AMD eBulletin 30 April 2021

President's Post

Greetings to all.

The first meeting of the Adult Medicine Division Council for this year was held on 10 March 2021, with specialty societies, Chapters, trainees, and Aotearoa New Zealand well-represented.

This meeting focused on progress made against the Division’s 2021-2022 work plan initiatives, including to:

  • increase equity and fairness in Advanced Training selection
  • grow the Indigenous physician workforce
  • improve capacity to identify workforce composition and areas of need
  • support and grow the Physician Leader
  • improve understanding and clarify the value of the AMD.

Members’ discussion highlighted the value of increasing Indigenous cultural recognition in the life of the College. I look forward to incorporating te reo (Māori language) and tikanga (cultural practices) in future AMD meetings, as these practices complement our work supporting growth of the Indigenous workforce in both our countries.

During the meeting, AMD Council members received an update on the RACP Constitution Review Project. Members were reassured that the Board is not recommending a particular model at this point and that member feedback is early sought by the College.

To that end, I refer you to a consultation paper that was circulated to members in February 2021, with feedback sought by 9 April 2021 to

My feedback to this process will highlight the valuable role that the AMD has to play in assisting our College and Board to fulfil their responsibilities, and on the importance of ensuring that the College Council is fit-for-purpose and appropriately representative of the College membership.

Reviewing AMD activity since we last met, I am struck by the fact that much of our activity has been built on reciprocity. There has been a clear focus on building relationships with specialty societies, with the Chapters, and with the Board. To that end, we see the establishment of effective models of collaboration between the College, through the AMD, with its affiliated specialty societies as a particularly important one, and I look forward to providing you with more information about this initiative in my next post.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to Congress this year. It is fair to say that the new model of delivery is one that brings the Congress to the membership in a way that has not been attempted before. The two speakers selected by the AMD reflect the reasons why: The Priscilla Kincaid Smith Oration will be given by Professor Sharon Lewin from the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, and the Cottrell Memorial Oration will be given by Dr Michael Ryan, the Director of Pandemic Response for the World Health Organization, and an inspiring speaker and public health advocate. I commend AMD Lead Dr Sharmila Ramessur Chandran for her work forming a varied and interesting AMD program for Congress. That program is available at the RACP Congress 2021 website.

If you have any questions or feedback for me, you are welcome to contact me via the Adult Medicine Division secretariat at

Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division President

AChSHM President’s Post

I am pleased to let you know that the Chapter has now finalised a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). The intention behind the MOU is to support collaboration on areas of common concern. The Chapter looks forward to increased engagement with RANZCOG in the future. I would like to thank previous AChSHM President, Associate Professor Cathy O’Connor, for her leadership of this project.

For those who attended the 2021 AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) held virtually on 20 March 2021, please note that the post-event survey is still open. I encourage you all to fill this in, as your feedback will improve future events. All delegates should have received a link via email, but please contact the secretariat at if you have not received one. I would like to thank ASM 2021 Lead Convener Dr Rick Varma, Trainees’ Day Lead Convener Dr Mark O’Reilly, and the two Program Committees for their efforts in planning these two days. I’d also like to thank all speakers and delegates for contributing to making the event a success.

I would like to draw attention to three Chapter prizes that are either open now or will open shortly. I encourage you to apply for these prizes, or if you can think of someone who would be eligible, send them a link.

  • The Jan Edwards Prize is now open for applications. This prize is awarded for the best abstract oral presentation by a registered AChSHM trainee. Applications close on Sunday, 2 May 2021.
  • The Research Entry Scholarships were developed to assist Fellows and trainees who are at the start of their research careers and/or enrolled or about to enrol in a Masters, PhD or equivalent research higher degree. Applications will open on Monday, 3 May 2021 and close on Monday, 26 July 2021.
  • The AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sexual Health Medicine is for contributions made by Fellows of the AChSHM. Nominations will open on Monday, 17 May 2021 and close on Saturday, 31 July 2021.

The next AChSHM Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, 23 June 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

Last month, I had a very productive meeting with the President of the Adult Medicine Division (AMD), as well as the Presidents of the Chapters of Addiction Medicine and Sexual Health Medicine. This provided an opportunity for the three Chapters to have an open dialogue with each other and the AMD President. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that some of the challenges (and opportunities) we experience within our specialty are similarly experienced by our addiction medicine and sexual health medicine colleagues. I look forward to furthering this cross-specialty engagement.

