AMD eBulletin 29 July

AMD Council looks to the future at council meeting

The Adult Medicine Division (AMD) Council recently met to plan its activities for the next two years, and has developed a range of activities to further enhance the relationship between the College and the societies. The Council also discussed a number of important issues affecting the AMD and the specialty societies, and commenced a process to fill the final vacant position on the Executive. It was agreed to double the number of trainee representatives on the AMD Council to ensure the needs of our future physicians are appropriately represented.

An update on the College’s many advances in education and training led to robust discussion and we spent time talking about the important role of the specialty societies in delivering training. In this context we also discussed how the College supports societies which independently present training activities for our trainees. All of our affiliated specialty societies already have a standing offer to use College event facilities for these activities if they are available, and other modes of support are being discussed.

The evolution in the College’s approach to RACP Congress was also discussed and we explored options for specialty societies to work with the College in delivering content.

The AMD Council was supportive of a future in which Adult Medicine physicians and paediatricians may share clinical updates at RACP Congress, recognising that we all share in the care of patients in transition, and that a significant amount of clinical content is common to all physicians and paediatricians.

Specialty societies also supported having a College/AMD presence at their own scientific meetings as a way of fostering their relationship with the College.

The Model of Collaboration (MoC) was also discussed, with general agreement that societies would complete their MoCs by the end of 2017.

Lastly, the Council talked at some length about the need to ensure an effective voice for Adult Medicine in the College’s decision making after May 2018, when the College Board moves to a smaller and largely skills based board.

AMD Council members agreed to continue this discussion in concert with the work that the Board will be undertaking to prepare for this transition, and noted the importance of the recently formed College Council as a vehicle for the Adult Medicine voice to be heard.

I would like to again acknowledge the hard work of the staff of our College – we are indeed fortunate to have such high calibre staff who work with us with diligence, skill and professionalism to help us deliver on the College’s mission. We simply could not do this without them.

On behalf of the AMD I would like to congratulate Professor Brendan Murphy FRACP on his appointment as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer. Professor Murphy is a renal physician who has held a number of major leadership roles, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of Austin Health in Melbourne. He takes over from Professor Chris Baggoley, who I also wish to congratulate on behalf of AMD for his outstanding service to Australia’s health system over many years.

I also note the appointment of Dr David Gillespie MP as Assistant Minister for Rural Health. Dr Gillespie holds an FRACP in Gastroenterology and has a longstanding career as a rural physician.

In closing, I’m pleased to also acknowledge the announcement that Professor Stephen Nicholls FRACP was awarded a prestigious research excellence prize by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) as their top ranked Research Fellowship recipient for 2015, in Canberra last week. Professor Nicholls is Deputy Director and Heart Health Theme Leader at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Professor of Cardiology at the University of Adelaide.

Best wishes,

Associate Professor Grant Phelps
Adult Medicine Division

Specialty Spotlight – Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD)

When and how was your society established?

In the late 1970s, Dr Les Drew and Professor James Rankin discussed the need, feasibility and value of establishing an Australian medical group in the drug and alcohol field. They believed, at that time, that no suitable national professional and scientific organisation had developed in Australia which medical scientists and practitioners could effectively meet to discuss, pursue and promote matters of mutual interest in the field.

They extended their discussions to a group of medical colleagues who agreed to support the establishment of the Australian Medical Society on Alcohol and other Drug Problems (AMSAD).

The founders of the society were concerned with and in agreement on a number of central issues. Their intention was that the society should:

  • be primarily a medically-oriented organisation established to meet the needs of medical scientists and practitioners
  • endeavour to attract a broad medical membership from individuals who had a scientific or professional interest in alcohol and drug-related problems, their prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The first annual meeting of the society was held at the Australian National University, Canberra, on 31 July and 1 August, 1981.

The Society also recognised that scientists and practitioners from other disciplines could make important contributions to such a society, and that they should be encouraged to participate in the society’s activities, and within the first 10 years began to accept non-medical professionals as full members. In recognition of this, the society’s name was changed to the Australian Medical and Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (AMPSAD). 

The name was subsequently changed again to the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD).

What are your society’s top three priorities?

  • promoting evidence-based improvements in the treatment and prevention of drug and alcohol related problems
  • promoting best standards in research and practice in the drug and alcohol fields
  • providing development and support to professionals working in the drug and alcohol fields.

Are there any challenges?

Member engagement. The Society is member driven and can only be as good as the sum of its members. Finding members with the time, energy and impetus to run Special Interest Groups and advocate for the area is always a challenge.

