award for Best Postgraduate Thesis in Sexual Health Medicine

Apply for or nominate a colleague for the AChSHM Award for Best Postgraduate Thesis in Sexual Health Medicine to recognise their outstanding postgraduate work. This is open to a registered Fellow and trainees of the AChSHM, who have been awarded a doctorate or masters by research thesis within the last five years. The successful recipient will be presented with a certificate at the AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting in March 2020. Nominations close Friday, 1 November 2019.

Refugee and immigrant health

Each year, thousands of people who have experienced persecution or other serious human rights abuses settle in Australia. The Refugee and Immigrant Health Curated Collection is a peer-reviewed resource to help you gain access to the key organisations and websites, webcasts, courses, tools and journals. View the resource today, or check out the whole range of RACP Curated Collections. Resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Access resources today

Input to RACP's ongoing work and advocacy on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Thank you to those Fellows who provided input into the College’s submission on the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into NDIS Planning. The submission is being finalised and will be available on the RACP website soon. If you would like a copy of the submission sent to you directly, please email to request a copy.

Concurrently to this, the Australian Government has also promised to develop an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to support positive participant experiences with the NDIS. The Guarantee will set new standards for the time it takes for key steps in the NDIS process. This means there will be shorter, agreed timeframes for people to receive a decision on whether they will be covered by the NDIS, for them to get an NDIS plan, and to have their plan reviewed. A particular focus will be on children and those participants needing specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology. To help facilitate this, a review of the NDIS Act 2013 has been announced, which will focus on removing legislative impediments and red tape to improve NDIS processes for participants and providers. It is not expected that this review will result in a fundamental reshaping of the NDIS. However, it is an opportunity to achieve better outcomes for patients and their families. Read the discussion paper.

The Policy & Advocacy Unit are currently developing a consultation framework for this review and will send it out to relevant committees soon. If you would like to provide feedback directly to this consultation, please contact Rebecca Randall via

Spotlight on the Integrated Care Subgroup

'Integrated care' is a much-used term in healthcare. The College designated integrated care as a strategic Fellow-led priority, under the umbrella of the Health Reform Reference Group (HRRG). The work described here is a positive example of successful physician teamwork supported by the College’s Policy & Advocacy team. The HRRG comprises of many experienced members who consider a wide range of health reform issues. To lead this stream of work it formed an agile Integrated Care Subgroup.

The Subgroup is co-led by Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Dr Tony Mylius, and members include Mrs Debra Letica, Dr Mohamed Haroon Kasim, Dr Niroshini Kennedy, Dr Carol McAllum, Professor Christopher Poulos, Associate Professor Anthony Russell, Dr Tai Tak Wan and Dr Gerard Adrianus. Two team positions are allocated to paediatrics, and importantly, a team member is a consumer representative.

Since commencing at the end of 2018, the national group of Fellows has met consistently, and within a few months has produced a ‘model of chronic care management’. The model has been so successfully received that the College is receiving requests from health service delivery sites asking to be a ‘proof of concept site’. If you’d like to see a copy of Complex care, consultant physicians and better patient outcomes: streamlined care in the community please email This has been the subject of high-level consultation with a comprehensive band of stakeholders.

The Subgroup is:

  • calling for health system infrastructure to better support consultant physicians (both private practitioner and hospital employed) to work in the community and in ambulatory care settings
  • advocating more flexible hospital services and the use of interoperable information systems to create a continuum of care for people with chronic conditions.

New Pomegranate podcast: Getting off the opioids

The dramatic headlines about the opioid crisis are all-too familiar by now. Australia and New Zealand have followed the lead of the US, and seen a fourfold increase in opioid use over the last 30 years. Most of this prescribing has been for chronic non-cancer pain, but systematic reviews will tell you that there are no decent trials that would warrant use for this indication.

