The President's Message - 1 November

It may surprise you to learn that the hours you work, what activities you are engaged in and where you do your work are largely unknown across our profession.

This month we are seeking your help in changing that, to improve our planning and decision making. 

Tomorrow you’ll receive your annual College subscription notice.

This year, look out for a link in your payment confirmation page that will take you to your own work profile or you can access it via a new tile on MyRACP.

It takes only five minutes to fill out, and will enable us to precisely answer questions such as:

  • how many physicians practising a specialty there are in specific geographic areas across Australia and New Zealand
  • what activities they are undertaking; research, administration or clinical
  • how your work hours compare with that of a similar colleague.

Many Government decisions on workforce are based on anecdotal data, so as a response to this the College is updating all its records to assist our future decision making for physician education programs.

Our College continues its major, multi-year program of work to renew our physician education curricula, as well as deploying 11 new online resources to earn CPD, enhancing MyRACP, and we are planning to implement new learning technologies and techniques.

We have also embarked on our member journey mapping project, which will provide valuable insights into the member experience with the College.

It will identify opportunities for us to further enhance the services and support we offer you at different stages throughout your career, from basic training right through to retirement.

I would also encourage you to donate to the RACP. In doing so, you are providing valuable assistance to early career medical researchers through our Foundation.

If you want to understand how your subscription is spent – there’s a detailed breakdown on pages 6–8 in the September/October edition of RACP Quarterly.

To help fund these programs of work there is a small increase in fees.

At three and a half per cent, it amounts to an extra $58 per year (excluding GST) on an average Fellow’s membership, and an extra $117 (excluding GST payable in New Zealand) per year for an average trainee.

You can rest assured that despite those ongoing projects, our College remains financially strong. We are well on track to delivering the 2017 budget that was approved by the Board.

With net assets and cash of more than $90 million, we have no borrowings and foresee no need to borrow in the future. 

Rather than spending some of that reserve to artificially hold back fee increases in the short term, the Board aims to ensure our College maintains a sound underlying financial position.

Kind regards,
Dr Catherine Yelland
RACP President


Coming soon: MyCPD upgrade

We are excited to announce that the new and improved MyCPD program will be launched ​this month.​

Find out more


RACP Congress 2018 – Disruption for sustainable healthcare

At RACP Congress 2018 speakers will challenge delegates to ask themselves how prepared they, and the healthcare system, are for issues that will change and influence healthcare systems of the future.

Healthcare can’t stop climate change, but we need to be prepared for healthcare to meet the changing needs.

Our opening keynote speaker, Dr David Pencheon will focus on Disruption for sustainable healthcare.

Find out more

news-burnoutBeing human: Doctors' mental health on the Pomegranate Health podcast

“I will attend to my own health, wellbeing, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.”

The World Medical Association recently added this clause to the Declaration of Geneva in recognition of the often reported figures about burnout, depression and suicide in the health workforce.

This episode of Pomegranate Health, the RACP podcast, examines how healthcare systems might be shaped to improve physician wellbeing.

Find out more


Physician ​Training Survey

We are introducing surveys for trainees and supervisors as part of our accreditation program.

The surveys will help us ensure high quality and safe training experiences for trainees, confirm there is sufficient support and training for supervisors and assess whether our educational standards are being delivered in the workplace.

Find out more

Victoria’s legislation on medical assistance in dying 

As most of you would be aware, the Victorian Parliament has passed a bill in the lower house to legalise medical assistance in dying in Victoria. The bill will need to be passed by the upper house before it can become law.

This is a very significant development both for the community, and for the College, with major implications for the practice of our Victorian members in a number of specialties, particularly palliative medicine, as well as for health services and palliative care organisations. 

The legislation sets out a request and assessment process for access to voluntary assisted dying and includes the establishment of a dedicated oversight body. The scheme provides for self-administration of a prescribed lethal drug, with doctor administration available to those who cannot physically administer or digest the medication themselves.

In line with the RACP’s advocating efforts, the legislation provides for conscientious objection, enabling a medical practitioner to refuse to participate by informing the person of their conscientious objection within seven days of receiving an assisted dying request or assessment referral. 

If the legislation passes, there will be an up to 18 month implementation period (June 2019) before the legislation can fully come into operation.

More information from the Victorian Government is available and the RACP will closely monitor the implementation process.

We are also closely monitoring developments in other jurisdictions such as New South Wales and New Zealand, where Private Members Bills have been drafted, and in Western Australia where a Joint Select Committee Inquiry into End of Life Choices is underway.

The College established a Working Party to develop the College’s position on these issues, in consultation with its membership, comprising members with expertise in ethics, physician clinical practice, paediatric clinical practice, aged and extended care, disability care, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

In undertaking its work, the Working Party has consulted and engaged with our members on many of the key issues raised by proposed legislation in several jurisdictions, including in Victoria. This has informed our submissions, which have focused on the potential impacts of the legislative proposals on physicians, patients and families. 

The Working Party developed a discussion paper in order to assist members in the identification and consideration of the key issues that will lead to a College position. This was released in May 2017 and is available for members on the College website and was distributed via the College newsletters as well as College bodies.

Working Party members hosted a consultation session at RACP Congress 2017 and have been attending College committee and specialty society meetings. In addition to the verbal feedback received at these meetings, the Working Party has carefully considered the over 90 written submissions from Fellows, trainees, College bodies and specialty societies. 

To continue member dialogue on this important issue, a number of face-to-face and online consultation events are being planned for November – for further details please see the Medical Assistance in Dying webpage.

Specialist Training Program: Funding for 2018–2020, Review and Key Reforms

The Australian Department of Health has announced it will continue to invest in the Specialist Training Program (STP) for the next three years, extending funding through to 2020. In addition, the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) initiative will continue with the allocation of 50 new positions, distributed across all colleges for 2018.

Find out more

NZTraineeDay2018RACP New Zealand Trainees' Day 2018
Earlybird registrations closing soon

Register today for the RACP New Zealand Trainees' Day 2018. The event, themed 'Get connected Be inspired', will be held in Queenstown on Saturday, 7 April.

Earlybird registrations close Friday, 10 November.

Find out more

Support for rural specialists in Australia (SRSA) funding applications

Applications for SRSA Funding Round 2 for individual Continuing Professional Development grants are now open.

Find out more

Upcoming RACP events

New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory

Victoria / Tasmania

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