What are your society’s top three achievements?

  • Working with the RACP to establish the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine within the Adult Medicine Division in 2001.
  • The Drug and Alcohol Review is the Society's official journal, celebrating its 35th year of publication. The journal is the primary point for Australasian research publication on drugs and alcohol.
  • The Annual Scientific Drug and Alcohol conference is the only alcohol and other drugs (AOD) conference that is multidisciplinary and brings together researchers, clinicians, community groups, peak bodies, peer workers, and consumers together to learn from each other and network. The conference gives delegates a chance to attend sessions on topics they know nothing about to learn something new from other fields in the AOD area.

Link to your website

Save the Date – International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) Conference 2017 

Save the date for the International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) Conference 2017, being held in Sydney from 24 to 26 March 2017 at the brand new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. 

The IMiA 2017 Conference brings together a wide range of local and international medical professionals who specialise in treating addictions.

For up-to-date information on the conference and program details, as they become available, and to register your interest, please visit the IMiA website. You will be notified as soon as registration is open and when further information is available.

For more information, contact the IMiA17 Conference Office or +61 3 9645 6311.

Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Trainees Weekend 

This year the annual ASID Trainees Weekend will be held in Perth for the first time. The program will include specialist guest speakers from across infectious diseases and microbiology in both adult and paediatric medicine. 

Topics covered include:

  • tuberculosis
  • HIV – introduction and prevention of mother to child transmission
  • HIV – current challenges and future directions 
  • infection in transplant patients 
  • Hansen’s Disease and & infectious diseases in Aboriginal Health
  • malaria
  • influenza
  • viral hepatitis – epidemiology and diagnosis
  • viral hepatitis – clinical considerations and treatment
  • Staphylococcus aureus disease

Registration is free courtesy of our sponsors (ASID, RACP and RCPA) and is open to all interested parties. Content is aimed at Advanced Trainees in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology.
Please register on the ASID website by Friday, 18 November, 2016.

RACP Trainee Research Awards – Submit your abstract today 

Recognising researchers of the future

The annual RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence identifies and acknowledges the best trainee research presentations in the fields of adult medicine and paediatric medicine.

Each region hosts a competition and two representatives from each region, one in the field of adult medicine and one in the field of paediatric medicine, will be selected to present their research in Melbourne in May 2017. This year, 16 regional representatives were selected to present their research at RACP Congress 2016, eight in the field of adult medicine and eight in the field of paediatric medicine. Abstracts are now being accepted for regional competitions from trainees enrolled in:

  • Adult Medicine Division
  • Paediatrics & Child Health Division
  • Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine.

This is an excellent opportunity for trainee representatives to present their ideas and research in a professional and public setting.

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence are funded from donations received from Fellows and trainees.

For more information, including abstract submission information, go to the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence page.

Regional submission and competition dates are below.


Abstract closing date (by 5pm)

Abstracts to be submitted to

Competition date and time

Competition venue

New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory

Friday, 30 September 2016

Thursday, 17 November 2016

RACP Sydney Fairley Room
Level 9, 52 Phillip Street, Sydney  

Northern Territory

Friday, 28 October 2016


Northern Territory Annual Scientific Meeting
9am to 5pm
Saturday, 26 November 2016

Charles Darwin University
The Waterfront Lecture Theatre
21 Kitchener Drive, Darwin

Queensland Friday, 23 September 2016 6pm to 9pm
9 November 2016

Royal Brisbane Place
Level 3, Unit 20
17 Bowen Bridge Road, Herston

South Australia Friday, 9 September 2016


6.30pm to 9.30pm
13 October 2016

RACP Adelaide
Suite 7, Level 2
257 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide


Friday, 5 August 2016

Saturday, 10 September 2016
Time TBA

Medical Sciences/Menzies Building
17 Liverpool Street, Hobart


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

RACP Victoria
Level 2, 417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Western Australia

Friday, 26 August 2016 

12pm to 2.30pm
Thursday, 6 October 2016

13 October 2016
5.30pm – 7.30pm

Princess Margaret Hospital McDonalds Lecture Theatre Level 2, Administration Building Roberts Road, Subiaco


WA State Office
Unit 1-3
24 Leura Street, Nedlands

New Zealand

In the field of paediatric medicine
Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Paediatric Society of New Zealand website

17 November 2016

Paediatric Society of New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2016
16 – 18 November
Bethlehem College, Tauranga

In the field of adult medicine


Listen to the latest Pomegranate podcast – A fresh start for disability services

This month’s episode of the Pomegranate podcast – A Fresh Start for Disability Services – takes a look at the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with perspectives from physicians and parents.

