AMD Newsletter 4 May 2018

President's Post

Since the last bulletin, President-Elect Professor Paul Komesaroff has chaired the first meeting of the reinvigorated Adult Medicine Policy & Advocacy Lead Fellows Network. The Network is comprised of Fellows who have been nominated by speciality societies. We have sixteen societies participating in the Network so far. The next meeting is on 2 July.

I am very much looking forward to the College Ceremony on Sunday 13 May when we formally welcome our newest Fellows. Trainees' Day is also on Sunday, 13 May and I will be co-presenting a session with Dr Sarah Dalton, President of the Paediatric & Child Health Division. Finally, RACP Congress 2018 starts on Monday, 14 May. A great program has been developed and there will be something for everyone. I encourage you to register if you haven’t already done so.

A special lunch time symposium for women working in medicine is included in the Congress program for the first time this year. Women frequently face different challenges to their male colleagues, and are under-represented in senior positions. Many women are turning to the College and specialty societies to help them to be better prepared. Women will have the opportunity to discuss common issues, support each other and network with their peers.

I look forward to seeing you at all of these events later this month.

As this is my last President’s post, I again take this opportunity to wish members of the Division all the best for the future. I am proud of what we have achieved together over the last two years. I encourage everyone to continue to support the work of the Division, and your specialty societies - our shared interests are our shared strengths.

I also take this opportunity to thank the staff of the College for the hard work they do for us all. While the College is led by Fellows, it is only through the hard work and expertise that our staff bring to their work that the College can be the remarkably effective body that it has been over the years.

Best wishes

Associate Professor Grant Phelps
Adult Medicine Division

AChAM President’s Report

This will be my last report as President of Chapter, a role I have thoroughly enjoyed being in for the past two years with the strong and unwaivering support of College staff and the fantastic members of the Chapter Committee. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Addiction Medicine Specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, will take over as President following the AGM at RACP Congress. I wish Martyn every success in this important leadership role, one that will provide him with a wonderful opportunity to engage in and influence all manner of important clinical, public health and public policy matters.

Martyn is leading preparations for the 2019 IMiA Conference, which are in full swing with the Program Committee busy developing a stimulating and thought-provoking program. The IMiA Conference is co-convened by the RACP, RANZCP and the RACGP and will be held in Melbourne in March 2019. The program and conference website will be launched in the next two months.

The Chapter has recently assisted the College to develop a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018. We strongly opposed the Bill because: there is a lack of evidence that drug testing welfare recipients will have any positive effects for individuals or for society; it does not take into account the significant shortages of drug and alcohol treatment services for people who may be identified through this approach; there are limitations in the drug testing technology, its application and its cost; it is poor use of taxpayer’s money and associated opportunity costs; and evidence suggesting such a measure could actually cause harm.

I can certainly say our College is living up to its stated mission to ‘educate, advocate and innovate’. Over the past two years our Chapter has seen the establishment of Medicare Item numbers for Addiction Medicine (with a Commonwealth Government ‘goodness of fit for purpose’ and utilisation review due in November this year), thanks to the work of my predecessors within the Chapter. We have engaged in and influenced wide ranging clinical and policy matters relating to alcohol, medicinal cannabis, over-the-counter combination analgesics containing codeine, tobacco control and e-cigarettes, to mention but a few of the important issues.

Recognition of the Fellowship of Addiction Medicine in New Zealand stands as a particular challenge of great importance for the Chapter and College, as does forging expanded pathways into Addiction Medicine and appropriate formal recognition.

I would like to end by emphasising the importance of our College and the Chapter of Addiction Medicine in shaping health care systems, policy, research, education and training and clinical responses in Australia. AChAM has come of age and is now a prominent player within day-to-day business of our College. We should acknowledge and be proud of that achievement. I am certainly proud of the work of the Chapter during my time as President-Elect and President, though there is so much that remains to be done.

Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are both a reflection of, and cause or contributor to, significant health and social harm in Australia. We should not underestimate the importance of the role we can play as Addiction Medicine specialists and of the College more generally in addressing these human problems. I also wish to emphasise that our College and our Chapter are only as good as the contribution we make as Fellows. It is my repeated experience that the more we put into the College the stronger and more effective it becomes as a voice and as an active participant in critical policy, planning and other decision-making. It is important to recognise and make the very best use of the wide ranging skills and outstanding contribution made by College staff and to continue working hand in glove with them to maximise the potential of our College to positively influence health outcomes in Australia.

I thank the College and I thank you all for your support over this past two years and I look forward to witnessing continued strong leadership and momentum from within our Chapter.

The next AChAM Committee meeting will be held at the RACP Sydney office on Thursday, 31 May 2018.

Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine 

AChSHM President’s Report  

The Chapter EVOLVE Top 5 List has been published on the RACP website. Thank you to all those who sent in valuable feedback to assist in the development of the list.

Following the RACP biennial election process in which Professor Kit Fairley was officially appointed to the position of AChSHM President-Elect and Associate Professor Lewis Marshall as a committee member, a number of positions on the Chapter Committee remained vacant. The Chapter committee has now received expressions of interest for the vacant positions and will announce appointments in the coming weeks. The new members will commence in their positions following the ​RACP AGM in May.

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

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

AChPM President’s Report

The biennial changeover in office bearers across the College will take place at the College's AGM at RACP Congress this month. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Professor Greg Crawford, Palliative Care Physician and Director of Research & Education at the Northern Adelaide Palliative Service, to the presidency.

I would like to take this opportunity, in my last report as President of Chapter, to acknowledge the hard work of the Chapter Committee members over the past two years. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you all and performing the role of AChPM President and Chair of the Committee.

It is with sadness that we have seen the recent passing of voluntary assisted dying legislation in Victoria and the ongoing house parliamentary debates on this topic across Australasia. However, the resolve and motivation of Palliative Medicine remains strong and will strengthen our communities.

The next AChPM Committee meeting will be held​ on Friday, 15 June 2018 at the RACP office in Sydney.  

Dr Simon Allan
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

RACP Congress 2018 

RACP Congress 2018 program includes engaging sessions, workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, video presentations and social functions for all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.

The Adult Medicine Division (AMD) has created sessions exploring turning the tide of low value care and how the overuse and misuse of medical tests and treatments not only cause harm but also divert resources from addressing under-diagnosis and under-treatment. Additionally, Congress AMD sessions will cover disruptive forces, an exploration of disruption in its multiple forms — people, service design and technology.

We look forward to seeing you at RACP Congress 2018 at the Sydney International Convention Centre from 14 ​to 16 May 2018. You are encouraged to confirm your attendance to Congress and affiliated social functions at

Women in Medicine – Congress Lunchtime Symposium

Women working in medicine frequently face different challenges to their male colleagues, and are under-represented in senior positions. While many women learn to navigate such challenges “on the job”, advanced trainees and female physicians are increasingly turning to the College and specialty societies to actively help them to be better prepared. This lunchtime symposium will build on work already done by the College and specialty societies to assist women with professional development opportunities. Career interruptions will be discussed and legal rights outlined, with discussion of common issues (and solutions to them) that occur at such times. Additionally, we hope this session will provide opportunities for women for networking, support and mentoring.

Join us for this lunchtime session at Congress on Tuesday, 15 May, 12.45pm to 1.45pm in Room C2.5 and C2.6.

