AMD Newsletter 1 June 2018

President's Post

The RACP is changing: we want to hear from you to make sure we are serving your needs and responding to your concerns

As the new president of the Adult Medicine Division of the RACP I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and outline my vision for the coming two years. 

I am an adult medicine physician from Melbourne whose interests and past activities encompass clinical medicine, laboratory, clinical and social science research, undergraduate and postgraduate education, ethics and the philosophy of medicine, and global health and reconciliation. My personal speciality is endocrinology but I also work in general medicine, predominantly within the public hospital system. 

I have a particular interest in ensuring that the College listens to its fellows and trainees, acts to serve their needs and responds to their concerns. Indeed, I believe that the primary ethical purpose of a professional organisation is to serve its members by providing a safe environment in which they can come together to support their mutual education, training, and personal and professional development, to learn from each other and to enhance the contributions they can make to their communities. 

The RACP has a long tradition of supporting the development and practice of medicine in Australia and New Zealand at all levels, including education and research, individual clinical practice and patient care, social policy formation, and advocacy for disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our two societies. I seek your help in renewing this mission, in clarifying our mutual priorities and in making sure that we remain open, responsive and accountable. 

There are many areas where change is needed, both within the College and in society more broadly. We need to establish effective processes of consultation so that we can understand what our fellows and trainees need. We have to ensure that the organisation attends to the welfare of its members, including especially its trainees and members of minority groups, who are often placed under particular stress. To this end, we have to address issues relating to gender, culture and workforce practices, both in the public and private sectors. We have to make the College’s own practices, and its relationships with its members, transparent, flexible and properly respectful. 

We need to think through how best to engage with the wider community, in order to ensure that we can act effectively and courageously to address difficult social issues, such as those relating to the management of dying patients, the allocation of scarce resources and the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. We have to deal with technological change, with relationships with industry, and with cultural and economic forces that constantly threaten to compromise our primary purposes of community service and patient care.   

In the era of globalisation we need to examine how we can best support the development of health and health care around the world, how we can make available our own expertise and insights to those in need, both within our borders and beyond them, how we can support international exchanges and educational programs, and how we can learn from and remain open to the knowledge and experiences of those in other countries and cultures. 

Adult Medicine is two thirds of the College and encompasses a wide range of disciplines and practices. Many of our members are the leaders in their fields, but we also include those just starting out in their careers. We cover a wide diversity of cultures, attitudes, ethical perspectives and life purposes. Within this astounding array of experiences, capabilities and interests we can provide rich possibilities for personal and professional achievement and change. It is our challenge to find ways of realising these possibilities most effectively. 

I would like to use this column, not to provide formal, official communications from a distant organisation, but to consider specific issues of interest to our members and where possible, to contribute to ongoing conversations about how we can improve what we do. For this, I need to hear from you—about the issues you would like to consider, how you want us to change, what we are doing wrong or could do better—and maybe, occasionally, what you think we are actually doing well. 

Please share this email with colleagues and contact me with your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Feel free to email me personally or, if you wish to talk, to contact me directly by telephone. 

This is your College. You own it. We are here to serve you. Please make sure that we remain true to the trust you have placed in us.

Best wishes,

Professor Paul Komesaroff FRACP AM
President
Adult Medicine Division
0417 55 26 59 
paul.komesaroff@monash.edu 

AChAM President’s Report

As the new President of the Chapter, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and acknowledge the achievements of our outstanding immediate past President Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds.

Adrian made a tremendous contribution as Chapter President, in particular in the area of policy and advocacy. His energy and enthusiasm helped the College and Chapter influence several significant public health and public policy matters throughout the two years of his presidency. On behalf of the AChAM Committee I would like to thank Adrian for his significant contribution.

By way of introduction, I am a Founding Fellow of the Chapter and currently work as an Addiction Medicine Specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne as well as in private practice. I’ve been a member of the Chapter Committee since 2010 and during this period have also been a member of the Victorian State Committee.

I am chairing the Program Committee responsible for developing the program for the 2019 International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) Conference in Melbourne from 1st to 3rd March 2019. With my colleagues from RACP, RACGP, RNZCGP and RANZCP, we are focussed on developing a highly topical program that will be attractive to the breadth of practitioners working in the field addiction medicine. 

The Chapter Committee has been working to finalise its EVOLVE list of low value clinical practices and hopes to release the final version in the coming months. 

