AMD Newsletter 15 December 2017

President's Post

As the year draws to a close, it’s our usual practice to reflect on the achievements of the past twelve months. In doing so, I’m again reminded of the enormous contribution that our members make to our profession through our College and our affiliated societies.

I’m also reminded of the critical role that our expert College staff play in supporting the work that we must do as a College to meet the needs of our members and our communities.

This year, the Adult Medicine Division (AMD) partnered with the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) and our three College Faculties to run a Specialty Society Webinar Service Pilot. This resulted in 12 societies presenting nearly 50 webinars. This has provided an important resource for all members – with these webinars now available on the College website. The AMD conducted a workforce activity survey with AMD affiliated societies and was able to present back to the AMD Council the workforce analysis activity our Adult Medicine societies undertake. The College has subsequently developed a baseline work profile survey to which we are asking all members to contribute. It takes five to ten minutes and will reap dividends over time if the College is able to generate a robust, longitudinal database of physician workforce activity – please go to MyRACP to contribute your information and enable us all to better inform our understanding of the physician workforce. 

We ran a highly engaging and educative advocacy workshop at our August AMD Council Meeting, and are in the process of revitalising the AMD Policy and Advocacy Lead Fellow Network. We have continued to build the Model of Collaboration framework, with a growing number of tailor-made schedules being developed with our specialty societies. We also surveyed and reflected back to our AMD Council the breadth of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities and resources our societies are involved in. I am grateful for the willingness of societies to collaborate and share these.

The AMD contribution at RACP Congress 2017 in Melbourne in May this year was important, covering a range of topics. The AMD orations from the Commonwealth Government’s Chief Medical Officer and RACP Fellow, Professor Brendan Murphy and leading cardiologist Professor Steve Nichols who received an NH&MRC Research Excellence Award in 2016 as its top-ranked Research Fellowship recipient for 2015 were fabulous examples of the great work that members of our Division do. I encourage you to view the RACP Congress 2018 program and register to join us for what will be an excellent meeting in Sydney.

AMD Council has continued to contribute to our College’s ongoing development of its training setting accreditation standards and framework, and participated in constructive discussions and planning around physician health and wellbeing, and around developing ​curricula for the 'Physician of the Future'.  

The College runs elections on a biennial basis to support the effective governance of the College. The elections provide an opportunity for members to participate in and contribute to the work of the College and shape the future of our College and our profession. Nominations were called for a range of positions on peak College bodies last week and I encourage you to consider nominating for these. The College is a large and by necessity sophisticated organisation operating in an increasingly complex environment. As with most member-based bodies, it works at its best when engaged members contribute to its business in partnership with expert, committed staff. The opportunities available to you are set out on the College website. More opportunities will be communicated in 2018.

In the meantime, I would like to thank members of the AMD Council and Executive Committee for their contributions this year. I would also like to thank our expert staff, without whom we would simply not achieve what we do as a College. I wish everyone involved with the College and your families a very Merry Christmas and a very happy new year.

Best wishes

Associate Professor Grant Phelps
Adult Medicine Division

AChAM President’s Report

Our Chapter has had a busy year.

On the policy and advocacy front, we have advocated successfully against the introduction of drug testing for welfare payment recipients, and we have maintained a strong position on the upscheduling of codeine products. These issues have alerted governments and regulators to the expertise and value of our discipline in treating our vulnerable patient population.

The International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) 2017 meeting was a huge success, with a growing international and vibrant, committed Australian and New Zealand delegate base. Preparations are underway for IMiA 2019 which will be held in Melbourne in early March 2019.

As a discipline, we continue to monitor the introduction of Addiction Medicine Specialist Medicare items and whether they are having a demonstrable effect on how our services are delivered, especially with regard to access.

Your Chapter Committee continues to explore how it can support and grow our specialty, and I encourage AChAM Fellows and Trainees to consider how you can contribute to this work. Our trainee numbers have grown this year, which is excellent. The College’s biennial election cycle has commenced, with roles on the AChAM Committee now subject to nominations. This is a great way to contribute to our profession - full details are available on the College website. We will also be running Expressions of Interest for our state branch Chair positions later in the new year.

I also encourage you to complete the College’s Workforce Survey which you can access via MyRACP. This is an important activity which will enable the College, and our Chapter to provide better advice to decision makers on medical workforce matters. It is crucial to the work the Chapter is doing to grow our specialty, so please do complete the survey – it only takes five to ten minutes.

Finally, I would encourage you to complete the online survey that will be used to develop the Chapter’s own Evolve list of top ​five low value practices of relevance to addiction medicine. This is an opportunity for you to ensure that the Chapter’s Evolve list is fully representative of the expertise, interests and priorities of its members in identifying areas of low value clinical practice worthy of reform. The survey should take ​less than 10 minutes to complete.