In this podcast we’ll discuss some of the latest studies that have actually followed pain patients long-term, and provided evidence against the efficacy of chronic opioid use. Addiction medicine specialist Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds (Clinical Director Alcohol and Drug Service, Tasmania) talks about how to identify patients that have developed dependence on or addiction to opioids and how to wean them off this medication. And pain medicine specialist Chris Hayes (Director Hunter Integrated Pain Service) describes an alternative approach to therapy, that involves breaking maladaptive pain associations in the nervous system.

Listen now

Subscribe to Pomegranate podcasts

Be among the first to find out about new podcasts by subscribing to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunes, Spotify or any Android podcasting app.

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

IMJ September 2019 released online

The September 2019 issue of the IMJ (Vol 49 Iss 9) is now live on the RACP website and IMJ Wiley  page. 

Key highlights from the issue include:

  • Mantle cell lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma
  • Management of ‘statin intolerance‘
  • Clinical trial participation: benefits and cost implications for pharmaceuticals
  • IgG4-related disease
  • Chronic knee pain
  • Adolescents and young adults with chronic illness.

The Editor’s Choice for the month is an original article by Guillaume Le Guenno, Romain Guieze, Sylvain Audia, Mehdi Khellaf, Marc Michel, Bernard Bonnotte, Marc Ruivard, Bertrand Godeau on 'Risk factors and management of venous thromboembolism in immune thrombocytopenia'.

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 Leon Flicker and Dr Oliver Menzies – Predictors of dementia and mortality in Indigenous peoples
Monday, 23 September 2019, 6pm (AEST)


Liese Groot-Alberts – Supporting palliative care practice
Tuesday, 24 September 2019, 5pm (AEST)


Dr Ming Loh – Perioperative care of the elderly – the new frontier for Australian geriatricians
Wednesday, 2 October 2019, 6pm (AEST)


Professor Srikanth Velandai – Impact of vascular disease and threshold for dementia
Monday, 7 October 2019, 6pm (AEST)


Dr Helen Keen – CPD credits for peer review using Zoom
Monday, 7 October 2019, 6pm (AEST)


Share your talents at RACP Congress 2020

We’re looking for talented members to lead extra-curricular experiences for delegates at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Do you have a special interest outside of medicine you would like to share? Volunteer to lead a session at the RACP Congress Fringe Experience.

Express your interest

RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019

Physicians and trainees are invited to come together for an update on the latest research in Tasmania. The RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019  will be on Friday, 8 November at the Launceston General Hospital. Held under the theme ‘Physician vulnerability: are you at risk?’ the conference explores online communications and medico-legal risk. With constant changes in these areas, it’s challenging for physicians to remain informed, confident and protected in their practice. 

Register today

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 other events are coming up.

Expressions of Interest (EOI)

Expressions of interests are sought from one Australia-based Fellow for RACP representation on the Conjoint Committee for the Recognition of Training in Peripheral Endovascular Therapy. The Committee is constituted by three parent bodies; RACS, RACP and RANZCR, and will work to formulate training guidelines in Peripheral Endovascular Therapy and to assess the training of persons seeking recognition of their training in this area. If you’re an Australia-based Fellow and interested in applying, visit Contribute to Peripheral Endovascular Therapy Training in Australia webpage.

Career opportunities

Cardiologist, MQ Health

Two part-time opportunities are available for suitably qualified Cardiologists at MQ Health. Applications close Sunday, 6 October 2019.

Find out more

How does a 10 per cent discount on your insurance sound?

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  • New for old replacement for all contents
  • Lock replacement
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  • Enjoy an exclusive 10 per cent discount on home insurance through your benefits, which is automatically applied to the price you are quoted.
  • Plus an additional five per cent discount if you buy combined home and contents cover. 

Get a quote and visit your RACP Member Advantage website for more information.

^Flood cover does not include loss or damage caused by highwater, actions of the sea, tidal waves or water entering your home due to structural defects, alterations, additions, renovations or repairs.
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.
Information correct as at 6 August 2019.

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