I am pleased to advise that Professor David Currow will represent our Chapter on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare End-of-Life Care Data Development Working Group. This group is focused on proving expert technical advice on palliative care and end-of-life care information.

Lastly, I would like to bring your attention to the AChPM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Discipline of Palliative Medicine, in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by a palliative medicine Fellow to the discipline. Nominations opened on 12 April 2021 and close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021. This is an ideal opportunity for you to recognise a peer or colleague.

The AChPM Committee will next meet on Friday, 4 June 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 Committee continues to be active in policy and advocacy and has most recently focused on providing feedback to the NSW Ministry of Health consultation on proposed amendments to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation (2008). These amendments would enable implementation of a Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) solution in NSW.

Whilst this AChAM-led College submission outlines our support for RTPM, it also stresses that its effectiveness relies on wider service planning and resourcing. It calls on the NSW Ministry of Health and NSW Government to:

  1. Implement wider service planning focused on improving availability and access to multidisciplinary teams of qualified health professionals with expertise in addiction medicine and pain management; increasing funding for addiction medicine and other evidence-based alcohol and drug treatment services more broadly, and training GPs in managing patients with prescription drug and other substance use disorders.
  2. Ensure that prescribers are well informed about RTPM and how to support patients identified by the system through training.
  3. Develop clinical guidelines aimed at all prescribers to complement this training.
  4. Ensure that clear evidence-based guidance on safe and effective opioid tapering are made available to all prescribers.
  5. Invest in research, evaluation and service models that combine pain and addiction medicine to build the evidence-base on how best to treat complex patients with concurrent chronic pain and substance use disorders.
  6. Implement ongoing monitoring and evaluation of RTPM to ensure the system can be improved to best serve the health needs of patients and the broader community.

I would also like to bring your attention to the Nghi Phung Research Project Prize that will open for applications on Monday 17 May 2021. This Prize (formerly the AChAM Research Project Prize) is awarded annually to the best Advanced Training Research Project for addiction medicine. The prize is named in honour of the late Associate Professor Nghi Phung’s passion for research and her enormous contribution to the alcohol and other drug field.

I would like to encourage you to engage with your branch representative as listed below via the Chapter secretariat at  

  • NSW/ACT Branch Chair, Professor John Saunders
  • SA/NT Branch Chair, Dr Carolyn Edmonds
  • QLD Branch Chair, Associate Professor Cornelius (Kees) Nydam
  • WA Branch Chair, Dr Craig Connelly
  • AoNZ Branch Chair, Dr Vicki Macfarlane
  • VIC/TAS Branch Chair, Dr Nick Clark

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 Adrian Dunlop
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine

Advanced Training Curricula Renewal update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 consultation on the proposed common learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) programs for Advanced Training (AT). Your feedback was used to refine the programs and ensure they are robust and appropriate.

The common LTA programs for AT have now been finalised.

The common LTA programs will establish a baseline for learning, teaching and assessment across all AT programs. As each specialty undertakes their program-specific curricula reviews, they will build on the common LTA programs to meet the needs of their specialty. 

This year, in collaboration with the Curriculum Advisory Group, we will continue to support the first six specialty groups to undertake the development process:

  • Cardiology (Adult Medicine)
  • Cardiology (Paediatrics & Child Health)
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • General Rehabilitation Medicine

More information about Advanced Training Curricula Renewal is available on our website.


RACP Congress 2021

What happens if there is a lockdown in your city due to COVID-19

In light of the recent Perth lockdown due to COVID-19 and ongoing uncertainty regarding local restrictions, we have made the difficult decision to shift the Perth program to a wholly virtual event.

We want to assure all RACP Congress 2021 attendees that plans are in place should there be a lockdown in any of the in-person cities. The possibility of this has always been part of the planning for RACP Congress, and the program has been designed to switch to a wholly virtual experience, if necessary. If you purchased a ticket to an in-person event, your existing registration automatically allows you full access to the entire Congress program so you can simply login via your OnAir app.

If you have purchased a ticket to attend an in-person day that needs to be cancelled, you will receive a full refund for the difference between the in-person and virtual ticket price. This may take up to two weeks to be refunded to the account from which your payment was made.

