AMD eBulletin 5 March 2021
Greetings to all.
I would like to start this message by touching on one of AMD’s key strategic areas of concern, that of growing the Indigenous physician workforce. The College is committed to growing the Indigenous physician workforce and delivering equitable health outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. At the most recent meeting of the AMD Executive Committee (AMDEX) on 28 January 2021, this issue was discussed at length.
Key activities that the College undertook in 2020 to support growing the Indigenous physician workforce included:
- developing a strategy to increase and support Indigenous entry into training
- commencing review of the College’s selection into training policy
- organising coaching opportunities for Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees
- continuing collaboration with the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) on recruiting and retaining more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specialist trainees
- developing a strategy to remove financial barriers for Indigenous trainees to support entry into and progression of training.
This important work will continue into 2021 and beyond.
AMDEX members commended the work being undertaken by the College’s Education, Learning and Assessment team to grow the Indigenous physician workforce. I look forward to discussing this work, along with other key AMD initiatives, with all AMD Council members at our Wednesday, 10 March 2021 meeting.
A reminder that Congress 2021 is fast approaching, with a mixed format including small, local face-to-face meetings in six different cities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. This will be complemented by a virtual Congress, encompassing orations, live streamed sessions, Clinical Updates from specialty societies and professional practice workshops. Your Congress ticket also gives you online access to the entire program for an additional six months. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to register for Congress and to attend as many sessions as your commitments allow, whether live or at your own virtual leisure. You will also earn CPD points for either physical or virtual attendance. Congress begins on Thursday, 29 April and concludes Tuesday, 14 May 2021.
The AMD President-elect and I had the opportunity to meet with the RACP Board in late February. The AMD reports to the Board and we took the opportunity to inform the Board of our work plan and our role in working with the majority of the Specialty Societies affiliated with the College and the three Chapters of Addiction Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Sexual Health Medicine. I subsequently met with the three Presidents of the Chapters to discuss their respective priorities and work plans with them.
I hope that these meetings with the Board and with the Chapter Presidents will become regular events. The AMD looks forward to fostering the relationship with the Board and with the Chapters, supporting the Chapters and assisting them with their work plans particularly as they relate to improving training opportunities.
If you have any questions or feedback for me, you are welcome to contact me via the Adult Medicine Division secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Don Campbell
Adult Medicine Division President
Registrations are open for the 2021 AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), which will be held online on Saturday, 20 March 2021. The theme for our 2021 ASM is 'Complexity, Challenges, Change in Sexual Health' and the ASM Organising Committee is excited to provide you with a highly informative program.
This year we have some rapid updates on resistant and persistent infections as well as sessions on hormone management of non-binary patients and ageing issue, trauma informed care and changes implemented during 2020 that we would like to keep.
Registrations to date have been strong, and I encourage everyone, both Fellows and trainees to make time for this useful event.
You can register and view more of the program on the ASM website.
I am pleased to advise that Dr Swaminathan (Sama) Balasubramanian is the elected Sexual Health Trainees Representative in the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine. If you have any feedback or comments for Dr Balasubramanian, please feel free to contact him through the Chapter secretariat at email@example.com.
The next AChSHM Committee meeting will be held 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Kit Fairley
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine
The AChPM Committee last met on 19 February 2021. One area of major focus of the meeting was ensuring that we are progressing delivery of the Spirituality Training Workshop Pilot. This pilot has been on hold during COVID-19, as it is not suitable for online delivery, but we are hopeful of delivering this important workshop during 2021.
The Palliative Medicine Training Committee is currently seeking Expressions of Interest from palliative medicine Fellows who have trained via either the FRACP or the FAChPM pathway for the Lead in Assessment (Division) role. This Committee’s work is both important and rewarding, and I encourage all eligible members to apply.
I would also like to bring your attention to the position open to an AChPM member to join the Palliative Care Australia’s Project Working Group to develop a General Supplement to the National Palliative Care Standards. The purpose of the working group is to support health practitioners in their delivery of generalist palliative care. For more information, please read the Terms of Reference.
