AMD eBulletin 25 June 2021

President's Post

Greetings to all.

Late last month, Victoria was placed into lockdown for the fourth time due to another COVID-19 outbreak and now some parts of Sydney are also locked down. The impacts of these lockdowns are felt across both communities as well as those in other states, that are separated from their loved ones. I hope that you have remained safe and I take this opportunity to remind you that as members you have access to the RACP Support Program.

A key focus of the Adult Medicine Division (AMD) Council’s work plan for 2020-2022 is supporting the physician leader. To progress this key area, planning is underway for the Adult Medicine Division Executive Committee (AMDEX) to hold a workshop to establish how AMD can support physicians in this space. The workshop will be held in September and in the lead up to this session, I am keen to get feedback from as many adult medicine Fellows and trainees on the following:

  • What does leadership mean to you and how does this differ from management?
  • What leadership and management skills training do you think you would want or need in the next five years?
  • How can the AMD support physicians to get education and training in this area?

If you have any feedback, please contact me via the AMD secretariat at

As part of another AMD work plan initiative – to grow the Indigenous workforce – I met with the College’s Kaitohutohu Ahurea (Māori Cultural Advisor). It is imperative for AMD to continue to promote and engage with the Indigenous Strategic Framework and I plan to meet with the Kaitohutohu Ahurea regularly to progress this work.

At the end of last month, I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr Simon Denny, Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (AYAM) Committee Chair, to discuss how we can rejuvenate the AMD and AYAM relationship to progress work in this valuable area. The process of children with chronic illness transitioning from paediatric care into adult care is a complicated one, requiring great collaboration between us and our paediatrics colleagues. Adult physicians need to better understand the developmental background and social context in which this occurs. I look forward to continuing these important conversations and adding AYAM initiatives to the AMD work plan.

Lastly, I would like to draw attention to the 2021 RACP International Medal winner, Professor Gregory Fox. The RACP International Medal recognises a member of the College who has provided outstanding service in developing countries and Professor Fox’s work in Vietnam makes him a worthy recipient of this medal. Congratulations Professor Fox.

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 Committee met on 23 June 2021 and continues to progress its current work plan. After the great success of the 2021 AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting, the Committee has commenced planning for the 2022 AChSHM ASM, and is updating its current AChSHM careers flyer to assist with promotion of the specialty to trainees. 

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

There are also several positions on College bodies that are available to AChSHM members, I encourage members to apply for the following positions listed:

The next AChSHM Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, 1 September 2021 via video conference. 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

I would like to congratulate Professor Greg Crawford for the award of the 2021 John Sands Medal and Professor Roderick MacLeod MNZM for the 2021 College Medal.

Professor Crawford is a long-standing contributor to the RACP. He has been involved with the Palliative Medicine Education Committee for eight years and currently has an ongoing five-year involvement with the Chapter, including his Presidency from 2018 to 2020. He is currently on the RACP Council and has held several RACP positions. He has advocated for palliative medicine and collaborated with many stakeholders to ensure optimal care is provided for our population. Professor Crawford has mentored many students, trainees and Fellows with his lifelong dedication to education and professional development.

Professor MacLeod was a Foundation Fellow of the Chapter, helped develop the Asia Pacific Hospice Network, and was appointed New Zealand’s first Professor in Palliative Care in 2003. He was involved in the development of the palliative medicine curriculum during his time on the Palliative Medicine Education Committee and provided expertise to the College’s Supervisor Professional Development program.

2021 is the third consecutive year that a palliative medicine physician has been recognised with a College award. This is a great feat for the specialty and highlights the dedication of physicians in our field.

To further recognise the efforts of palliative medicine physicians and trainees, the Chapter has also established two new awards:

The Chapter Committee met on 4 June 2021 and discussed updates on its current 2020-2022 workplan, including recommencing the spirituality workshop working group and supporting the promotion of palliative medicine training in other specialties.

We keep a watching brief on the introduction and implementation of voluntary assisted dying legislation in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, and continue to advocate for funding for palliative care.

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

I am pleased to announce that the Nghi Phung Research Project Prize is now open for applications and will close on Monday, 19 July 2021. This prize is awarded annually to the best Advanced Training Research Project for addiction medicine.

The College is also urging all state and territory governments to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first Australian medically supervised injecting centre (MSIC) in Kings Cross by identifying new sites to be integrated within the health system, for more information please see this media release. This is particularly pertinent in Victoria, which is currently considering expanding supervised injecting facilities. 

Unfortunately, recent Commonwealth and various State budgets have not prioritised funding for AoD services. This is concerning given the increases in substance use linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increased demand for AoD treatment. The Chapter will continue to advocate for enhanced services for AoD services.

