AMD eBulletin 23 July 2021

President's Post

Greetings to all.

Since our last eBulletin, the College has been involved in some inspiring advocacy work that has led to the reunification of the Biloela family (Tharnicaa, Kopika, Priya and Nades Murugappan) in Perth. The College, along with nine other peak medical bodies, released an open letter to the Minister of Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, calling for the urgent release of the Biloela family from detention on Christmas Island. A copy of this letter can be viewed on the RACP website. The family had been held for more than 1,000 days and I am proud that our College, along with other important medical bodies has been able to make a positive impact. The family were released from detention and reunited in Perth, while the youngest family member, Tharnicaa, receives medical treatment and their legal appeal is reviewed. The impact of detention continues to be of great concern for many medical professionals, amongst others, who see firsthand the negative impact that this can have. As a College, we should continue to use our combined voice to advocate for further change.

The Australasian battle against COVID-19 heightened again this month with Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory all going into various stages of lockdown, and Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington placed under stage 2 restrictions. For health professionals the fight continues, and I acknowledge many physicians are at the forefront of this battle. I encourage you to look after yourself and reach out for help when needed. If you feel that you would benefit from additional support, I encourage you to contact the RACP support program, which is a free 24/7, fully confidential and independent help line for Fellows and trainees. Further information can be viewed on the RACP website.

The Presidents of the Divisions, Faculties, and Aotearoa New Zealand recently met with the Chairs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee and Māori Health Committee to discuss their respective work plans. There was deep, respectful listening, with each President seeking to better understand the other and to work out how their individual work plans could mutually reinforce each other, and thereby ultimately strengthen the College. I personally found this one of the most productive College meetings I have been associated with and I look forward to continuing to meet with the Presidents and Chairs to further progress our shared goals for our College.

The next AMD Executive Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 28 July 2021. The Committee will focus on further developing AMD’s involvement in the field of adolescent and young adult medicine, the agenda for our leadership workshop, and will discuss the AMD Council 02-2021 meeting, which is scheduled to be held in August.

If you would like to discuss any of the above, I encourage you to reach out to me via the AMD secretariat at

Best wishes
Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division President

AChSHM President’s Post

The AChSHM Committee met on 23 June 2021 and discussed the progression of its 2020-2022 work plan. I am pleased to announce that the Committee approved the development of an Indigenous sexual health scholarship, which will be launched by the end of this year.

The 2021 Chapter prizes have now opened. I encourage you to apply for these prizes or if you know of someone who would be eligible, please send them the link or nominate them.

The Committee continues to look at ways to promote sexual health medicine as a specialty and is in the process of refreshing a careers flyer that will be distributed to Basic Trainees who may be interested in the specialty.

There are also a couple of positions on College bodies that are available to AChSHM members, I encourage members to apply:

  • New Zealand representative on the AChSHM Committee opportunity. If you are interested, please complete the Expressions 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 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 on the RACP website. Information relating specifically to the EOI may also be found on the RACP website, applications close on Saturday, 31 July 2021.

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

Professor Kit Fairley
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine

AChPM President’s Post

The AChPM Committee last met on 4 June 2021. One area of major focus for the Committee is the importance of continuing to support the recruitment of case study and research project markers, as the number of submissions is increasing exponentially.

Thank you to the volunteers who have signed up to join the palliative medicine marking panel. I am pleased to let you know that panel numbers have recently doubled, but we still need more.

Markers can nominate how frequently they wish to receive assessments and periods when they are unable to assist with marking. Fellows can claim Continuing Professional Development credits for marking assessments. For more information or to obtain an expression of interest form, please contact

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 in Melbourne. Please note that there will be limited availability for members to attend in person. If you would like to attend face-to-face, please email the Chapter Secretariat separately by Friday, 5 November 2021 via

The Western Australia (WA) Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 will commence in full on 1 July 2021. Any eligible adult will be able to access voluntary assisted dying from this date. The WA Department of Health has published a comprehensive suite of resources on their website to assist with understanding these obligations.