I would like to again thank the volunteers who have signed up to join the palliative medicine marking panel and highlight that the Training Committee in Palliative Medicine is seeking Chapter Fellows to join the pool of case study and project markers for Advanced Trainees and Clinical Diploma trainees. I am pleased to let you know that our shared efforts to date to encourage members to join the panel have nearly doubled its numbers, 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 PalliativeMedTraining@racp.edu.au.
I would also like to bring your attention to the upcoming ANZSPM Aotearoa 2021 Multi-Disciplinary Retreat, from Friday, 5 to Sunday, 7 March 2021, in Hanmer Springs.
The AChPM Communique was recently published on the RACP website, and you are invited to read this document to review the work of the Committee during the second half of 2020.
Finally, I am very excited to announce a new Chapter award: the AChPM Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Fellow to the Discipline of Palliative Medicine. The prize will open for nominations from April to June 2021. More information will be published on the RACP website shortly.
The 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 email@example.com.
Dr Michelle Gold
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
I am pleased to report that the 2021 International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) conference, which ran from 26 February to 28 February 2021, was a great success.
Members from the RACP met virtually with colleagues from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, enjoying presentations from internationally renowned experts from across the addiction field.
My thanks go to all IMiA21 presenters, and to my fellow program committee members from across the three Colleges, for delivering this event online for the first time. We hope to be able to return to face-to-face meetings in future.
Building upon the success of the IMiA conferences in networking doctors from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, a number of doctors are working together to establish a new professional Society of Medicine in Addiction (SoMiA), external to the Chapter and College. To register interest and to get on a mailing list for updates and consultation, click through to the EOI form.
I would also like to particularly thank Professor Dan Lubman AM for presenting the inaugural RACP Professor John Caughey Oration. Professor Lubman’s presentation was on ‘The Australian Addiction Field; Past, Present and Future’, and was delivered in honour of Professor Caughey’s contributions to the field of addiction medicine.
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the AChAM Fellows who received Australia Day Honours, including our inaugural Professor John Caughey Orator.
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Professor Daniel Ian Lubman FAChAM
For significant service to medical education, research, treatment and policy in the field of addiction.
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Dr David Leslie Outridge FAChAM
For service to medicine, particularly to addiction recovery programs.
In terms of the Chapter’s policy and advocacy work, I can let you know that a review panel has been formed to review applications for the College’s Drug Policy Working Group. The group will be led jointly by AChAM and the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. I look forward to reporting back on this group’s progress in future eBulletins.
I recently wrote to the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, urging her to rethink the ongoing push to extend alcohol trading hours in the city. Evaluations of the Newcastle scheme as well as of similar arrangements in Sydney and Brisbane have shown again and again that shorter trading hours mean healthier and safer communities and reduced impact on the health and policing sectors.
If you are interested in reducing alcohol-related harm across Australia, please contact Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer, Dorota Sacha-Krol. Aotearoa New Zealand based members with an interest in reducing alcohol-related harm are welcome to contact Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer, Harriet Wild.
The AChAM Committee will next meet on Tuesday, 6 April 2021 via videoconference. If you would like a look back at the work the Chapter engaged in during 2020, please review our 2020 AChAM Communique.
As always, I invite you to share feedback or comments with the Committee, via our secretariat at AddictionMed@racp.edu.au.
Professor Nicholas Lintzeris
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
Frontline border protection, quarantine and aged and healthcare workers began receiving the first COVID-19 vaccines in Australia on 21 February 2021. The RACP welcomed the commencement of the vaccination program as an incredible achievement in Australia’s battle against the global COVID-19 pandemic.
RACP President Professor John Wilson AM said “Australia is in this position today thanks to the hard work of our frontline workers, state and federal governments, and the everyday Australians who have been doing the right thing and following the advice of health experts.”
Professor Wilson noted that the vaccines being rolled out have been rigorously assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and Australians should have confidence in the vaccines.
He noted that the RACP is glad to see essential healthcare workers, hotel quarantine workers and aged care and disability residents and workers at the top of the priority list when it comes to getting vaccinated. These groups are at high-risk of contracting the virus and should be prioritised.
Professor Wilson’s comments were reported in 147 online news articles and two radio interviews which were broadcast 178 times across Australia.
The RACP is continuing to support our members during the vaccine rollout through:
Due to the impact of COVID-19 we can confirm that it’s not mandatory for Fellows to record CPD activities in MyCPD for 2020, although it’s encouraged where possible.