The NDIS is designed to provide better care for the 460,000 Australians who have significant and permanent disability. 

The NDIS supports individuals in making personalised therapy goals, accessing appropriate care, and participating in mainstream life. Since 2013 the scheme has had a staged launch across parts of Australia.

This month, the NDIS will start rolling out across New South Wales and Victoria and will have complete coverage by 2019.

On this episode internal medicine physician Dr Robyn Wallace, of Calvary Hospital in Hobart, explains how the NDIS differs from past disability services, and rehabilitation specialist Dr Elizabeth Thompson shares the hopes her Sydney clients have for the personal funding. Kerry O’Kane talks of her relief at having found a secure future of care for her son in the ACT, while Dr Katherine Langdon describes the impact the scheme has had for paediatric therapy models in Perth.

The 20-minute program, along with all past Pomegranate episodes, is available to download or stream on both iTunes or Subscribe on Android.

Pomegranate is a monthly medical podcast created by physicians, for physicians. The show is produced by the College's Learning Support Unit with member input guiding every step of development – from deciding on an episode's theme to peer review of the show's final content.

New episodes of Pomegranate are released on the last Tuesday of every month. 

Apply today for Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (AChAM) awards

Applications are now being accepted for the AChAM Research Project Prize and AChAM Indigenous Prize.

The AChAM Research Project Prize is awarded to an AChAM trainee based on a previously submitted research project that was assessed between 1 July 2015 and 1 July 2016.

The prize is full registration to the International Medicine in Addiction Conference 2017

Visit the AChAM Research Project Prize page for further information and to download the application form.

The AChAM Indigenous Prize is offered to medical students, junior medical officers or registrars who identify as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori descent.
There are two prizes being offered. Each prize offers:

  • return economy airfares from your nearest capital city to the International Medicine in Addiction Conference 2017
  • accommodation at a hotel nominated by the Congress Managers (three nights)
  • Medical Student and Junior Medical Officer Registration (three days).

Please forward this information to anyone you know who may be interested.

For further information, please visit the AChAM Indigenous Prize page.

RACP Foundation Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the following awards which recognise Fellows and trainees for excellence and outstanding contributions or achievements:

Please visit the RACP Foundation, College & Congress prizes webpage to download the nomination forms and for further details about each award.

Applying for Advanced Training? What you need to know

Advanced Training applications are now open.

Note, all Basic Training must be completed prior to applying for Advanced Training.

Due dates for submitting Basic Training requirements


If you wish to commence Advanced Training during the second half of 2016 , all Basic Training requirements must be submitted by Wednesday, 31 August 2016.

If you are commencing Advanced Training in 2017, all Basic Training requirements must be submitted by Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

New Zealand

If you are commencing Advanced Training in 2017, all Basic Training requirements must be submitted by Tuesday, 20 December 2016. 

Due dates for applying for Advanced Training


Online registration is now open for trainees who wish to apply for Advanced Training for the second half of 2016. To be considered for approval, completed applications including supervisor approval need to be submitted via online registration by Wednesday, 31 August 2016. Applications for the 2017 training year are due Wednesday, 15 February 2017.

New Zealand

Applications for the second half of the 2016 training year were due by 31 May 2016. Applications for the 2017 training year are due Monday, 31 October 2016. Go to the RACP website to download and complete the appropriate application form and follows the online instructions to submit your applications.

Have you completed your Basic Training but want to commence Advanced Training at a later date?

If you have completed your Basic Training but want to commence your Advanced Training at a later date, you must complete an Interruption to Training form.

For further queries, please contact the College on 1300 MyRACP (1300 697 7227) or email or 

New Zealand trainees – phone 0508 MyRACP (0508 69 7227), or email or 

Are you a New Zealand Fellow and intending to apply for a MyCPD exemption?

The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) requires approval of CPD exemptions to be obtained prior to leave being taken, rather than retrospectively. 

If you are intending to be absent from practice for a period of time and may be eligible for a CPD exemption, please contact the New Zealand CPD unit at or on +64 4 460 8122 in advance of your planned leave to enquire about eligibility. 

If you are eligible, MCNZ approval can then be obtained and an exemption organised. 

