AMD Newsletter 9 February 2018

President's Post

The Adult Medicine Division is already busily gearing up for its first AMD Council meeting for the year. The process of forming a new AMD Council is well underway through the recent nominations for election process, and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Adult Medicine Division to congratulate Professor Donald Campbell who has been appointed to the position of AMD President-Elect, and Dr Daniel Sathianathan who has been appointed to AMD Council. Further details are in this eBulletin.

Our focus this year will very much be on progressing the Model of Collaboration with our AMD affiliated specialty societies, the AMD Policy and Advocacy Lead Fellows Network and on ensuring a smooth transition to our new Council following the biennial governance changeover in May.

Congress is shaping up well and I encourage you to visit the Congress 2018 website. There is a wealth of terrific content and I urge you to register and join us for what will be another fantastic meeting. Congress has really developed into a meeting which brings discussion of interest to every physician, regardless of our specialty or area of practice.

On behalf of the AMD I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the AMD members who were the recipients of the recently announced New Zealand New Year Honours and the Australia Day Honours. In particular,  I acknowledge our former President and member of the Division, Laureate Professor Nick Talley, who was recently awarded Australia’s highest honour, Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in recognition of his extraordinary work as a globally important researcher and professional leader. Congratulations Nick! More information about this year's recipients is available in our article in this bulletin.

I also draw your attention to the next round of calls for expressions of interest for appointment to AMD Council positions which ​begin next week. One way of contributing meaningfully to our profession and to the College, and through both, to our community, is to participate through College committees - please look out for the call for nominations and consider how you can make a difference.

Best wishes

Associate Professor Grant Phelps
Adult Medicine Division

The call for nominations for College positions – results announced 

The recent call for nominations for the next RACP President-Elect, Directors on the College Board, and various positions on Division and Faculty Councils and the New Zealand and Chapter Committees closed on Friday, 2 February 2018.

Read more

RACP Congress 2018 – Early Bird Closing Sunday, 18 February

RACP Congress 2018 will take place at the International Convention Centre, Sydney, from Monday, 14 to Wednesday, 16 May 2018.

Early bird registrations close on Sunday, 18 February 2018.

Disruptive innovation in healthcare is already happening.How we address issues within our healthcare systems is evolving, but are we doing enough? Are we delivering what’s best for our patients? Do we know what’s happening out there in medicine? Are we prepared to remain relevant in the healthcare systems of the future?

These are just some of the questions being asked at RACP Congress 2018.

For more information on the RACP Congress program and speakers visit the Congress website

Register before 18 February 2018 to receive the early bird discount rate.

AChAM President’s Report

Work has commenced on the 2019 International Medicine in Addiction (IMiA) Conference, a biennial tripartite event co-convened by the Australian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (AChAM), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The AChAM is excited to be the lead convenor for IMiA in 2019 with our incoming President, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, leading the Program Committee. The 2019 Conference will be held in Melbourne and will bring together medical practitioners, allied health clinicians and researchers involved in addiction medicine across Asia and Oceania to update their skills and knowledge, and network with colleagues and peers.

As you would all be aware, the rescheduling of codeine-containing products by the Therapeutic Goods Administration was implemented on 1 February. The Chapter has supported the College in advocating strongly in support of this change, which will reduce opioid harm in the Australian community.

The Chapter has continued its policy and advocacy efforts over the Christmas break, including supporting the College to develop a submission to the New South Wales Government’s Newcastle  Central Business District Liquor Licence Conditions Review. The submission strongly advocates for the Newcastle conditions to be maintained and cites the evidence that demonstrates their effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related violence. With the assistance of the Chapter Committee, the College has also made a submission to the Australian Government’s consultation on the National Alcohol Strategy 2018-26.

Professor Jenny Martin, Associate Professor Yvonne Bonomo and I developed a paper titled Compassion and evidence in prescribing cannabinoid: a perspective from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, with support and guidance from the RACP Policy & Advocacy Committee and the Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group. The paper will be published in the Medical Journal of Australia on 19 February 2018. 

I would like to draw your attention to the vacancy on the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) Council for an AChAM Representative. I encourage you to submit an expression of interest and represent our Chapter.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Chapter to congratulate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris who has been appointed to the position of AChAM President-Elect. He will commence his two-year term in May 2018.

The AChAM Committee will hold its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, 21 March by teleconference.

Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds 
Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine 

AChPM President’s Report

During 2018 the Chapter’s priorities include reviewing the recommendations of the Spirituality Training Working Party and further work advancing and defining the Chapter’s relationship with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM) through the development of a Model of Collaboration Schedule.

The first AChPM Communication Skills Workshop will be held from Wednesday, 2 ​to Friday, 4 May at the College’s Sydney office. The workshop is an experiential learning opportunity run by experienced facilitators with the aid of simulated patients, and aims to develop and enhance participants’ communication skills with patients, their families and other health workers. It is suitable for all trainees in palliative medicine, as well as Fellows and those training in other specialties who have an interest in further developing their communication skills. It has been highly rated by previous participants. There will also be a second workshop held in 2018. While exact dates are yet to be confirmed, it is expected to be held in July or August.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Chapter Fellow, Professor David Kissane, who has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for eminent service to psychiatry, particularly psycho-oncology and palliative medicine, as an educator, researcher, author and clinician, and through executive roles with a range of national and international professional medical bodies.