Your 2020 MyCPD record will remain open until mid-April if you wish to record your activities retrospectively. This extension (from the usual 31 March deadline) will be applied to allow for the Easter holidays. After the extension expires in mid-April, a 2020 MyCPD certificate of completion will be emailed to those who have recorded a minimum of 100 recognised credits.
The Medical Board of Australia and The Medical Council of New Zealand have decided that medical practitioners will need to resume meeting CPD requirements from 2021. We acknowledge the complexity of your changed environment and are here to support you in completing valuable and achievable CPD this year.
Please review the 2021 MyCPD framework to ensure you are familiar with your requirements and explore the College’s CPD resources in the MyCPD Interactive Handbook and the Online Learning Resources platform.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact the CPD Team if you have any questions or feedback – we’re here to help.
AU: 1300 697 227 or MyCPD@racp.edu.au
AoNZ: +64 4 460 8122 or MyCPD@racp.org.nz
Log in to MyCPD
This is an exciting time to become an RACP Accreditor.
We are rolling out the new Accreditation Standards and Requirements for Basic Training in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. As an accreditor, your valuable contribution will ensure the delivery of high-quality workplace training and competent physicians, now and into the future.
Expressions of Interest are open to all Fellows in the Adult Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health Divisions.
As an accreditor, you will:
- undertake setting and training program accreditation reviews with peers
- play a crucial role in providing support and constructive feedback to settings who are seeking to achieve RACP accreditation as a training provider
- gain firsthand experience of the new accreditation Standards and Requirements in practice, providing you with valuable insight for future accreditation preparations in your organisation
- be eligible to claim Category 3 CPD credits and hours for activity undertaken.
Training with ongoing support and guidance to start your new role will be provided.
How to apply
Submit an Expression of Interest form along with your latest CV to firstname.lastname@example.org (Australia) or email@example.com (Aotearoa New Zealand) by Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
For more information, contact us via the details provided above.
RACP Congress 2021 is proud to announce Dr Monkol Lek will be speaking about genetic discovery and translation in neuromuscular diseases in Sydney this year. Dr Lek has three undergraduate degrees in computer engineering, bioinformatics and physiology from the University of New South Wales. He has worked on some of the largest human genetics projects, including playing a lead role in the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) project. He also had an opportunity to work on using cutting-edge genomic technologies to improve the diagnosis rate of rare neuromuscular diseases, using a cohort from Australia, and played a leadership role in the Broad Center of Mendelian. In 2018, he started his own lab at Yale as an Assistant Professor, with the goal to also work on translating genetic discoveries into patient specific genetic therapies. To find out more about him and our other speakers, visit the RACP Congress 2021 website.
Join us on Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 6pm to 7.30pm (NZDT) / 4pm to 5.30pm (AEDT) for the Aotearoa New Zealand focused session of the COVID-19 Vaccination Series brought to you by the RACP and the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine.
With a focus on the Aotearoa New Zealand COVID-19 vaccinations rollout across the community, this session will also explore the up-to-the-minute news, research and further details of the vaccine.
It's just over two weeks until the ASM arrives. Don’t miss out on a packed day with engaging sessions. Explore the full program and meet the speakers.
Visit the ASM website
The RACP is hosting a webinar on Thursday, 11 March 2021, 4.30pm to 5.30pm (AEDT) / 6.30pm to 7.30pm (NZDT).
This webinar will explore the key concept and recommendations contained in the recently released RACP statement on Indigenous child health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. This is an opportunity for participants to ask questions and explore the next steps in healthcare for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori children.
Speakers will include:
We encourage RACP members, health professionals and any interested individuals to attend and share this event widely with your networks.
It's important to take time away from your daily life to reflect on your career, learn new skills and build connections with your peers. To help you achieve these goals, you're invited to the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day. Held on Rāhoroi Poutū-te-rangi | Saturday, 27 March 2021 at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua, you'll hear from a diverse range of speakers and receive invaluable networking opportunities. Attendance costs may even be reimbursed. Ask us how.
