President's Message 13 September 2016

Your College is very much part of the international medical community. Over the past month I have spent time meeting with peer colleges and organisations, both regionally and globally. We share many of the same challenges and can learn from international experience.

Revalidation is emerging as an important issue for the Asian colleges. 

This topic was discussed at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, held as part of the Tripartite Congress of the Academies of Medicine of Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, which I recently attended. 

It was important to be there, along with the Presidents of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and the medical colleges of the United Kingdom, to share in this special event. 

I then travelled to the 2016 World Congress of Medicine (WCIM), in Bali. This biennial event is run by the Basel based International Society of Internal Medicine, to promote scientific knowledge and unity in Internal Medicine, further the education of young internists and encourage friendship between physicians all over the world. 

We had a stand in the exhibition centre promoting the RACP, and held bilateral meetings with many international conference delegates. 

In the past you may have seen photos of politicians from APEC and other conferences wearing distinctive traditional Batik shirts when meeting in Indonesia. 

President's Msg 12 Sept 2016We paid respect to local culture too, and I am pictured here with one of our board members, Dr Helen Rhodes, a renal physician; the prints on our shirts have an anatomical theme.

On the day of my return to Australia, I participated in the first meeting of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Health Steering Group for the Health Benefits of Good Work. 

This multidisciplinary group aims to move employers to provide good work and realise the benefits of a health workforce. This has a positive effect on families, community and society.

In an era of increasing workforce casualisation and under-employment, the Group discussed embedding the principles of meaningful and rewarding work with more than 200 state and private sector employers across Australia and New Zealand who have signed up to this accord.  

The next day I attended the Advanced Training Forum on Accreditation. It is a complex area, but it is vital that we ensure that our training positions meet the needs of the trainee and our community, and provide the clinical experience and supervision that ensure a well-trained physician.

I thank all the fellows, trainees and staff who put such a lot of work into the day. 

In early September,  we held our board meeting in  Brisbane. We try to visit the states in turn, and this enables us to meet with the state committee, and senior staff of the Department of Health. The state committees have a most important and ongoing role in local representation of your College. A summary of the important board decisions will be available in the Board Communique.  

In early August, with three other board members, I met with six of our Fellows, to discuss concerns they had expressed about some aspects of the operations of the College.  I thank all concerned for participating in such a positive meeting. 

The Board has appointed a working party to review the current Conflicts of Interests Policy.  Another working party has been appointed by the Board to review the College election practices, as we now have electronic voting, and we are in a very different communications environment compared to when the election by-laws were written.  
We are now a very large college, and hearing the voice of our 22,000 members is challenging. Your board is committed to guiding your college, and we can always be contacted. My email is and the Divisional and Faculty presidents are also available to listen to you. 

Dr. Catherine Yelland
President, RACP


Basic Training Curricula Renewal – have your say

The RACP is seeking feedback from its members and external stakeholders on its revised curriculum standards for Adult Internal Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health.
The new curricula have been designed to make competency-based training and progression, practical in the workplace, replacing tick-box training requirements with real-life work tasks. The curricula consist of three main parts – standards, teaching and learning, and assessment.

In the same way our clinical practice needs to evolve in response to developments in our understanding of health and illness, so too does our physician education and training. This includes the way teaching, learning and assessment are designed and delivered.

The Basic Training curricula will be further developed over the next few years, led by the dedicated group of 36 Fellows and seven trainees who make up the Basic Training Curriculum Review Working Groups.

The Working Groups would like your feedback on the proposed curricula. You can have your say via a series of questions on our web page which is best viewed using Google Chrome.

For more information on the Basic Training Curricula Renewal, please phone +61 2 8076 6390 or email:

Important changes to exams take effect soon

As examination registration dates near, it is important that you are aware of changes to exam policies that will impact all trainees.

The Progression Through Training and Flexible Training Policies were reviewed in 2015 through a member-led policy revision process. As a result, a number of changes will apply from 1 January 2017 in Australia. For all New Zealand trainees, these changes will apply to the 2017 year which commences 12 December 2016 for Registrars and 27 November 2016 for House officers.