The RACP Drug Policy Working Group has been initiated, chaired by myself with working group members from various states and Aotearoa New Zealand, and will be working towards developing its Drug Policy over the next 18 months. There will be opportunities for Fellows to have input into this process over this time frame.

The AChAM Committee will next meet on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 via videoconference. If you have any feedback, questions, or comments for the Committee, please get in touch via our secretariat at

Professor Nicholas Lintzeris 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Queen's Birthday Honours

Congratulations to the following Adult Medicine Division members who were recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours for their outstanding contributions.

Aotearoa New Zealand

Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit 

  • Emeritus Professor David Richmond FRACP
    For services to health and education.


Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Dr Patrick (Toby) Coates FRACP 
    For distinguished service to renal medicine, to professional medical organisations and to tertiary education.
  • Professor Stephen Davis AM, FRACP 
    For distinguished service to medical education, to stroke research and to the management of cerebrovascular disease.
  • Professor Geoffrey Metz AM, FRACP 
    For distinguished service to medicine, to medical education both nationally and internationally and to professional medical organisations.
  • Clinical Professor Carol Pollock FRACP 
    For distinguished service to medical research, education and science, to nephrology and to clinical practice and governance.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Dr John Andrews FRACP
    For significant service to nuclear medicine and to professional societies.
  • Professor Philip Aylward FRACP
    For significant service to medicine and to community health administration.
  • Dr Gavin Becker FRACP
    For significant service to medicine, to nephrology and to professional societies.
  • Clinical Professor Flavia Cicuttini FRACP, FAFPHM
    For significant service to medicine and to musculoskeletal disease research.
  • The Reverend Dr Cecilie Lander FRACP
    For significant service to neurological medicine and to the Anglican Church of Australia.
  • Professor Frank Mastaglia FRACP
    For significant service to neuromuscular disease and to professional associations.
  • Dr Charles Steadman FRACP 
    For significant service to tertiary medical education and to gastroenterology.
  • Professor Helena Teede FRACP 
    For significant service to medical education and research, to endocrinology and to women’s health.
  • Associate Professor Edwina Wright FRACP
    For significant service to medicine and research, notably for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division

  • Professor Frank Alford FRACP 
    For service to endocrinology.
  • Associate Professor Kevin Alford FRACP 
    For service to medicine as a cardiologist.
  • Clinical Professor Eugene Athan FRACP 
    For service to infectious diseases medicine.
  • Associate Professor Stephen Della-Fiorentina FRACP 
    For service to oncology.
  • Clinical Professor Peter Gates FRACP 
    For service to neurology.
  • Dr David Hare FRACP 
    For service to cardiology.
  • Dr David Hooke FRACP
    For service to nephrology and to aviation medicine.
  • Dr Alexander Levendel FRACP 
    For service to cardiology and nuclear medicine.
  • Dr Mark Pitney FRACP
    For service to cardiology.
  • Dr Richard Willing FRACP 
    For service to conservation and the environment.

RACP Constitution Review

As part of the RACP Constitution Review project, the College is undertaking a review of its constitution and governance.

Extensive consultation with the membership is crucial to this process so please complete this survey, which gives you the opportunity to provide feedback on some key questions.

It should take no more than five minutes to complete, and your answers will help guide the direction the College takes with this work.

The survey will remain open until 9am Monday, 28 June 2021 so there is still time for you to have your say.

The 2023-24 PREP program requirements survey is open

Please provide feedback on proposed changes to the 2023-24 PREP program requirements by completing an anonymous 5-10 minute survey.  

The survey closes on Wednesday, 21 July 2021.

RACP Training Programs are evaluated biennially by the responsible Training Committee (TC) to ensure they are in line with educational best practice and enable physician professional development. 

Your feedback will be considered by your TC to decide whether:

  • the proposed changes for 2023-24 are beneficial, equitable and achievable
  • a sufficient notice period has been provided before the proposed changes are implemented.

The proposed 2023-24 PREP program requirements will be reviewed by the College Education Committee later this year. 

Approved requirements will be published on the RACP website in early 2022.

Complete the survey

RACP Foundation Research Awards – applications closing soon

Applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards are closing soon. Don’t miss your chance to apply for funding under the following award categories:

Two new awards are on offer:

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 from Friday, 16 July to Monday, 20 September 2021.

Please submit an EOI form, along with a copy of your CV, to

The 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.

Trainee Research Awards 2021

Applications for Trainee Research Awards open from Thursday, 1 July to Tuesday, 31 August 2021. Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training are encouraged to apply.

The Trainee Research Awards provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research 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 and a certificate to acknowledge their achievement.