There is also a website dedicated to supporting medical practitioners to understand their obligations in responding to a First Request for voluntary assisted dying.

I draw your specific attention to the following information sheets and seek your support in dissemination of these to health practitioners and/or healthcare workers via your organisation:

Finally, the new Chapter prize for the Best Trainee Research Project Award is open for applications (closing on Monday, 2 August 2021). The prize is awarded for the best research project submitted for assessment for Advanced Training in palliative medicine each year.

The AChPM Committee will next meet on Friday, 13 August 2021 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, questions, or comments for the Committee, please get in touch via our secretariat at

Dr Michelle Gold
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChAM President’s Post

The AChAM Committee met on 20 July 2021 and discussed the progression of its 2020-2022 work plan, including education pathways for addiction medicine and the Drug Policy Working Group.

AChAM has been strongly advocating for the retention of alcohol harm reduction measures, such as trading hour limits across Australia, and most recently in Newcastle. We are especially concerned about the limited representation of medical experts on the Newcastle Community Group Network that oversees the licensed venue trials likely to lead to further expansion of alcohol trading hours in the city. 

I have written to the Minister for Digital, Minister for Customer Service, Victor Dominello and Network Chair, Mr Mark Latham, to ask that an AChAM representative be included in the work of the Network to provide the much needed clinical and policy expertise of an addiction medicine physician. Following a negative response from Mr Latham, President-elect Professor Adrian Dunlop and I issued a media release condemning the move. Our advocacy attracted media coverage in the regional press, online and on radio. We will continue this important advocacy work to reduce alcohol-related harm in NSW and across Australia.

Professor John Saunders and I recently participated in an Evolve webinar on addiction medicine and discussed some concerns in the field of addiction medicine in regard to inappropriate forms of treatment, and forms of treatment which claim to produce good results that are unsupported by evidence. A recording of the webinar will be made available on the Evolve website.

The recent COVID-19 lockdowns in NSW have highlighted that COVID-19 is likely to continue to disrupt access to, and delivery of services for our patients. As leaders in our sector, I urge all of us to consider how we adapt our services in order to maintain the safety of patients and staff we work with. In this regard, the guidance endorsed by the College last year regarding the impact of COVID-19 upon opioid treatment programs remains relevant, and can be accessed on the RACP website.

Finally, Tuesday, 31 August 2021 marks International Overdose Awareness Day, an annual campaign to end overdose and remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. The campaign was initiated in 2001 by Sally J Finn at The Salvation Army in St Kilda, Melbourne and is now co-ordinated by the Penington Institute. Community members, as well as government and non-government organisations, hold events to raise awareness and commemorate those who have been lost to drug overdose, and I encourage you to get involved. For more information visit the International Overdose Awareness Day website.

The AChAM Committee next meets on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, or comments for the Committee, please reach out via our secretariat at

Professor Nick Lintzeris 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

RACP Employment Opportunity – Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment

The Lead Fellow, Education Learning and Assessment is an integral role within the Education Learning and Assessment team. The successful applicant will provide leadership, advice and support for the College’s education program across the membership.

About the role

Reporting to the Executive General Manager, Education Learning and Assessment, you will play a significant role, providing physician leadership and supporting the College’s education and assessment strategy, including the Education Renewal Program. You will support and advise on changes to examinations and assessment, trainee wellbeing and assist with challenging trainee reviews and related initiatives across both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Help to shape the future direction of the College’s education program by delivering a physician’s perspective and represent our membership base. You will be a trusted adviser to the Senior Leadership Team and the College Education Committee, which is currently progressing a significant program of educational renewal for all 63 College programs.

This high-profile role is ideal if you are looking to expand your career beyond clinical delivery into medical education and impact the future of the College service delivery.

This opportunity is for a 12-month contract with part-time hours of 15 to 22.5 hours per week.

Applications close on Tuesday, 10 August 2021.

More information about this new role is available on the RACP career webpage.