With the start of the new College governance cycle, the Chapter Committee has welcomed two new members – Dr Nicholas Lintzeris as President-elect and Associate Professor Michael McDonough as the SA/NT Branch Chair. I look forward to working with Nick, Michael and the continuing members over the coming two years.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones 
President 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine 

AChSHM President’s Report  

With the start of the new College governance cycle, the Chapter Committee has welcomed several new members: Dr Nathan Ryder, former Chair of Sexual Health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Working Party (and current Chair of the ongoing Expert Reference Group), as the Policy and Advocacy Lead; Dr Massimo Giola, General Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Sexual Health Medicine specialist, as the New Zealand representative; Associate Professor Lewis Marshall, Faculty of Public Health Medicine and Sexual Health Medicine Fellow, as a general member; Dr Nick Medland, Lead Co-Convenor for the recent AChSHM ASM,  as general member; and Dr Manoji Gunathilake, who currently works as the only Sexual Health Medicine specialist in the Northern Territory, as a general member.

The new members bring a wealth of valuable experience and I sincerely look forward to working with them and the continuing members over the next two years progressing the work of the Chapter.

The Chapter Committee will meet for its first face to face meeting on Wednesday, 20th June at the College office in Sydney

Associate Professor Catherine O’Connor
President
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine

AChPM President’s Report

Following the biennial changeover in office bearers last month I have taken over the role of AChPM President from immediate past-President Dr Simon Allan. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Simon on behalf of the Chapter Committee for his significant contribution to the work of the Chapter over the past two years.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome three new members to Chapter Committee, Associate Professor Brian Le, Dr Alison White and Associate Professor Leeroy William. Continuing members include Dr Michelle Gold as President-elect, Dr Amy Waters, Professor Meera Agar, Dr Martha Mherekumombe and Dr Gauri Gogna. I look forward to working with all new and continuing members over the coming two years.

To introduce myself, I am a Founding Fellow of the AChPM and currently work as a Palliative Medicine Physician and Director of Research & Education at the Northern Adelaide Palliative Service. In terms of College Committees, I have previously served as a member of the Training Committee in Palliative Medicine from 2005 to 2011 and the Medical Oncology Training Committee and the Assessment Expert Advisory Panel from 2008 to 2011.Since 2016 I have been a member of the Chapter Committee and have represented the Chapter on the College Policy and Advisory Co​uncil. 

I look forward to contributing to the work of the Chapter and serving as Chapter Committee President for the next two years.

The Chapter Committee will next meet face to face at the Sydney College office on Friday, 15th June 2018.

Professor Greg Crawford
President
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine


Reminder — RACP IT update

Systems unavailable on 3 June and 9 to 11 June 2018
* Please note the updated times

Due to essential technology upgrades, all RACP internal and external facing IT resources will be unavailable on the following dates:

  • Sunday, 3 June – 12.01am to 11.59pm* AEST
  • Saturday, 9 June – Monday, 11 June inclusive 12.01am to 11.59pm* AEST

This will impact all Fellows, trainees and staff.

These weekends have been chosen to minimise disruption as many Australian states have a public holiday on Monday, 11 June. Unfortunately, Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand who are not on a public holiday will experience a greater impact as there will be no access until 11.59pm on Monday, 11 June during the outage.

We apologise for any inconvenience, but these upgrades are essential and cannot be deferred.

We are aware a number of members access College systems on weekends, and we want to provide you with as much advance warning as possible.

Systems and resources that will be unavailable include:

  • RACP.edu.au
  • All member portals
  • All trainee portals
  • MyRACP
  • MyCPD
  • eLearning@RACP
  • College Learning Series
  • College Intranet
  • Outlook (Email via webmail will still be accessible through outlook.office365.com)
  • All remote access services
  • Alfresco Share Sites

If you have to complete essential tasks during either of these weekends, we strongly recommend you save any required documents to the device you will be using before the outage begins.

If you have any further questions or enquiries, please contact RACP Member Services on memberservices@racp.edu.au or in Australia on 1300 MyRACP (1300 69 7227) or in New Zealand on 0508 MyRACP (0508 69 7227).

Research funding available

Close to $2.5M in research funding is currently being offered through the RACP Foundation in the following award categories

There are several awards offered in each category and further information is available on award opportunities at the RACP Foundation Awards webpage.

For any queries regarding the eligibility criteria, or application process email the RACP Foundation Senior Administration Officer by calling +61 2 9256 9639.

Obesity Position Statement launched

The RACP’s Obesity Position Statement and Evidence Review was launched at RACP Congress 2018 on Wednesday, 16 May.

A Working Group chaired by Professor Boyd Swinburn including leading paediatricians, endocrinologists and public health physicians developed the position statement. It makes evidence based recommendations on the management and prevention of obesity and calls on governments to:

  • introduce regulations to restrict the marketing of unhealthy diets to children and young people
  • implement an effective tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and use the revenue to facilitate access to healthy diets and culturally relevant initiatives to improve health equity
  • revise the Health Star Rating system’s nutrient profiling algorithm to give stronger weight to sugar content and by 2019 require the labelling be mandatory to encourage consumers to choose healthier options and motivate food manufacturers to develop healthier products

View the Position Statement and Evidence Review now or contact policy@racp.edu.au for further information.