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) July issue

The IMJ July 2016 issue is now available. This issue covers:

  • Haemoglobin disorders in Australia: where are we now?
  • Young onset dementia: assessment, diagnosis and management
  • Direct oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation
  • Crohn disease: infliximab vs adalimumab therapy
  • Low dose sodium valproate in managing neuropathic pain
  • Cystic fibrosis: liver and lung transplantation.

Read the IMJ (Member login required)

Expressions of Interest (EOI) 

EOI: Veterans’ MATES (Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services) Program Editorial Committee, closes 15 August 2016 

Expressions of Interest are sought from Fellows to be appointed as the RACP representative to the Veterans’ MATES Program Editorial Committee. 

Members of the Editorial Committee are asked to provide input and review material that is prepared by the University for distribution under the program. The Editorial Committee meets four times a year in Canberra.

The Veterans’ MATES program has operated since 2004 and aims to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of veterans and their families through optimising the quality use and management of medicines. 

A recent tender process resulted in a new Veterans’ MATES contract being signed in December 2015, with University of South Australia (UniSA), for the continued delivery of the program. 

The College invites expressions of interest from Fellows who have an awareness of the medical and pharmaceutical issues affecting veterans and their families, or have a particular interest in the quality use of medicines.

For more information visit the Veterans’ MATES website or contact for a copy of the terms of reference.

To submit an Expression of Interest please complete the EoI form outlining your interest in the position and a copy of your full CV to by COB Monday, 15 August 2016. 

EOI: Advanced Training Committee – Gastroenterology, closes 30 September 2016 

The Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in Gastroenterology is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from Gastroenterology Fellows to join the ATC as appointed members. 

The Committee oversees Advanced Training in Gastroenterology, and has a close association with the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA). 

The Committee is seeking to appoint one Fellow with specialisation in Gastroenterology as an appointed member to join the Committee for a period of two years. The Committee meets via two face-to-face meetings in Sydney per year.

To submit an EOI please contact RACP Education Officer, Gabi Harding, at EOIs are due by COB Friday, 30 September 2016.

2017 – 2018 Australian and New Zealand Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice 

The Commonwealth Fund invites promising mid-career professionals (government policymakers, academic researchers, clinical leaders, hospital and insurance managers, and journalists) from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom to apply for an opportunity to spend up to 12 months in the United States (US) as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice

Harkness Fellows work with leading US experts to study health care delivery reforms and critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the US and their home countries. A rich program of seminars organised by the Fund throughout the year further enhances the fellowship experience. The Harkness Fellowship awards up to US$130,000 in support, with an additional family allowance (approximately US$60,000 for partner and two children up to age 18).

The deadline for applications from Australia and New Zealand is Tuesday, 6 September 2016.

Promote World Sepsis Day Tuesday, 13 September

The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) is promoting World Sepsis Day on Tuesday, 13 September, an initiative of the Global Sepsis Alliance to promote sepsis awareness internationally.

The aim of the CEC’s SEPSIS KILLS program is to reduce preventable harm to patients through improved recognition and management of sepsis in emergency departments and inpatient wards throughout New South Wales.

The CEC SEPSIS KILLS website has resources and information to help you promote World Sepsis Day within your professional community. 

Please contact Lisa Coombs, Project Officer on +61 2 9269 5548 or email if you have any questions.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) public consultations

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board is undertaking consultations to develop the Australian Medical Research and Innovation strategy and related priorities, to improve the wellbeing of Australians through health and medical research and innovation. Public consultations will be held during August 2016. 

A national live public webinar will also be held. For details on the consultations and to register your interest, please visit the Medical Research Future Fund website.

Scheduled agenda items by the Medical Services Advisory Committee

Scheduled agenda items for Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) 28 to 29 July 2016 meeting:

For more information, visit the MSAC website.

Career Opportunities 


General Physician, Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital
Enquiries: Mr Oli Steele at or on +61 7 5390 6101

Clinical Director – Sexual Health and HIV Service, Brisbane North
Applications close: Tuesday, 9 August 2016

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.

New Zealand National Bowel Screening Program Regional Meetings, August, various locations 

Location  Date 
Midland (Hamilton)  Monday, 1 August 2016
Central (Wellington)  Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Northern (Auckland) Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Southern (Christchurch) Wednesday, 10 August 2016

For more details and to register your interest, please email 

Monash University – Unlocking the Power of Data Linkage, 5 August, Melbourne 

Venue: The Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) Lecture Theatre
Date: Friday, 5 August 2016
For more information, visit the Monash University website

Kidney Supportive Care Master Class, 6 August, Brisbane 

Venue: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Education Centre, Herston
Date: Saturday, 6 August 2016
For more details and to register, visit the Brisbane North PHN website.