RACP Governor Macquarie Tower Meeting Rooms in Sydney – New name announcement

We are pleased to announce that the Board has recently approved a proposal from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) to use the following names for the three College meeting rooms in our space at Governor Macquarie Tower (GMT), Sydney:




Yura Eóra

People or Aboriginal people



Place or country





To propose the three names, ATSIHC approached the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC), as the traditional custodians of the Gadigal lands on which the building resides, to ensure appropriate cultural protocols and language were used when naming the three GMT rooms. MLALC shared a book, The Sydney Language by Jakelin Troy and suggested the names be sourced from the language outlined in the book. ATSIHC considered this resource and proposed the above names within the themes of people, sun, and earth – representing the Australian Aboriginal flag.

Dependent on COVID-19 restrictions, the MLALC will be invited to a culturally respectful room naming event.

The room names are part of the RACP's work under priority 4 of the Indigenous Strategic Framework to foster a culturally competent college. The RACP will continue to undertake activities that focus on cultural safety for members and staff.

AYAM Committee updates to position statements on confidential healthcare and routine assessment of adolescents and young adults

The Adolescent and Young Adult Committee (AYAMC) has recently completed work on updating two position statements concerning healthcare of adolescents and young adults. I would like to express my appreciation to Dr Bridget Farrant and Professor Rachel Skinner who led this work.

The aim of the Confidential Healthcare for Adolescents and Young Adults policy is to ensure that, where appropriate, confidentiality is assured to adolescents and young adults to enhance their access to healthcare, their engagement with health professionals and their health outcomes.

The College has also released an updated position statement on Routine Adolescent and Young Adult Psychosocial and Health Assessment. There is now greater appreciation that a range of mental health, emotional and behavioural issues affects the health and wellbeing of young people. This position statement is aimed at all primary, secondary and tertiary care physicians and paediatricians who consult with adolescent patients, in particular, those who take on the primary responsibility for the health and wellbeing of the young person (aged 12 to 24).

I encourage you to review the updated position statements.

Associate Professor Simon Denny
Chair, AYAMC

Advanced Training (AT) online registration is now open

Advanced Trainees are required to log on to the AT Online Registration System using their College User ID and password to submit applications for the second half of the training year by Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

If you’re an Advanced Trainee, please make note of the following:

  • If you have already registered/interrupted your training for the second half of 2021, no action is required.
  • If you have already had your training for the second half of 2021 approved, but are now undertaking a different rotation, you can submit a new online registration.
  • Incomplete applications may result in your application being returned to you for editing and delay your approval decision. Training committees are unable to consider applications without all the relevant information, please make sure to submit your rotation once you have completed all the details.
  • If you are completing more than one rotation/position, you will need to create additional rotation(s) within your application. Please do not apply for different rotations/positions under one rotation within your application or it may be returned to you for editing and further delay the process.

Supervisor approval

Trainees are required to nominate supervisors that meet the supervision requirements of the relevant training program. Trainees are responsible for ensuring that all nominated supervisors review and approve each rotation within the application before the closing date.

If you have any questions, please contact Advanced Training.

From the RACP Foundation

2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards – Last chance 

Don’t miss your chance to apply for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards under the following award categories: Research Development Scholarships, Travel Grants and Education Development Grants (2021 funding). Applications close on Monday, 26 July 2021. Please refer to the RACP Foundation webpage for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Be part of the Grants Advisory Committee

The RACP Foundation is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from Fellows to join the Grants Advisory Committee (GAC).The GAC is the College body that coordinates the College program of research grants and training awards, including assessment of applications and determining recipients. Successful candidates must be available to join the GAC meeting on Thursday, 4 to Friday, 5 November 2021 and are expected to review applications for the Foundation’s 2022 research awards current round, with the review period running from 16 July to Monday, 20 September 2021. Further details and a copy of the EOI form and the GAC By-laws are available on the GAC EOI page.

The Foundation is also seeking EOIs from Fellows who are able to assist in the review of applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards. More information and a copy of the EOI form are available on the Reviewer EOI page.