In closing, I would like to thank my colleagues on the AChAM Committee for all their hard work and commitment to our specialty, and to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine 

AChPM President’s Report

This has been a challenging year for Palliative Medicine specialists as the complex and controversial issues of euthanasia and physician assisted death have been explored, at a political and regulatory level and also across our College. We approach the end of 2017 in the knowledge that there are challenging days ahead as euthanasia is legalised in Victoria. Our profession will navigate this complex area with its patient-centred values at its core, and with the hope that the value and expertise offered by palliative medicine specialists to patients will be better recognised and supported.

On behalf of the AChPM Committee, I encourage all Chapter members to complete the College’s work profile survey, which seeks to establish a baseline database of the physician workforce. This will be expanded on over time, but is dependent on College members – us – completing the survey so that the data is both there and meaningful. This is so important for our planning and support of trainees. You can access the survey via MyRACP, it only takes five to ten minutes to complete, so please invest in this for our profession.

This year, our Chapter has seen the introduction of changes to the medical oncology term in our training program, and we have begun to expand the number of expert facilitators who are able to deliver our Communications Skills course. We have also explored how a more consistent approach to training in spirituality can be achieved in order to better serve this aspect of patient care.

We continue to work closely and enjoy a positive​ and collaborative relationship with our Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) colleagues, and I take this opportunity to thank Dr Carol Douglas for her contribution to ANZSPM as its president and also our AChPM Committee, and I congratulate her successor as President of ANZSPM, Professor Meera Agar.

In closing, I wish everyone a very happy and festive Christmas, and the very best for 2018.

Dr Simon Allan
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChSHM President’s Report  

Our Chapter has seen some change over the course of 2017.

We started the year with a new suite of Sexual Health Medicine Specialist Medicare items, which anecdotally seem to be enabling the establishment of community based care thereby increasing access for patients.

We ran our 2017 annual scientific meeting – Rise to the Challenge – in Sydney, which sold out. This is a great meeting designed by sexual health medicine specialists for sexual health medicine specialists. Our 2018 ASM will be in Melbourne on 17 March, and will be followed by our now annual Trainees’ Day. I encourage you to view the program on the ASM website and register for what will be a stimulating and comprehensive meeting.

As members are aware, Dr Graham Neilsen stepped down from the position of AChSHM President earlier this year, and I am now acting in the role of AChSHM President. We have successfully recruited Associate Professor Kit Fairley as our interim President-elect, and we have more recently recruited Dr Arun Menon to a casual vacancy on the AChSHM Committee. The College election cycle has commenced, and I urge all AChSHM members to view the positions for which the College is recruiting and consider putting yourself forward to contribute to our profession.

Our policy and advocacy work to contribute to improving the sexual health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continues under the leadership of the Chapter Working Party.  A set of good sexual health principles on this issue has been developed to underpin our advocacy to tackle the tragically high incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. On behalf of the Chapter I would like to thank the working party for its commitment to this complex issue, and acknowledge the contribution that is being made by our infectious diseases and public health medicine colleagues in this work.

I urge all AChSHM members to complete the College’s work profile survey via MyRACP. The College is establishing a baseline database of the physician workforce which it hopes to grow and extend. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will enable the College – and our Chapter – to better inform decision makers on health workforce matters.

2018 is shaping up to be another busy year. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy new year.

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

Involuntary Treatment and the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act  Survey

The Department of Addiction Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne would like to understand your beliefs and attitudes toward involuntary treatment for people with severe alcohol and other drug dependence that is imminently life threatening. The department also wishes to know whether you have heard of the Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act (SSDTA) and if so, your opinion, understanding and/or experience of it.

You are invited to participate or share your thoughts in a short survey. For more information, please Contact Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) Research Fund Award for 2018

Applications for the ANZSBT Research Fund Award for 2018 are now open.

In 2018, the ANZSBT will award a total sum of $52,500 comprising either a single grant of $52,500 or smaller grants totalling $52,500.

For more information, including how to apply, please visit the ANZSBT website.

Please note that an applicant does not need to be an ANZSBT member.

Applications will close on Monday, 19 February 2018.

International Medical Symposium 2018

The full program for the International Medical Symposium 2018 is now available. 'Mauri ora: connecting health professionals’ wellbeing and quality care' is taking place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, on Friday 9 March, 2018.

Hosted by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the symposium will bring together an international array of health professionals to discuss the current landscape of health professionals’ wellbeing, and how this relates to providing quality care to our communities.

Register now to secure your place for this unique event.