Congress session on increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to medical specialists

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) will be discussing the Medical Specialist Access Framework. The Framework is a guide for health stakeholders to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples access to medical specialists. The session is on Monday, 14 May from 3.30pm to 5pm in Room: C2.2 and C2.3. This session will ​feature Dr Tamara Mackean, Professor Noel Hayman, Dr Catherine Yelland, Professor Donald Campbell and Dr Simon Quilty discussing their experiences in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. This is an opportunity for Fellows to consider their practice and care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Congress session on the RACP Indigenous Child Health statement

An RACP Working Group is developing a statement on Indigenous Child Health in Australia and New Zealand. This is an opportunity for Fellows to participate in a session with the Working Group chair Dr Danny de Lore and Dr Niroshini Kennedy to discuss the content of the draft statement and provide important input on the direction and key messages of the statement. Fellows are encouraged to attend to contribute to the development of a robust and impactful statement. The session will be held on Tuesday 15 May from 11.15am to 12.15pm in Cockle Bay Room 2.

Trainees' Day 2018

RACP Trainees’ Day and Trainees' Dinner is an opportunity for Basic and Advanced Trainees to network and discuss professional critical topics and training pathways. We are pleased to advise that due to the generous contribution from our sponsors the ticket price for Trainees' Day is now $50. Trainees who have already registered will receive a refund equivalent to the difference in ticket price. We would like to thank our sponsors, Westpac, Avant Mutual, Novartis, Professional Transcription Solutions and the NSW Government for making this reduced price possible.

Trainees' Day is on Sunday,13 May 2018, just prior to the RACP Congress 2018. Trainees will meet at the RACP Office Sydney to discuss:

  • The global refugee crisis: it is our responsibility
  • Australian refugees: stand up and be counted
  • How can we advocate for a brighter future?
  • Professional skills workshop: a powerhouse of presidential knowledge
  • Cognitive bias
  • Coaching and mentoring.

The Trainees' Day Dinner will be held over looking Sydney's Darling Harbour. Confirm your attendance during the Congress registration process. 

Regional Committee elections

Following a recent call for nominations, elections are being held for elected positions on ​a number of RACP Regional Committees.

Detailed election information, voting instructions, forms, candidate information, Committee Member Position Descriptions and Committee By-Laws can be found on the RACP website. Voting closes at 5pm AEST on Friday, 25 May 2018. 

Expressions of Interest for RACP Councils and Committees

Expressions of Interest are being sought for a number of appointed positions.  Available positions are listed on the RACP website along with position descriptions, By-laws for each Council or Committee and the forms you will need to complete the process.

College Learning Series 

The College Learning Series resource is now live on the RACP website. Based on the successful Physician Education Program (PEP), this online resource for basic trainees includes video and audio content, mapped to the curriculum. It is free for all College members.

Internal Medicine Journal - May 2018 issue online now

 Articles in the latest issue of the Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) include :

  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Haemochromatosis – a practical clinical update
  • Medication adherence failure after an acute coronary syndrome
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy in diverse cultural groups
  • Drug-induced liver injury and adverse drug reactions
  • Neurological presentations revealing acquired copper deficiency.

The editor's choice for the month is​ an original article by Melissa Lee, Genevieve Calder, John Santamaria, Richard MacIsaac - Diabetic ketoacidosis in adult patients: an audit of factors influencing time to normalisation of metabolic parameters

Access the IMJ on the RACP website and IMJ on Wiley Online Library.

RACP Foundation: Sexual health medicine funding opportunity

Applications are now open for the RACP Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine Research Entry Scholarship. This Scholarship provides funding of up to $40,000 as stipend support for research in the field of sexual health medicine.

This opportunity is available to Australian and New Zealand Fellows and trainees of the RACP AChSHM. Applications close on Monday, 16 July 2018.

Other relevant research funding opportunities, including the Diabetes Australia Research Establishment Fellowship, RACP/Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research Establishment Fellowship, and Barbara Cameron Australian Rheumatology Association Research Establishment Fellowship, are listed on the RACP Foundation website.

ADS-Ranji and Amara Wikramanayake Clinical Diabetes Research Award

This mid-career award supporting the career of a clinical diabetes researcher has been made possible by the generosity of Dr Ranji Wikramanayake, a long standing member of the Australian Diabetes Society.