Finally, on behalf of the Chapter I would like to congratulate Dr Michelle Gold who has been appointed to the position of AChPM President-Elect, and also Associate Professor Brian Le who has been appointed as a committee member. Michelle and Brian will commence their terms in these roles in May 2018.

The first Chapter Committee meeting of the year will take place on Friday, 9 February via teleconference.

Dr Simon Allan
Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine

AChSHM President’s Report  

The 2018 Australian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) is fast-approaching and this year it will be held in Melbourne on Saturday, 17 March. I encourage all AChSHM members or those with an interest in Sexual Health Medicine to register if you haven’t already done so. The program includes a range of thought provoking and challenging sessions and updates, and will be an excellent opportunity to network with your colleagues.

I also encourage all Advanced Trainees in sexual health medicine to attend the Annual Trainees’ Day which will be held the day after the meeting on Sunday, 18 March. The Trainees’ Day is tailored exclusively for Advanced Trainees in Sexual Health Medicine and also includes a session on assessment.

Nominations have closed for the 2017 AChSHM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Discipline of Sexual Health Medicine and the Penelope Lowe Trainee Prize. Both will be presented at the upcoming ASM.

In 2018, the Chapter will continue its policy and advocacy efforts, will work with the Australasian Sexual Health Alliance to deliver the International Union for Sexually Transmitted Infections Asia Pacific Sexual Health Congress, and will aim to complete further work advancing and defining the Chapter’s relationship with the Australasian Society for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our two Chapter Fellows who have been recognised in the Australia Day Honours list. Professor Suzanne Garland has been honoured as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her distinguished service in the field of clinical microbiology, particularly to infectious diseases in reproductive and neonatal health as a physician, administrator, researcher and author, and to professional medical organisations. Dr Vanita Parekh has been honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service as a specialist in the fields of sexual health and forensic medicine, as an educator and clinician, and to professional associations.

Finally, on behalf of the Chapter I would like to congratulate Professor Christopher Fairley who has been officially appointed to the position of AChSHM President-Elect, and also Associate Professor Lewis Marshall who has been appointed as a committee member.

The Chapter Committee will meet for its first meeting of the year on Thursday, 22 February via teleconference.

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

Australia Day Honours 2018

The 2018 Australia Day Honours recognised the following Adult Medicine Division members for their contribution to and achievements in medicine across many specialties and activities. The Adult Medicine Division Council congratulates all of these Fellows.

Companion (AC) in the General Division 
•Professor Nicholas Joseph Talley FRACP, FAFPHM 

Officer (AO) in the General Division 
•Professor Creswell John Eastman AM, FAFPHM, FRACP 
•Professor David Joshua Handelsman FRACP 
•Professor Jonathan Myer Kalman FRACP 

Member (AM) in the General Division 
•Professor Susan Leigh Elliott FRACP
•Associate Professor Nerina Susan Harley FRACP 
•Dr Peter Creighton Pigott FRACP 
•Professor Barbara S Workman FRACP 

Medal (OAM) in the General Division
•Professor William Robert Adam PSM FRACP 
•Associate Professor Christopher Roger Ashton FRACP 
•Dr Leonard Brenner FRACP 
•Dr Barry Peter Hickey FRACP 
•Dr Fred Nickolas Nasser FRACP 
•Dr Katrina J R Watson FRACP

Senior Australian of the Year in Victoria
•Professor Paul Zimmet AO, FRACP, FAFPHM 

The RACP's 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission

The RACP's 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission outlines key areas where specialists believe new initiatives or sustained investment are needed, including for end-of-life care, integrated care, drug and alcohol services and sexual health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people and adolescents.

The submission calls for investment in a two-year trial of models-of-care that integrate care across primary care, hospital and community-based specialist care and allied health. This would need to include a funded stage to scope, design and model the trial, consultation with stakeholders, review and recommendation of funding and payment structures, planning for the digital health records and communications needs as well as ongoing monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the trial’s outcomes. 

The pre-budget submission highlights the importance of patients who are terminally ill being able to receive high quality end-of-life care, and calls for improved funding of palliative care services, particularly for non-cancer patients and rural and regional communities.

It calls for the Federal Government to improve sexual health services by providing sustained funding for accessible adolescent sexual and reproductive health services and allocating sufficient funding for the implementation of the Fifth National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategy among other recommendations.

The College is also seeking increased investment from the Federal Government in evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment services to address unmet demand for treatment including increased funding for prevention services to reduce the incidence of alcohol use disorders.

Read more

Communication Skills Workshop – Palliative Medicine

Wednesday, 2 May to Friday, 4 May 2018
RACP Office, Sydney

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Palliative Medicine Communication Skills Workshop via an online application form

The workshop is a three day experiential learning opportunity run by experienced facilitators with the aid of simulated patients. It will enable you to develop and enhance your communication with patients, their families and with other health workers.