The conference will feature keynote addresses exploring the current health and wellbeing landscape for doctors throughout their professional lifespan: 

  • Dr Caroline Gerin-Lajoie (Canada)
  • Dr Kym Jenkins (Australia)
  • Dr Fiona Moir (New Zealand)
  • Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne (Australia)

Moreover, the conference will include a panel of symposium speakers examining successful health and wellbeing interventions and programs. Delegates will be invited to participate in table discussions on the major challenges for doctors’ health and wellbeing and suggest possible solutions. The day will end with an interactive session where real-life scenarios will be presented panelists and delegates for examination from different viewpoints.
View the conference program.

The International Medical Symposium 2018 provides an excellent opportunity for delegates to benefit from the perspective of other specialists on issues common to all areas of medicine. We hope to see you in Sydney for what promises to be a stimulating and thought-provoking event.

To register, view the program or for more information, please visit the conference International Medical Symposium 2018 website

RACP releases NDIS position statement

The RACP has launched its ‘Health and the National Disability Insurance Scheme’ (NDIS) position statement to coincide with International Day of People with Disability.

The position statement addresses the NDIS and its relevance for the health of people with disability. The recommendations are intended for a broad audience, including physicians and the broader health sector, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), governments, disability service providers, and people living with disability and their families and carers.

Read more

Ngā Kaitiaki Hauora – Podcast

Ngā Kaitiaki Hauora means guardians of health.

This episode of the Pomegranate Health podcast, recorded at the recent RACP Māori Health Hui, discusses progress in addressing health inequities in Aotearoa.

Read more

Free Interpreting Service Access for Medical Practitioners

General Practitioners and approved Medical Specialists can access the Free Interpreting Service through TIS National, when delivering Medicare‑rebateable services in private practice to anyone with a Medicare card. Nursing and practice support staff working with practitioners registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code. Interpreters in over 160 languages and dialects are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Once registered for the Free Interpreting Service medical practitioners get access to the Doctors Priority Line, which gives priority access to interpreters over other callers.

Working with professional interpreters is essential to ensuring medical practitioners are able to communicate effectively with their patients and are protected from professional risk. This is particularly important when seeking consent, in crisis situations, dealing with complex issues and assessing patient competence.

Research by the Australian National University Medical School provides examples of significant physical and psychological harm resulting from not using a professional interpreter. There is also significant professional risk for practitioners not able to communicate effectively with their patient, particularly in regards to; understanding symptoms, prescribing medication or treatment and/or obtaining informed consent.

To access this free service complete the client registration form. For more information contact TIS National Language Policy Liaison team on or by calling 1300 575 847. 

Read RACP Quarterly online

RACP Quarterly is the RACP's member magazine.

Stories in the December 2017/January 2018 edition include:

  • A physician in the loop – artificial intelligence and big data
  • Are our children addicted to our screens?
  • Real-world datasets key to improving multiple sclerosis treatments
  • Horse riding, music therapy and stroke rehabilitation.

Download RACP Quarterly December 2017/January 2018 (PDF 6MB).

Access previous editions of ​RACP Quarterly on the RACP website.

College elections: Call for nominations now open

The terms of office of the RACP President-Elect, New Zealand President-Elect and for various positions on Division and Faculty Councils and Chapter Committees will conclude in May 2018.

A Call for Nominations is now being made and will remain open until the close of business on Friday, 2 February 2018. Eligible College Members are encouraged to nominate for these vacant positions.

For more information about the positions and how to nominate go to the College Elections 2018 page.

RACP Congress

The 2018 Congress program continues with the popular shared session structure as well as clinical and specialty sessions for each Division and Faculty. 

​A joint AMD and PCHD session, on Monday, 14 May will be presented by Dr Ian Scott, consultant general physician and Director of Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Explore how overdiagnosis and the related overuse of medical tests and treatments not only cause harm but also divert resources from addressing underdiagnosis and undertreatment.

Join us on Tuesday of RACP Congress 2018 to discuss disruptive forces, an exploration of disruption in its multiple forms: people, service design and technology. This session will be chaired by President of the RACP Adult Medicine Division, Associate Professor Grant Phelps, with presentations from Professor Helena Teede, Professor Donald Campbell and Dr Amelia Crabtree.

Visit the Congress website to view session descriptions for the entire Congress program

Internal Medicine Journal - December 2017 edition online now

Articles include:

  • Preventing healthcare-acquired infections
  • Acute vestibular syndrome
  • Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • Malignancy screening in autoimmune myositis
  • Preoperative anaemia in elective surgery
  • Interpreting insulin immunoassays​.
Access the journal

RACP supports Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign

RACP is a supporter of the Caring for Cognitive Impairment campaign and committed to raising awareness of the impacts of cognitive impairment, and working proactively to promote best possible care.