You can still register to attend virtually

If you have yet to register for RACP Congress 2021, but still want to attend, you can still purchase a virtual ticket. This will include access to the entire RACP Congress program as well as six months of access to all of the recorded sessions.

Register now

Share your experiences of completing your specialty training requirements

Researchers at Bond University want to hear about your experience completing your specialty requirements for Advanced Training via this short survey.

You are eligible to take part if you:

  • are currently undertaking your specialty training at an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand specialist training college
  • have completed your specialty training at an Australian or Aotearoa New Zealand specialist training college in the past five years.

Participation in this survey is voluntary and should only take 10 minutes.

This survey has ethics approval from the Bond University Human Research Ethics Committee [HREC: PS00149].

RACP Foundation Research Awards

Applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards will open on Monday, 3 May 2021.

Upwards of 50 awards up to a total value of $2.5m are available across the different categories: Career Development Fellowships, Research Establishment Fellowships and Research Entry Scholarships.

Applications for other award categories including Research Development Grants, Travel Grants and Education Development Grants will open Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

Most awards are open to Fellows and trainees across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Please refer to the RACP Foundation webpage for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Last chance: AChSHM Jan Edwards Prize

The Jan Edwards Prize is awarded for the best research-based abstract oral presentation by a registered AChSHM trainee. The prize includes $500 and a certificate. Applications close on Sunday, 2 May 2021. For further details and to apply please visit the RACP website

RACP AChSHM Research Entry Scholarship

Applications open on Monday, 3 May 2021 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.

The RACP AChSHM Study Grant is also available this year to support further educational training or develop educational initiatives in sexual health medicine. Applications for Study Grants open on Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

Full details for this and other funding opportunities are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

New Awards in Palliative Medicine

AChPM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Discipline of Palliative Medicine

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 on 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 open Monday, 7 June 2021. See the RACP website for more information.

Submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability

In April 2021, the RACP provided its submission to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability. Following consultation with members last year, the RACP has provided 35 recommendations to the Royal Commission that seek to improve health outcomes for people with a disability and their experience of the healthcare system. 

These include five areas of transformational change to the health and disability sectors:

  • ensuring a human-rights centred approach; reducing levels of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with a disability
  • providing person centred, integrative care
  • improving the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • enhancing the systems which support the health and disability sectors.

The submission also focuses on the experience of specific population groups and provides recommendations to enhance healthcare for people with a disability across the lifespan. 

The submission can be viewed on the RACP Policy & Advocacy webpage

Contribute to the Clinical Ethics Online Learning Resource

Fellows, Advanced Trainees and subject matter experts are invited to express interest to join a Working Group for the development of the Clinical Ethics Online Learning Resource. The resource will be designed to educate and support Fellows and supervisors in building their own clinical ethics capacity and in conducting teaching and training sessions in clinical ethics for trainees. 

Find out more and apply now

RACP research recognised by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

RACP Research Officer Carol Pizzuti discussed her PhD research project ‘Using eHealth data to design personalised CME programs for Australasian medical practitioners’ at the ACCME 2021 Meeting: Embracing Change. The event was held virtually from 27 to 29 April 2021. Carol’s research project is part of the College partnership with the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre.

For NSW members – the NSW Ministry of Health Your Training and Wellbeing Matters survey

The NSW Ministry of Health Your Training and Wellbeing Matters survey is an initiative of its Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Wellbeing and Support Plan. The 2021 survey will run from Monday, 26 April to Sunday, 16 May 2021. 

The survey will give all doctors working and/or training, their supervisors and support staff the opportunity to provide confidential feedback on what it’s like working and/or training in the NSW health system. This online survey will ask about your experiences in the position that you are currently in or as at 1 February 2021.

The results from this survey will provide valuable information to strengthen medical training and management, and assist in providing safe and supportive working environments.

There are three separate surveys: 

  • Doctors working and/or training – for interns, residents, registrars, doctors in accredited training positions or unaccredited positions and career medical officers
  • Supervisors of doctors training – for senior medical officers who have responsibility for doctors training.
  • JMO management and support staff – for JMO management and education support staff who spend more than 50 per cent of their time in activities involving the management and/or education of JMOs.