If interested, please submit an EOI form, along with a copy of your CV, to

Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

Nominations for the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for 2022 are now open. This medal is awarded by the RACP 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 in 2017.

This 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

Nominations are now open for the following College and Fellowship Awards. They acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.

We encourage you to nominate for the following medals:

  • 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.

RACP Trainee Research Awards 2021

Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training are encouraged to apply for the RACP Trainee Research Awards.

The RACP Trainee Research Awards provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research on topics related to adult medicine or paediatric medicine at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. The best presenters from each local event are invited to present their work alongside recognised researchers at the 2022 RACP Congress. Each will receive complimentary Congress registration, travel and accommodation to attend Congress and a certificate to acknowledge their achievement.

Award recipients are also invited to have their abstracts published in the Internal Medicine Journal or Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health RACP Congress supplement.

For further details and to apply, please visit the RACP website. Applications close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Chapter awards

New award in palliative medicine

AChPM Best Trainee Research Project Award – Closing soon 

This new award is for the best research project submitted for assessment for Advanced Training in palliative medicine each year. The award includes a cash prize of $1,000 and a certificate formally presented at the ANZSPM Conference. Applications close on Monday, 2 August 2021. See the RACP website for more information.


RACP AChSHM Research Entry Scholarship

Applications are now open for the RACP AChSHM Research Entry Scholarship. This scholarship offers up to $40,000 funding for stipends for an AChSHM member undertaking research in the field of sexual health medicine as part of their Masters, PhD or equivalent research higher degree.

RACP AChSHM Study Grant

The RACP AChSHM Study Grant is also available this year to support further educational training or to develop educational initiatives in sexual health medicine. Applications for Study Grants close on Monday, 26 July 2021. Full details for this and other funding opportunities are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine – Last chance 

Recognise a Fellow for their Outstanding Overall Contribution to the Discipline of Sexual Health Medicine. The recipient will be formally acknowledged at the AChSHM ASM. For further information please see the RACP website. Nominations close on Saturday, 31 July 2021.

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. Please see the RACP website for more information. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

RACP survey now open: Healthcare of patients with intellectual disability

We invite all members to respond to this survey and value your feedback. The survey will take five to ten minutes to complete and will provide us with a clearer picture of how we can better educate, advocate, and innovate in the intellectual disability health sector. In addition, it may assist the current Australian Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Your perspective is crucial to better understand the type of work undertaken, the distribution of the workforce, identification of unmet health needs and perceptions of medical specialists who treat people with intellectual disability. 

Access survey

Contribute to developing a new Spaced Learning course on Quality and Safety

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, 13 August 2021.

New RACP video series highlights physicians in remote Australian communities

Practising rural and remote medicine offers opportunities, career progression and a lifestyle simply not available in Australia’s big cities.

From today, 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.

Advocacy to raise the age of criminal responsibility – at a national and regional level

The RACP continues to advocate for raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age in line with medical evidence. We have been advocating on this issue since 2016. The RACP is a member of the steering group for the national campaign to raise the age. RACP members can sign and share the national raise the age petition.

In Western Australia, Social Reinvestment WA is leading a local campaign to raise the age, we encourage all members based in Western Australia to email their local MP on this issue using the webform and support the campaign via social media.

The Northern Territory government has publicly committed to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years of age as per its commitments to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Child Protection and Detention. The RACP is supportive of raising the age, and will work with local stakeholders to encourage that the age of criminal responsibility is raised to 14 instead of 12 years of age.

The ACT government has committed to raising the age to 14 and is undertaking the necessary processes to progress legislation. This change will become law in the second half of 2022.

Advocacy in other regions is underway in collaboration with local groups.

To read previous RACP submissions to the Council of Attorneys-General please visit the RACP website.