Read more

RACP Foundation committed to raising an extra $150,000 to fund research

An unprecedented number of high quality applications was received for the research awards offered through the RACP Foundation for 2018. ​Recognising the importance of supporting early career researchers, the Foundation ​is committed to raising an extra $150,000. These extra funds will fund three new RACP Research Establishment Fellowships of $50,000 in addition to those already offered. 

Funding for RACP Fellowships is made possible by the generosity of the Membership through the opt-in or personal donations. Visit the RACP Foundation webpages for more information about the Foundation and its research awards or to contribute to the Foundation make an online donation today

The Foundation helps fund the best and brightest medical minds across Australia and New Zealand and inspires the beginning of major medical breakthroughs through Awards by means of fellowships, scholarships, grants and prizes.

Publication of AFOEM’s Guide to Pregnancy and Work

The College’s Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) has released a Guide to Pregnancy and Work.  

Read more

Invitation to comment: Optimal cancer care for people with sarcoma (bone and soft tissue sarcoma)

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services are seeking comment and input into a new draft Cancer Optimal Care Pathways publication on Optimal cancer care for people with sarcoma (bone and soft tissue sarcoma). Background information and the draft publication can be found on the Cancer Council Victoria website.

Please provide feedback by Thursday, 1 February 2018 to Jenny Post, Project Manager, Cancer Council Victoria, via email. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Ms Post on +61 3 9514 6346.

College Learning Series editorial group

As part of the Education Renewal program, the College will introduce the College Learning Series (CLS), an interactive online educational resource that will complement the renewed RACP Basic Training curricula in Adult Internal Medicine, and Paediatrics & Child Health.

Advanced Trainees and Fellows are invited to join the College Learning Series Editorial Group, to provide clinical quality assurance for recorded lectures and similar audio-visual content. Members of the Editorial Group may also be asked for advice on clinical or technical aspects of the CLS – such as the suitability of a proposed set of lectures.

To apply, please complete the application form including an uploaded CV by 5 PM (AEDT) Monday, 8 January 2018.

If you would like further information or a copy of the Terms of Reference, please contact the Project Manager, Michael Davidson at on +61 2 9256 5425.

Call for Abstracts: World Hospital Congress 2018 due 15 January 2018

 The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), working together with Queensland Health, have announced the Call for Abstracts for the 42nd World Hospital Congress to be held in Brisbane 10 to 12 October 2018.

 For more information on the Congress and Call for Abstracts visit the event website

Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) Funding Round 2. Applications close 28 February 2018

Applications for the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) Funding Round 2 for individual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) grants are now open.

Find out more

Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine (Fellow/Trainee)

Tell people about your research and receive a cash prize. This prize is awarded to a Fellow or trainee in AMD who demonstrates excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and oral presentation for a poster presentation at the RACP Congress.

Selected applicants will be invited to give a short oral presentation at the RACP Congress.

The prize recipient will receive $1000 and a certificate.

Closing date 16 February 2018

Visit the website for more details: Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine (Fellow) or Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine (Trainee)

RACP President’s Indigenous Congress Prize

This prize is for medical students, junior medical officers and physician trainees who identify as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori descent. 

 The prize includes:

  • return economy airfares from home town to the RACP Congress
  • up to three nights’ accommodation
  • full Trainee Registration (​four days) or Medical Student Registration (four days).

Closing date 5 February 2018

For more details go to the RACP President’s Indigenous Congress Prize website.

AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Discipline of Sexual Health Medicine for 2017

AChSHM Fellows and trainees are invited to nominate a Fellow of AChSHM and detail the contribution they have made to the Chapter in any or all of the following areas:

  • promotion of the specialty through undergraduate and/or general practice training
  • clinical service
  • community development
  • policy and advocacy
  • lifetime achievement in the Discipline of Sexual Health Medicine.

The recipient will be formally presented with a certificate at the Annual Scientific Meeting held in March 2018.

Nominations close Monday, 22 January 2018

For more ​details go to the College 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.

View all events related to Adult Medicine here.

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

Career opportunities 

New South Wales

Cardiologist - Wetherill Park, Sydney


General Physician required for private practice opportunity
Hillcrest Rockhampton Private Hospital (Ramsay Health Care) Contact:  Tracey Squires, CEO on +61419 674 482 or email:


Registrar - Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
Alfred Health
Contact: Dr Marcus Chen, Medical Services Manager on +61 3 9341 6260 or email:

Go to the Medical Positions Vacant page at any time to see all job listings.

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