2016 APAC Workshop, 9 to 12 August 2016, Auckland, New Zealand 

Venue: Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Clinical Education Centre, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
Date: Tuesday, 9 to Friday, 12 August 2016
For more information, see the APAC website.

Huntington’s Disease Palliative Care Forum 2016, 18 August 2016, Brisbane 

Venue: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Education Centre
Date: Thursday, 18 August 2016
For more information and to register, visit the Huntingtons Queensland website.

2016 Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) /Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) Annual Scientific Meeting, 24 to 26 August 2016, Gold Coast 

Venue: Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre 
Date: Wednesday, 24 to Friday, 26 August 2016
For more information, see the ADS/ADEA conference website

The Westmead Association End of Life Care Symposium, 25 August 2016, Sydney 

Venue: Education Block, Westmead Hospital
Date: Thursday, 25 August 2016
Registration: ​Please email Registrations close Friday, 19 August.

Drug Futures: Learning from the US Drug Experience – The 2016 VIFM/Monash University Schofield Oration, 25 August 2016, Melbourne 

Venue: Clemenger Auditorium, National Gallery of Victoria
Date: Thursday, 25 August 2016
For more information, see the Schofield Oration website

2016 Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), 26 to 27 August 2016, Gold Coast

Venue: Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre 
Date: Friday, 26 to Saturday, 27 August 2016
For more information, see the ADIPS ASM website

Caring for Colleagues 2016, 28 August, Sydney

Venue: AMA (NSW) House Conference Centre, 69 Christie Street, St Leonards
Date: Sunday, 28 August
Time: 9am to 5pm
Cost: AU$69 for AMA/DHAS members  or AU$105 for non-AMA/non-DHAS members
Registration: For more details and to register visit the AMA (NSW) website or email

Ramsay Health Care Information Evening, 31 August, 2016, Sydney

Venue: Cockle Bay Wharf
Date: Wednesday, 31 August 2016
For more information, see the Ramsay Health Care website.

RACP 2016 Tasmanian Physicians' Conference, 10 September, Hobart 

Venue: Medical Science Precinct, 17 Liverpool Street, Hobart
Date: Saturday, 10 September 2016
To register, or for more information, email

13th Asian Society for Neuro-Oncology (ASNO) Meeting / 9th COGNO Annual Scientific Meeting, 11 to 14 September 2016 

Venue: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
Date: Sunday, 11 to Wednesday, 14 September 2016
For more information, see the ASNOCOGNO 2016 website.

Internal Medicine Society of Australia & New Zealand (IMSANZ) /Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia & New Zealand (SOMANZ) Combined Conference 2016, 15 to 17 September 2016, Alice Springs 

Venue: Alice Springs Convention Centre, NT
Date: Thursday, 15 to Saturday, 17 September 2016
For more information, see the IMSANZ & SOMANZ conference website.  

Ramesh Nagappan Acute Care Medicine Course, 22 to 24 September 2016, Melbourne 

Venue: Box Hill TAFE, Edgar Road, Box Hill, VIC
Date: Thursday, 22 to Saturday, 24 September 2016
For more information, see the Eastern Health website.

International Advanced Assessment Course (IAAC), 19 to 20 October 2016, London 

Venue: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London
Date: Wednesday, 19 to Thursday, 20 October 2016
For more information, see the IAAC website.

Ramsay Health Care Information Evening, 24 October, 2016, Newcastle 

Venue: TBC
Date: Monday, 24 October 2016
For more information, see the Ramsay Health Care website.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute’s 17th International Symposium and Princesses’ Lecture, 6 to 8 November 2016, Sydney 

Venue: Garvan Auditorium, Darlinghurst
Date: Sunday, 6 to Tuesday, 8 November 2016
For more information, see the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute website

5th Closing the Gap Indigenous Health Conference and 2016 World Indigenous Allied Health Conference, 1 to 3 December 2016, Cairns

Venue: Pullman Cairns International Hotel, Cairns
Date: Thursday, 1 to Saturday, 3 December 2016
For more information, see the Indigenous Conference Services website.

Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Annual Scientific Meeting, 29 March to 1 April 2017, Blue Mountains 

Venue: Fairmont Resort, Blue Mountains, NSW
Date: Wednesday, 29 March to Saturday, 1 April 2017
For more information, see the ASID website.


Close overlay