Public release of the National Dust Disease Taskforce Final Report

The Australian Department of Health has now released the National Dust Disease Taskforce’s Final Report, which contains seven recommendations. These recommendations focus on work health and safety measures, work health and safety monitoring and compliance, national guidance to identify people at risk, better support for workers, medical, health and other related professionals, a strategic national approach to research and cross-jurisdictional governance mechanism to coordinate responses and report on progress.

The College has welcomed the Taskforce’s Final Report and calls on the Government to adopt all of its recommendations.

The College has previously advocated  for the establishment of a permanent multi-disciplinary group to oversee the implementation of the National Dust Disease Taskforce’s final recommendations. We are pleased to see this reflected in Recommendation 7 of the Taskforce’s Final Report and we have called on the Government to establish this cross-jurisdictional mechanism urgently to ensure the recommended actions in the report are adopted, monitored and progressed in an efficient and coordinated way.

The National Dust Disease Taskforce (the Taskforce) was established by the Federal Government in July 2019 following many months of strong joint advocacy from the College, its Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. The Taskforce has played a crucial role in driving the development of a national approach for the prevention, early identification, control and management of dust diseases in Australia. Its membership included the following College members: Professor Fraser Brims, Dr Graeme Edwards, Dr Ryan Hoy and Professor Christine Jenkins.

RACP submission to IHPA consultation for the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2022-23

The RACP’s recent submission to the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) annual Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services 2022-23 was based on College-wide consultation. The Pricing Framework underpins the national efficient price and national efficient cost determinations for Australian public hospital services. The RACP’s submission provides:

  • physician input on the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of hospital services
  • future funding models intended to signal a shift from paying for volume of services to paying for value and patient outcomes, avoidable and preventable hospitalisations
  • areas for adjustments to the national efficient price.

In the submission, the College states our support for defining activity, units or ‘episode of care’ less by hospital site location and more by the inclusive and comprehensive treatment of a presenting condition(s). This is in keeping with both the Australian Government and jurisdiction governments’ transition to a more integrated healthcare system.

Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021

Earlier this month the RACP made a submission to the Queensland Parliament Health and Environment Committee’s Inquiry into the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill 2021. We do not have a single position on VAD, but provided comments to ensure appropriate safeguards and processes if VAD legislation should become operational in Queensland.

Our comments build on an earlier submission on the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s legal framework for voluntary assisted dying consultation paper in November 2020. Both these submissions align with our 2018 Statement on Voluntary Assisted Dying, which was developed following an extensive consultation and drafting process involving a wide range of members, and recognises the divergent views on VAD within the membership.

The Obesity Collective Update

The RACP is a member of The Obesity Collective, which brings together individuals and organisations committed to working together to tackle the obesity challenge with an empathetic and whole of society approach.

This month marks three years since the Collective was launched. During this time it has progressed in a number of priority areas, including research and policy work as part of a campaign on weight stigma, and an activity map of obesity prevention, treatment and advocacy activities across Australia.

Another key component of the Collective was the development of the Obesity Evidence Hub, which identifies, analyses and synthesises evidence on obesity for use in future policy work.

The Collective is also promoting its recent campaign – More than meets the eye. This campaign continues the Collective’s work on weight stigma and plans to share stories of obesity from Australians, along with presenting the science, to help people understand that obesity is complex and impacted by many social, biological and environmental drivers.  

Our work with the Obesity Collective and on obesity more broadly is underpinned by the RACP Position Statement on Obesity – Action to prevent obesity and reduce its impact across the life course.


RACP Quarterly Issue Two 2021

RACP Quarterly is our member magazine featuring healthcare and medical news.

We’ve gone digital – welcome to our second online edition.

In this issue we feature a conversation with Associate Professor Luke Burchill and Professor Megan Davis as they discuss Building a solution space for Indigenous health at the RACP. We also discuss how to improve Palliative medicine, respiratory medicine and integrated care.

Other highlights include Genetic discovery and translation in neuromuscular diseases and Workforce casualisation and mobility in a COVID world.