Award recipients are also invited to have their abstracts published in the Internal Medicine Journal RACP Congress supplement.

Please see the RACP website for further details.

Chapter awards

New Awards in Palliative Medicine

AChPM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Discipline of Palliative Medicine – last chance to nominate

Nominate a Fellow for their outstanding contribution to palliative medicine. The award includes a cash prize of $500 and a certificate formally presented at the ANZSPM Conference. Please see the RACP website for further details. Nominations close Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

AChPM Best Trainee Research Project Award

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 Monday, 2 August 2021. See the RACP website for more information.


AChAM Nghi Phung Research Project Prize

The Nghi Phung Research Project Prize is awarded annually to the best Advanced Training research project on addiction medicine. The award includes a cash prize of $1,000 and a certificate formally presented at the APSAD Conference. Applications close Monday, 19 July 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 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 Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine

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 website. Nominations close Saturday, 31 July 2021.

Refugee and asylum seeker advocacy

The RACP was involved in significant advocacy recently calling on the Australian Government to urgently release the Tamil family from Biloela, Queensland from held detention. The family has been held in immigration detention since March 2018 – first on the mainland and then on Christmas Island since August 2019. This represents most of the children’s lives. Even though the family has not been legally classified as refugees, the College has a long standing Position Statement (2015) opposing children being in held detention, which was the focus of our advocacy.

The advocacy efforts involved publishing a media release, promoting it on social media, securing an interview for RACP President-elect Dr Jacqueline Small, who was Acting President, on SBS, writing multiple emails to MPs, and publicly releasing an open letter to Minister Karen Andrews signed by nine medical organisations, including the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and others.

The open letter received broad media coverage, including 685 online media mentions, 26 radio mentions, 14 print media mentions and three TV mentions. Notable media mentions include:

This successful advocacy by the College, including from RACP Fellow MPs Dr Katie Allen and Dr Mike Freelander, and other supporters, resulted in an announcement on 15 June 2021 that the Murugappan family would be reunited in Perth and allowed to live in community detention while their legal claims are determined in the Federal Court.

The release of the family into community detention represents a significant win that demonstrates the power of the College’s voice in providing support and medical leadership on important public policy issues. On 16 June 2021, the RACP issued a media release welcoming the Government’s decision.

The RACP continues to advocate for the Australian Government to end the detention of children.

Telehealth online learning resource

Access all the information and tools you need to prepare for and conduct culturally competent and patient-centred telehealth consultations in this new Telehealth online course. We understand you’re busy, so we’ve made sure RACP Online Learning Resources are accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning. Our courses are designed to enable you to dip in and out, or just do the parts that are relevant to you.

New online course: Physician wellbeing in challenging times

Physicians often fail to put on their own oxygen masks when dealing with the challenges and stresses that come with practising during a pandemic. This new online course explores in-depth how to better support your own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of your staff and colleagues through compassionate leadership. The course covers concepts, strategies, and tools to help you mitigate the impact, set healthy boundaries, prevent burnout, and build support networks during a crisis.

Evolve Webinar Series – Addiction medicine: First, do no harm

The July session of the Evolve Webinar Series on ‘Addiction medicine: First, do no harm’ will be held on Tuesday, 20 July 2021 from 6pm to 7pm (AEST)/8pm to 9pm (NZST).

There are concerns in addiction medicine regarding inappropriate forms of treatment, and forms of treatment that are unsupported by evidence. In this virtual forum, Professor Nicholas Lintzeris and Professor John Saunders discuss why the new Evolve recommendations on addiction medicine are relevant and important for all physicians to understand.

Register now

Positions open on the Ethics Committee

The Ethics Committee welcomes expressions of interest from members (Fellows or trainees) with relevant skills and expertise in ethics, continuing professional development, education and the Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand health systems to fill two vacant positions.

The Committee is responsible for providing the Board with advice on areas that raise ethical considerations in the context of policy and advocacy, education, clinical practice and the health of our communities, research and financial investment.

For further information and to apply, please visit the Expression of Interest webpage.

Applications close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) June 2021 now online

The June 2021 issue of the IMJ (Volume 51, Issue 6) is now live on the RACP website (log in using RACP log in credentials).

Key highlights from the issue are:

  • Energy drinks: physiological and pathological effects
  • COVID-19 and future pandemics: is isolation and social distancing the new norm?
  • Inpatient use of oxygen therapy in acute respiratory disease
  • Cirrhosis: changing prevalence of aetiological factors and comorbidities
  • Role of antithrombin III in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients treated with nintedanib
  • Medication use and cognitive impairment.