More information is available in the NSW Health factsheet

To participate in the survey please visit the NSW Health website

Pomegranate Health podcast

Ep69: Gendered Medicine – Funding and Research

This is the third and final part of our series on gendered medicine. We step back and look at the way that healthcare and research are funded. It’s been said that the health needs of women are undervalued by our existing fee-for-service model, down to individual item numbers in the Medicare Benefits Schedule. There is also evidence that diseases predominantly experienced by female patients receive less research investment. Is this blatant sexism or a symptom of structural imbalance? And what do we do about it?

Listen to podcast

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, 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. 

RACP asks for timely clear action on preventive health

The development of the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 comes at a time when the need to address the imbalance between prevention and treatment and provide a coordinated national response that involves all systems could not be clearer. The draft strategy goes some way towards these goals, but significant gaps remain.

In its recent submission on the draft strategy, the College has asked the Government to:

  • provide greater detail on how the five per cent of the national health budget earmarked for prevention would be allocated
  • increase focus on work, employment and poverty as determinants of health
  • increase focus on the environmental determinants of health in an actionable way
  • include evidence-based approaches such as taxes and restrictions on junk food marketing to children
  • centre the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • acknowledge and make actionable measures to better address the needs of people with disabilities
  • assign specific responsibilities, accountabilities and milestones.

The upcoming Preventive Health Strategy must be designed, funded and implemented in a timely and actionable way if it is to lead to tangible, meaningful improvements in health outcomes for all Australians. 

Read our submission

Enrol in the new developing effective teaching skills QStream course

Fellows and trainees of all specialties are invited to enrol in this new QStream course, which has a mid-May start. The course is designed to provide practical strategies to help you enhance your teaching skills and effectively balance teaching with a busy workload.

You'll access in-depth case studies with questions that are sent directly to your inbox at spaced intervals over a three-week period. Each question takes just ten minutes to complete and participants are encouraged to discuss the case studies and share opinions with others through secure, online discussion forums.

The course is designed to enhance your knowledge in adult learning, provide practical strategies to incorporate effective teaching skills into day-to-day settings, and encourage self-reflection and peer discussion.

Digital health resources

Digital health resources have been developed and curated to assist Fellows and trainees to better understand digital health initiatives, including My Health Record, and provide opportunities for further learning and professional development.

Visit the digital health webpage to watch videos about telehealth, electronic prescribing, My Health Record and secure messaging.

Development of these resources has been in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency, who are responsible for the delivery of Australia's National Digital Health Strategy. The Strategy's key pillars include driving innovation, education and workforce development, enhanced models of care, interoperability and data quality, medicines safety, My Health Record and secure messaging.

Webinar recording: Using health data for practice reflection

The Digital Health CRC kicked off a series of virtual events covering hot topics in the field of Practice Analytics on 21 April 2021. Watch the recording of the inaugural webinar ‘Using health data for practice reflection: Changing expectations on the role of data in professional development’. This webinar discussed the potential use of health data for practice reflection and professional development.

The panel included Anne Tonkin (Chair, Medical Board of Australia), John Wilson (President, Royal Australasian College of Physicians), Julian Archer (Executive General Manager for Education, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) David Rankin (Director Clinical Governance and Informatics, Cabrini Health), Robert J. Birnbaum (Mass General Brigham, Harvard Medical School) and was chaired by Tim Shaw (Director of Research, Digital Health CRC). 

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) April 2021 now online

The April 2021 issue of the IMJ (Volume 51, Issue 4) is now live on the RACP website (log in using RACP log in credentials).

Key highlights from the issue are:

  • anti-cancer therapy made easier: a 25-year update
  • current approach to acute stroke management
  • dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease and critical care
  • medication and cognitive impairment among residents of aged care facilities
  • Group A streptococcal bacteraemia: an under-reported risk group
  • surgical treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer in octogenarians.

This month’s Editor's Choice is an Original Article titled 'Factors that predict glycaemic response to sodium-glucose linked transporter (SGLT) inhibitors' by Amy L. Harding, Naiara Bediaga, Anna Galligan, Peter G. Colman, Spiros Fourlanos and John M. Wentworth.

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.

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Career opportunities 

Please see the College website to view all medical positions vacant.

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