Also included in this issue are our 38 RACP Fellows recognised in the Aotearoa New Zealand and Australian Queen’s Birthday Honours lists

We also recognise Professor Lesley Campbell AM who has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Diabetes Society.

Read RACP Quarterly Issue Two 2021 online now

Access previous issues of RACP Quarterly on the RACP website.

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep71: Voluntary Assisted Dying—what have we learned?

In 2017, Victoria was the first state in Australia to pass voluntary assisted legislation and has been followed by Western Australia, Tasmania and now South Australia. Aotearoa New Zealand passed its End-of-life Choice Bill two years ago and it will go live in November. This podcast draws on the experience of some very committed Victorian clinicians who share the lessons they've learned over the last two years about practical implementation of voluntary assisted dying (VAD).

The presenters were recorded at this year’s RACP Congress held in May. Palliative care physician Dr Danielle Ko explained how Austin Health has prepared and supported its healthcare staff through this shift in practice. Palliative care physician Dr Greg Mewitt described the challenge of consulting remotely with patients in regional Victoria. Professor Paul Komesaroff reflected on some other points of friction in Victoria’s law as it stands and the practicalities of medical practice. And Professor James Howe talked of his work as a neurologist in a Catholic healthcare institution, and how tensions over assisted dying had been resolved.


  • Dr Danielle Ko FRACGP FAChPM (Clinical Ethics Lead, Austin Health; VAD Review Board, Safercare Victoria)
  • Dr Greg Mewett FRACGP FAChPM DRCOG (Ballarat Rural Health; Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team
  • Professor Paul Komesaroff AM FRACP (Alfred Hospital; Monash University)
  • Professor James Howe FRACP (VAD Review Board, Safercare Victoria)
  • Dr George Laking FRACP (Auckland City Hospital; RACP President Aotearoa New Zealand)

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, or any podcasting appFellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website. 

How genomics is changing clinical practice webinar

You're invited to the 'How genomics is changing clinical practice' webinar, to be held on Wednesday, 28 July 2021 from 6.30pm to 8pm (AEST), from 8.30pm to 10pm (NZST).

The use of genetics and genomics in medicine is not new. Genetic techniques were first used to diagnose human conditions back in the 1950s with the identification of genetic conditions, such as Down and Turner syndromes. Each year, more Medicare item numbers for genetic and genomic testing are introduced, bringing genomics into mainstream medicine.

In this interactive webinar, clinical geneticists Dr Rani Sachdev and Dr Michel Tchan will describe the practical application of genomic testing in a variety of specialties, including paediatrics, cancer, cardiology and neurology. To provide a practical context, genetic counsellor Ms Elle Martin and paediatrician Dr Chris Elliot will discuss the use of genomic testing in search of a diagnosis for children with global developmental delay/intellectual disability. The webinar will conclude with a live Q&A session.

You'll hear from a range of speakers on diverse topics such as:




Genomics in healthcare

Introduction: Aims of webinar

Background to genomics

Dr Rani Sachdev

Genomics in paediatrics

Use of genomic testing in childhood syndromes/intellectual disability

Dr Rani Sachdev

Application of genomics in health

Overview of genomics in different specialties; e.g. cancer, cardiology, neurology, renal, immunology

Dr Michel Tchan

Case studies

Case presentations – Elle (genetic counsellor) to discuss with Chris (paediatrician)

  • Clinical background
  • Genomic testing process
  • Testing outcome and use of result in clinical care

Ms Elle Martin


Dr Chris Elliot

Online resources and summary

Brief overview of resources available on Centre for Genetics Education website to support genomic testing

Ms Natalie Grainger

Panel discussion/
live questions


  • Dr Rani Sachdev (clinical geneticist)
  • Dr Chris Elliot (paediatrician)
  • Dr Michel Tchan (metabolic geneticist for adults)
  • Dr Hugh McCarthy (paediatric nephrologist)

Ms Elle Martin

Numbers are limited, so register today to secure your place.

Register now

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) July 2021 now online

The July 2021 issue of the IMJ (Volume 51, Issue 7) is now live on the RACP website (log in using RACP log in credentials).