The changes include:

  • a reduction in the number of Divisional Written and Clinical Examination attempts, from five attempts to three attempts per examination. Transitional arrangements for the Divisional Examination will support the introduction of the changes without disadvantaging current basic trainees.
  • new trainees from 2017 (for all New Zealand trainees this is from 12 December 2016 for Registrars and 27 November 2016 for House officers), must now complete 36 months of Basic Training (BT), including examination attempts, within eight years. There will be a five year time limit between completing BT and commencing Advanced Training.

These changes aim to support timely progression through training while maintaining flexible training options for all trainees.

Further information on these polices and the transitional arrangements, including the full policy document and At a Glance document can be found on the
RACP website or by contacting the College at (Australia) or (New Zealand). 


Specialist Training Program announcement

The RACP is pleased to advise that the Department of Health (the Department) has approved an extension of the Specialist Training Program (STP) and the Tasmanian Project, to include the 2017 academic year.

This means that the allocation of training posts and funding arrangements that applied in 2016 will remain as is, until the end of 2017.

The RACP has advocated strongly with the Department for the continuation of the programs. The Department has performed a review of the programs to determine their future after 2016. The outcome will be released later this year.

We will continue to keep you updated on the future of the STP and Tasmanian Project.

For further queries, please contact the RACP STP Unit at or on +61 2 9256 5476.

Open speed zones in the Northern Territory to end

The RACP welcomes the confirmation from the newly elected Northern Territory (NT) government that they will honour their commitment to end open speed zones on the Stuart Highway and will reinstate speed limits of 130 kilometres per hour.

Since the reintroduction of open speeds in January 2014, the RACP, alongside our partners Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), have campaigned for the NT government to put the safety of road users first and put speed limits back in place. 

Watch the video released by the RACP, RACS and ACEM on the impact of open speed limits released in the lead up to the Northern Territory election in August. 

RACP Foundation

RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence 

These awards are still open for all NSW/ACT trainees (closing date 30 September) and QLD trainees (closing date 23 September), in the RACP Divisions, Faculties and Chapters.  
The regional competitions will be held to select two representatives from each region, one in the field of adult medicine and one in the field of paediatric medicine. The regional representatives will then present their research in Melbourne in May 2017. 

This is an excellent opportunity to speak and present your research to a wider audience in a professional and public setting.

Visit the link for more details: RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

Gerry Murphy Prize

Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) trainees are encouraged to participate in the regional competitions for the Gerry Murphy Prize. The 2017 award applications are now open.

Visit the link for more details AFPHM Gerry Murphy Prize 

Penelope Lowe Prize 2016

The Penelope Lowe prize is awarded for the best case presentation by a registered Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) trainee at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference in November 2016.

Applications close 5pm Monday, ​7 ​November 2016

Visit the link for more details AChSHM Penelope Lowe Prize

Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine Indigenous Prize 

The Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (AChAM) prize is offered to medical students, junior medical officers or registrars who identify as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori descent.

There are two prizes being offered. Each prize offers:

  • return economy airfares from your nearest capital city to the International Medicine in Addiction Conference 2017, 24 to 26 March 2017 in Sydney.
  • accommodation at a hotel nominated by the Congress Managers (three nights)
  • medical Student and Junior Medical Officer Registration (three days). 

The RACP Foundation welcomes promotion of this prize within medical schools and via personal social media.

Visit the link for more details AChAM Indigenous Prize.

John Snow Scholarship 2016

Applications for the 2016 Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) John Snow Scholarship are now being accepted.  

The RACP Foundation welcomes promotion of this prize within medical schools and via personal social media. 

Visit the link for more details: AFPHM John Snow Scholarship

The Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

The Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal is offered every five years and recognises outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. Nominations for this prestigious medal are open now and close on Monday, 3 October.
Nominations are also being accepted for the following awards which recognise Fellows and trainees for excellence and outstanding contributions or achievements:

The John Sands College Medal
RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas
RACP International Medal
The Eric Susman Prize
RACP Mentor of the Year
RACP Trainee of the Year 
Howard Williams Medal

Please visit the RACP Foundation, College and Congress prizes web page to download the nomination forms and for further details about each award.