Previous participants have rated the workshop highly.

The workshop will take place in Sydney at the RACP office from Wednesday, 2 May to Friday, 4 May 2018 inclusive. It is suitable for all advanced trainees in palliative medicine, as well as Fellows and those training in other specialties who have an interest in further developing their communication skills.

The format will be learner-centred involving a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, role play and feedback in carefully facilitated groups in an environment of mutual respect and willingness to share ideas and experiences.

Places are limited and priority will be given to currently enrolled trainees in Palliative Medicine and Fellows of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine.

The course fee is AUD $2480 for trainees and AUD $3100 for Fellows. This includes materials, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.   

We are also planning to hold a second workshop in the second half of 2018. Further details regarding this will be available shortly.

Please contact if you have any questions.


The countdown is on, only four weeks to go until IMS 2018.

There are now only four weeks to go until the International Medical Symposium (IMS) 2018, which is being held on Friday, 9 March 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

Registrations close soon, so secure your place today for this unique event.

The IMS is an exciting opportunity for clinicians from around the world to come together and discuss the health and wellbeing of medical professionals, and how this relates to providing quality care to our communities.

 IMS 2018 ​is hosted by:

  • The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
  • The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

 The symposium program features keynote presentations from renowned international experts:

  • Dr Caroline Gerin-Lajoie (Canada) - Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine.
  • Dr Kym Jenkins (Australia) – President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Dr Fiona Moir (New Zealand) - Medical Programme Directorate and Senior Lecturer at The Department of General Practice at The University of Auckland
  • Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne (Australia) - Senior Psychiatrist, Prince of Wales Hospital; and Adjunct Associate Professor, Sydney School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia.

These speakers will explore and debate the current health and wellbeing landscape for doctors throughout their professional lifespan from undergraduate degree through to the end of a career.

To register, view the program or for more information, please visit the conference website.

Modern Workplace Challenges Course

Registrations are now open for the Modern Workplace Challenges Qstream course, which begins on Monday, 5 March.

The course includes 10 case study questions, which each take five minutes to complete. Questions are sent by email and spaced two days apart. The total duration of the course will depend on your own pace.

Read more

Professional Performance Framework update

The ​RACP supports the fundamental purpose of the Medical Board of Australia’s (MBA) recently released Professional Performance Framework. The Framework is the MBA’s response to the report of its Expert Advisory Group on revalidation. “Nothing is going to change tomorrow for individual doctors. We will be consulting widely and seeking expert advice on many elements of the framework” MBA Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn said.

The ​RACP is currently reviewing the documentation to understand how it will impact Fellows and the College’s operational processes. 

Read more

Online Supervisor Courses – open for registration

 Registration is now open for the successful online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP).

The online courses for supervisors, listed below, are facilitated by RACP Fellows. They can be completed in any order, over five weeks.

 Scheduled dates for 2018:

  • SPDP 1 – Practical Skills for Supervisors, 12 February to 18 March
  • SPDP 2 – Teaching ​and Learning in Healthcare Settings, 30 April to 3 June
  • SPDP 3 – Work-based Learning ​and Assessment, 4 June to 8 July.

The course format includes scenario videos, online discussions and role play with other supervisors. They can be completed using a desktop computer, smart phone or tablet device with an internet connection.

Over 1,300 participants have enrolled in the online SPDP since its release. Feedback from participants who have successfully completed the program has been outstanding: 

  • Ninety-six per cent of surveyed participants say they would recommend the course to their colleagues
  • ​Eighty-nine per cent of surveyed participants say they felt they had the opportunity to develop their supervisor skills.

The time commitment is one to two hours per week, to be completed at your convenience, within the five weeks. Online participation can be counted towards your MyCPD program.

To register your interest, email with your preferred course dates. Enrolment instructions will be sent out closer to the course start date.

Read More

New Evolve recommendations to improve rheumatology care

As part of the Evolve initiative, the Australian Rheumatology Association and the College have released a new series of recommendations to help avoid unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures carried out in Rheumatology clinical practice.  

Read more

Cannabis Therapy

Cannabis Therapy is the topic of discussion in the latest Pomegranate Health podcast.

Only a few of the claimed medical effects of the plant have been proven by rigorous clinical trials in people.

Read more

Invitation from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Health Department to participate in a stakeholder engagement group for the Drugs and Poisons Information System (DAPIS) upgrade project

The ACT Health Department is establishing a stakeholder engagement group to assist their project team in evaluating the features and functionalities for the DAPIS and DAPIS online remote access and providing advice and feedback on how it will be implemented across the ACT. They are seeking ACT Fellows with relevant expertise to join this group.

If you are interested in taking part in this stakeholder engagement group and/or if you have any queries, please contact Vivien Bevan, Chief Pharmacist at the Pharmaceutical Services, Health Protection Service via email or phone: ​+61 2 6205 0961 by 20 February 2018.


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.

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