Associate Professor Rinki Murphy works at the University of Auckland and is a Diabetologist at Auckland District Health Board and Counties Manukau Health. Her session 'Why do research as a clinical trainee?' will outline various opportunities to experience different types of health research during specialist medical training which may motivate you to embark on an academic clinical career. Hear what she has to say about why you should attend this important event.
Supervisors, please encourage trainees to attend the Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day.
You are invited to a Medicare webinar on Wednesday, 17 March 2021 from 6.30pm (AEDT) / 8.30pm (NZDT) by the Medicare Benefits Integrity and Digital Health Division. The webinar will cover how to meet compliance standards and record-keeping, and how to best utilise support services for Medicare. This webinar will not be available as a recording.
- introduction to the overarching compliance approach of the Division
- case studies (de-identified)
- record-keeping requirements
- accessing support services.
You're invited to an interactive webinar on Tuesday, 16 March from 6pm (AEDT) / 8pm (NZDT). Associate Professor Clair Sullivan FRACP, Dr Olivier Salvado and Professor Enrico Coiera will answer your questions as they cover key topics including:
- implementing artificial intelligence (AI) models into clinical practice
- privacy issues
- other technical and cultural challenges of AI.
The Committee of Chairs of the Medical Colleges of Victoria are hosting a webinar on updating our skills in psychiatry
on Saturday, 27 March. You are invited to attend and engage with leading experts in the field who will be presenting on anxiety, depression, addiction issues, psychiatry in the elderly including an update from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
All members are encouraged to register for the webinar
, which is hosted by the RACP Victorian Regional Committee.
Access the RACP’s extensive collection of powerful and engaging educational videos all in one place. Browse the Medflix video library for videos covering a range of clinical and professional topics, including the VicFEAT and Continuing Education series, as well as all the videos from our online courses.
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.
In the past decade the number of Australians living with obesity has more than doubled, from 2.7 million in 2007-08 to over six million people today. We now have 900,000 more Australians living with obesity. Obesity affects all sections of society, but rates are higher in those with relative socio-economic disadvantage and lower levels of educational attainment, those living in regional and remote areas, and among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
It is the time to do something significant about an issue that, one way or another, affects everyone. It has become one of Australia’s most important equity challenges and most expensive preventable national health problems. New clinical guidelines are an essential step towards keeping health professionals up-to-date with the best practice approaches to dealing with obesity.
On World Obesity Day 2021, the College and other key medical, specialist and consumer bodies issued a call for official clinical guidelines on how to assess, help and manage people with obesity. See the news section of the RACP website for more on this important initiative.
Tuesday, 16 March 2021
5pm to 6pm (AEDT) / 7pm to 8pm (NZDT).
As physicians act to reduce low-value care through implementing Evolve and Choosing Wisely recommendations, they must take care that these recommendations do not increase existing inequities for Māori.
Join Professor David Tipene-Leach and Dr Derek Sherwood as they discuss key findings from the Choosing Wisely Means Choosing Equity report, including why considering equity in this context is so important and messages for physicians on their role in reducing healthcare inequities.
The February 2021 issue of the IMJ (Volume 51, Issue 2) is now live on the RACP website (log in using RACP log in credentials).
Key highlights from the issue are:
- severe asthma expert forum
- current issues in hepatocellular carcinoma in Australia
- acquired haemophilia and haemostatic control with recombinant porcine FVIII
- heterogeneity in rates of progression of chronic kidney disease
- scleroderma renal crisis
- mainstreaming genomics.
This month’s Editor's Choice is a Review Article titled 'Severe asthma assessment, management and the organisation of care in Australia and New Zealand: expert forum roundtable meetings' by Steven Maltby, Vanessa M. McDonald, John W. Upham, Simon D. Bowler, Li P. Chung, Eve J. Denton, James Fingleton, Jeffrey Garrett, Christopher L. Grainge, Mark Hew, Alan L. James, Christine Jenkins, Gregory Katsoulotos, Gregory G. King, David Langton, Guy B. Marks, Andrew Menzies-Gow, Robert M. Niven, Matthew Peters, Helen K. Reddel, Francis Thien, Paul S. Thomas, Peter A. B. Wark, Elaine Yap and Peter G. Gibson, on behalf of Severe Asthma Expert Forum contributors.
Check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.
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.
Please see the College website to view all medical positions vacant.