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) August issue

The IMJ August 2016 issue is now available. This issue covers:

  • Inappropriate sinus tachycardia and ivabradine
  • Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease
  • Bleomycin dosing in germ cell tumours
  • Ethnicity and imaging of venous thromboembolism
  • Rituximab in refractory lupus nephritis
  • Evolving telehealth reimbursement 

Read the IMJ (Member login required)

For Information: The Australian National Guidelines for the Management of Health Care Workers known to be infected with Blood Borne Viruses Consultation

The Australian National Guidelines for the Management of Health Care Workers known to be infected with Blood Borne Viruses (the Guidelines) have been updated by the Department of Health and feedback is being sought.

The guidelines articulate the current expert consensus on the evidence in relation to health care workers (HCWs) and their blood borne virus (BBV) status.

The recommendations in the guidelines include measures related to the prevention of transmission and management and treatment of HCWs who are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and/or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Feedback must be provided by COB Friday, 16 September 2016. To request a copy of the Guidelines and the guide for consultation, and to provide feedback, please contact:

FASD Awareness Day

Today is Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day.

FASD is a profound, lifelong condition however, many women remain unaware of the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and the impact this can have on their unborn child.

Awareness and education are crucial to preventing FASD, and physicians have a strong role to play in talking with their patients about the risks of consuming alcohol while pregnant.

The Women Want to Know campaign is an initiative of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), developed in collaboration with medical colleges and funded by the Federal Department of Health. The initiative provides resources and training modules to ensure health professionals are well-equipped to have this conversation.

Measures to prevent FASD have been identified as a priority by both the Australian and New Zealand governments. For more information about each country’s plan of action to address and prevent FASD see:
Responding to the Impact of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia: A Commonwealth Action Plan
Taking Action on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: 2016-2019, An Action Plan

Expressions of Interest

Working Group – review of the Recognition in a subspecialty of Adult Medicine or Paediatrics & Child Health without completion of the relevant Advanced Training Program policy

The College Education Committee (CEC) is seeking to appoint members (Fellows) to join its Working Group for the review of the Recognition in a subspecialty of Adult Medicine or Paediatrics & Child Health without completion of the relevant Advanced Training Program Policy.

The Policy provides an assessment framework for FRACP Fellows to be recognised in a specialty other than that in which they trained. Recognition depends on the basis of learning (either certified or experiential), and acquired competence and professional development in that specialty over a substantial period of professional practice.

The Policy also provides an avenue for individuals who gained Fellowship of the RACP before Advanced Training Committees were established to be recognised in a specialty.

The key responsibilities of the Working Group are to:

  • consider findings of the policy’s evaluation phase
  • draft a revised policy based upon the evaluation findings
  • develop implementation and communication plans
  • develop supporting resources for the policy and process.

Interested Fellows must complete the attached form and submit with a CV. It should include a supporting statement outlining how their knowledge, qualifications, experience and interest in policy development will contribute to the objectives of this Working Group. 

The expression of interest form and CV must be emailed to by Monday, 3 October 2016.

Successful applicants must be available to attend two full day face-to-face meetings in Sydney. The first meeting is scheduled for November 2016. 
For further information, please contact Nathasha Kugenthiran at or +61 2 8247 6276.

Call for Abstracts - LIME Connection VII

The LIME Network is calling for abstract submissions for its conference, LIME Connection VII of which the RACP is a major sponsor.

Abstracts must address the theme ‘The Future of Indigenous Health Education: Leadership, Collaboration, Curriculum’.

The Scientific Committee will consider submissions about projects across all areas of Indigenous health, health professional education, Indigenous student recruitment and support and graduation, including: 

  • research projects: papers or posters focused on evidence-based research
  • projects of interest: papers or posters highlighting new projects and innovations which may not be research based
  • workshops: interactive sessions with a focus on clear learning outcomes.

Abstracts are due Tuesday, 4 October 2016. Please see the Abstract Submission Guidelines before submitting your abstract. 

You can also register to attend the LIME Connection V​II conference.

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