This month’s Editor's Choice is an Original Article titled 'Lung, breast, and bowel cancer treatment for Aboriginal people in New South Wales: a population-based cohort study' by  Suzanne Fitzadam, Enmoore Lin, Nicola Creighton and David C. Currow

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep70: Zeroing in on ‘the renal troponin’

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) makes a greater contribution to early mortality than acute myocardial infarction and it's been argued we should consider the concept of ’kidney attack’ to give it the weight that it deserves. However, the presentation of kidney injury isn’t as overt or timely as a heart attack often is. While serum creatinine is a pretty good reporter of chronic impairment in kidney function, it’s very insensitive to acute injury, so for two decades there’s been a concerted search for more proximal biomarkers of AKI.

The three most promising candidates are neutrophil gelatinase‐associated lipocalin (NGAL), tissue inhibitor of metallo-proteinase 2 (TIMP-2) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-7 (IGBFP-7). Commercial assays for these exist that can predict moderate to severe AKI with a lead time of many hours. Many questions remain as to whether these are specific enough to be useful at point of care, whether we have the interventions to respond to the information they provide, and what ‘false positives’ might indicate.


  • Professor Rinaldo Bellomo AO FRACP FCICM FAHMS (Director of Research Intensive Care, Austin Hospital; University of Melbourne; Monash University).

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

Membership of Specialty Societies

Specialty societies bring together physicians and research and clinical scientists who are actively involved in the study of a particular specialty. The RACP maintains close links with specialty societies and draws upon their expertise for guidance on matters relevant to their specialty. AMD members are encouraged to explore what societies may offer to them. A list of all RACP-affiliated specialty societies is available on the RACP website.

Bionics Challenge 2021

Bionics Challenge 2021 is a unique medtech competition enabling new or early stage bionic innovation projects to win Australia's first-ever National Bionics Innovation Prize – $25,000 cash plus a share in $25,000 expert insights from Morgans Financial. With $300,000+ in prizes and support for winners, the challenge, which closes for entries on Friday, 2 July 2021, aims to create a Human Bionics LivingLab to ignite collaboration across borders. 

Visit the Bionics Queensland website for further information on the four categories of medical bionic innovations.

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.

RACP Specialty Society Webinar Series

Participating RACP-affiliated specialty societies showcase their webinar series presented by physician members across an array of topics. Below are two topics available for registration.

Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists webinar

Date: Monday, 12 July 2021, 6pm (AEST) (8pm (NZST)/5.30pm (ACST)/4pm (AWST))
Location: Online
Presenter: Simon Dimmitt MBBS BMedSc(Hons) FRACP FCSANZ, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Western Australia, University of Newcastle

Clinical dosing based on estimated ED50

Prescribed drugs contribute to mortality and hospitalisations. Promoted doses of many drugs are near the top of their respective dose-response curves. Doses in treatment of active symptomatic disease have generally fallen to find the best balance between safety and efficacy e.g. analgesics, antipsychotics and tricyclics. Increasing evidence is accumulating for non-inferiority of lower doses and shorter treatments, even in life threatening disease e.g. in oncology, some infections. Effective dose 50 (ED50, half of Emax) may be a reasonable starting dose in many patients. Dose can be up-titrated if clinically useful increased efficacy (e.g. dyspnoea, oedema, headache) is demonstrated, or reduced if adverse events (AEs) develop. It is problematic in prevention predicting at what dose harms are likely to exceed benefit. We will examine antihypertensives and statins. Above ED50, efficacy plateaus but AEs continue to increase, often steeply. Combination therapy can be considered. Lower doses are then particularly pertinent because of the additive and possibly synergistic efficacy and toxicity of combinations. Smaller doses improve tolerability, safety and thereby compliance and potentially outcomes.

Register for webinar

Australian Rheumatology Association and New Zealand Rheumatology Association webinar

Date: Monday, 12 July 2021, 7pm (AEST) (9pm (NZST)/6.30pm (ACST)/5pm (AWST))
Location: Online
Speakers: Claire Barrett, Sabrina Ciciriello, Joel Riley and Simon Burnet. The session will be chaired by Louise Ward.

An open and interactive discussion on the benefits of rural rheumatology and practical hints on how to start up your own country clinic.

Rural patients continue to struggle to receive optimal medical care in 2021 and all specialties face the same dilemmas in providing optimal rural care. The webinar will outline how rheumatologists attempt to address rural medical service provision inequities. Speakers will outline their practice of rural service provision, both as physicians visiting rural areas and those living and working in rural Australia. A practical approach outlining just how easy it is to set-up a rural clinic will be discussed. The concern about initiating a new rural clinic has been identified as one of major barriers to setting up new rural clinics by recently graduated rheumatologists.

There will be plenty of time to interact with all speakers in the second half of the presentation.

Register for webinar

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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