Acute Coronary Syndrome podcast

Listen to author Professor David Brieger discuss secondary prevention of acute coronary syndrome and adherence to therapy in the newest Pomegranate Health podcast.

Access podcast

New benefits website

Same benefits, same savings, new design.

The new member lifestyle benefits website has been re-designed to offer improved navigation and functionality while allowing you to see the full benefit range on offer.

Access to your benefits directly.

Research grants on offer

Would you like to undertake a research project based on the RACP Evolve recommendations

The HCF Foundation is currently accepting Expressions of Interest for their 2018 Research Grants, which focus on research projects aiming to reduce the incidence of low-value health care provided in the hospital setting.

Find out more 

Groundbreaking report into brain injury and family violence

New research from Brain Injury Australia identifies a strong association between brain injury and family violence.

The Australian-first report also shows significant gaps in service responses, ranging from lack of screening for brain injury through to inadequate opportunities for effective rehabilitation, recovery and support.

Read more

Spread the Evolve message

Evolve ​call-to action and implementation resources, including media, podcasts, posters, presentations, research, training, videos, webinars and worksheets are now available.

Download now

Core competency guidelines released

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have developed guidelines on Core competencies for Australian academic clinical trialists (available on the NHMRC website). It is envisaged that NHMRC-developed competencies will eventually be incorporated into higher education and general education frameworks in Australia.

These guidelines support the training of staff involved in the conduct and oversight of clinical trials. The competencies are designed to support graduated and stratified learning with three competency levels and three roles. The Competencies can be incorporated into RACP educational materials and courses, adapting to align with practice areas.

Important testing and treatment update for HIV 

Early treatment initiation using advanced HIV treatments offers patients significantly improved health benefits and will dramatically reduce the risk of passing on HIV.

NSW Health is encouraging you to incorporate HIV testing into routine care. 

NSW data shows an increase in the number of HIV diagnoses through heterosexual sex among NSW residents. Heterosexuals now make up 1 in 5 new diagnoses for HIV with 29% more heterosexual HIV diagnoses made in 2017 (compared to the average for the last six years).

NSW Health is encouraging heterosexual people, particularly those who’ve never been tested before, to get a HIV test including people who:

  • Have had sex when traveling in a country where HIV is common;
  • Have had sex with someone from a country where HIV is common;
  • Are from a country where HIV is common;
  • Have used injecting equipment after someone else; and

NSW Health continues to encourage men who have sex with men to get tested.

Resources available

NSW Health provides resources and support to make HIV testing easier than ever. This includes the new Dried Blood Spot test for HIV and hepatitis C which can be done without attending a health service. The finger prick test is free, easy and confidential.

The NSW HIV Support Program and NSW Sexual Health Infolink are there to support you and your patients when a diagnosis is made

MBS listings update

The Government has announced several changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) that are now finalised and came into effect from 1st May 2018. 

The listings, recommended by the expert, independent Medical Services Advisory Committee, comprise:

  • four new MBS items for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart, for patients with suspected arrthymogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), and asymptomatic patients with a family history of ARVC in a first-degree relative;
  • two new items for breast MRI services for patients diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with breast implants;
  • a new item for whole body 68Ga DOTA peptide positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for the diagnosis of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.  The item will eventually replace single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) together with CT—items 61369 and 61505—in the diagnosis of these tumours; 
  • a new ophthalmology service, corneal collagen cross-linking, to treat corneal ectatic disorder, with evidence of progression;
  • a new service, cyanoacrylate embolisation (CAE), for the treatment of varicose veins caused by chronic venous insufficiency (MBS items 32528 and 32529);
  • a new cardiac service for the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in patients with cryptogenic stroke or embolic stroke of undetermined source, involving a new item for the insertion of implantable loop recorders (ILR), and another for investigation of the inserted ILR;
  • amendment of three gastrostomy items (30481, 30482 and 30483)  to prevent clinically inappropriate claiming
  • amendment of intensity modulated radiotherapy item 15565 to remove reference to the use of a phantom or other dosimetry device

More information

The MBS item descriptors and associated fees for the above listings, which are available at www.mbsonline.gov.au. The public summary documents outlining MSAC’s recommendations are available at www.msac.gov.au.

For any enquiries about the listings, please contact the department at surgicalservices@health.gov.au.

Learn from new Curated Collection

Access high-quality continuing professional development (CPD) resources and learn more about the social determinants of health in the newest Curated Collection learning resource guide.

Find out more

​Career opportunities 

Queensland

General Physician required for private practice opportunity
Hillcrest Rockhampton Private Hospital (Ramsay Health Care)
Contact: Fiona Hebbard, CEO on (07) 4932 1175 or email: HebbardF@ramsayhealth.com.au

Conferences and events

The RACP publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Please note this does not constitute endorsement or mandating these events or courses.

Alfred Chest Ultrasound Course 2018

View all events related to Adult Medicine here.

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

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