The Australian Diabetes Society invites applications for a Mid-Career Diabetes Research Award from endocrinology/diabetes clinicians who are members of the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) and are between 6 to 15 years' post-doctoral degree.  Applications can be nominated by financial members of the ADS or by self-nomination. 

The award is to recognise significant contributions to diabetes research by a clinician and to support further advancement of those achievements. 

The successful candidate will deliver the Ranji and Amara Wikramanayake Diabetes Award Lecture at the 2018 ADS/ADEA Australasian Diabetes Congress to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 22 to 24 August 2018.

Further information can be found on the ADS website

Applications should be sent to Dr Sof Andrikopoulos, ADS CEO by email

Applications Closing Date: Thursday, 31 May 2018

New Handbook to reduce the impact of gynaecological cancers in Indigenous women

A new publication from Cancer Australia will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals reduce the impact of gynaecological cancers in their communities by providing women with information and support.

Gynaecological Cancers: a Handbook for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners promotes risk reduction, cervical cancer screening, awareness of symptoms, early detection and appropriate and timely testing and treatment.

The Handbook includes information about:

  • the new Cervical Screening Test
  • risk factors for gynaecological cancers
  • symptoms of gynaecological cancers
  • treatment options
  • follow up after treatment
  • sources of support and more information.

​The handbook can be downloaded from the Cancer Australia website or ordered via phone: 1800 624 973.

Biologicals regulatory framework proposed changes to start on 1 July 2018

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have published guidance on the upcoming changes to the regulation of autologous human cells and tissues (HCT) products. This is to assist you in interpretation of new requirements that are likely to come in to effect from 1 July 2018 (subject to Government approval).

As a result of the changes some autologous HCT products will be subject to increased regulation by the TGA from 1 July 2018. These changes will improve patient protection from providers of unproven therapies, ensure patients have access to safe and effective new therapies, and support a patient-prescriber relationship to access appropriate treatments.

The increase in regulatory oversight from 1 July will include a prohibition on advertising autologous HCT products to patients, and a requirement to report adverse events. Transition arrangements will be included for the other regulatory requirements, with the intention for the provisions to balance the need for increased oversight of this sector, while allowing sufficient time for providers to bring their operations in line with the new requirements. These provisions will allow continuing supply until June 2019.

The guidance also includes explanation of key terms, new definitions for classifications of biologicals, minimal manipulation, homologous use and regulatory pathways for supply of autologous HCT products. Examples have been used throughout the guidance document to clarify how the definitions operate in practice.

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with this guidance ahead of regulatory changes in July 2018.

If you have questions or feedback please contact the TGA directly at

Adverse Events Reporting Survey

Analysis of adverse event reports is an important way that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) monitors the safety of medicines and vaccines used in Australia.

Health professionals play an important role in ensuring the safe use of medicines particularly by reporting adverse events they see in clinical practice for new medicines.

The TGA are undertaking an online survey to seek information about health professionals’ experiences and attitudes towards key issues related to medicines and their use, particularly related to identifying, managing and reporting adverse events. Your responses will help the TGA improve the way they collect and use adverse event reports.

You may access the survey online and it is estimated to take about 10 minutes to complete.

Note: All responses are anonymous and this survey does not collect any personally identifying information.

Slow-release opioid statement

Mounting evidence highlights the inappropriate use of slow-release opioids for the treatment of acute pain. The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and its Faculty of Pain Medicine have released a statement which is designed to inform and recommend action.

Recommendations in the statement align with the approved indications for slow-release opioids listed by domestic and international regulatory authorities.
​More information

​Career opportunities 

New South Wales

Staff Specialist in General Medicine & Infectious Disease
John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle

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.

Australian Diabetes Society Insulin Pump & CGM Workshop 2018

16th ADS-John R Turtle Diabetes Clinical Skills Training Course for Advanced Trainees in Adult Endocrinology.


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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