Key highlights from the issue are:

  • endocrine adverse effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • dysphagia: clinical evaluation and management
  • telehealth for chronic neurological conditions
  • doctors’ understanding of consent law
  • diagnostic settings and carer experiences for dementia diagnosis
  • renal manifestations of syphilis.

This month’s Editor's Choice is an Original Article titled 'Treatment and outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous lung cancer patients in the Top End of the Northern Territory' by  Thilini L. Basnayake, Patricia C. Valery, Philip Carson and Paolo B. De Leso.

My Health Record Emergency Access

New guidance is available to assist healthcare providers to understand appropriate use of the My Health Record emergency access function (also known as a ‘break glass’ function).

The online guidancefrequently asked questions and flow chart were developed by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency and a range of stakeholders, including clinicians.

It is important that the Emergency Access function is only used to lessen or prevent a serious threat, as defined in Section 64 of the My Health Records Act 2012. Inappropriate use of Emergency Access can result in a potential breach of the healthcare consumer’s privacy and penalties may apply.

The new guidance outlines when emergency access may be used. Several clinical case studies are provided, together with tips for complying with legislative requirements for emergency access.

Visit the OAIC website to learn more.

Questionnaire on psoriasis – Invitation to participate

RACP cardiology and rheumatology Fellows are invited to complete this one-minute online questionnaire, in affiliation with the University of Sydney and Western Sydney 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 the management of these patients. We strongly encourage you to participate.

Your responses are anonymous and will remain strictly confidential. All information collected will be non-identifiable. The questionnaire closes in six weeks. Please submit the survey only once.

Please complete the online survey now:

Dr Annika Smith, MBBS (Hons 1) MPHTM FRACP FACD
Consultant Dermatologist 

Postgraduate research scholarships in practice analytics

The Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) is funding two $175,000 PhD scholarships to support two postgraduate research students at the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Applications close on Saturday, 31 July 2021.

The scholarship will provide the following benefits for up to three years, subject to satisfactory academic performance:

  • stipend allowance of $40,000 per annum
  • education allowance of $5,000 per annum
  • project travel allowance of $5,000 per annum.

Find out more and apply

Australasian Institute of Clinical Governance Certificate in Clinical Governance for Patient Safety and Quality Care

This course is a blended learning opportunity consisting of three workshops: Applied Clinical Governance, Building Culture and Collaboration and Advanced Leadership in Healthcare, bolstered by comprehensive online courses (approximately 21 hours of interactive learning) that are completed prior to each workshop.

The workshops are held either face-to-face or digitally and allow you to collaborate with all health professionals in the application of knowledge and skills through scenario-based case studies.

Upon completing all three workshops, graduates of the Certificate course are able to display 'AICGG' post-nominals after their name.

Learn more

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.

Endocrine Society of Australia webinar on 'Endocrine manifestations of immunotherapies'

Tuesday, 10 August 2021, 6pm (AEST) / 5.30pm (ACST) / 4pm (AWST), online
Speaker: Dr Venessa Tsang

Dr Venessa Tsang will present case vignettes on management of common and important endocrine adverse effects related to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and review the latest on their management.

Register now

Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine webinar on 'Nausea in palliative care'

Wednesday, 18 August 2021, 5pm (AEST) / 7pm (NZST) / 4.30pm (ACST) / 3pm (AWST), online
Speaker: Professor Phillip Good

Latest evidence-based approach to assessment and management of nausea in palliative care.

Register now

Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine webinar on 'The Hepatocare Model – a novel hepatology and palliative care initiative'

Wednesday, 18 August 2021, 6pm (AEST) / 8pm (NZST) / 5.30pm (ACST) / 4pm (AWST), online
Speaker: Dr Alison Kearney

Aims of the presentation are to outline the palliative care needs of patients with advanced cirrhosis, describe initial findings of a new model of care and a brief discussion about symptom management in this population.

Register now

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.

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