The President's Message - 12 February 2016

Nominations for RACP President-Elect closed on Monday, 1 February, and I am pleased to announce we have a strong field of four candidates for this prestigious position.

The candidates are:

  • Associate Professor Mark Lane - current New Zealand President
  • Associate Professor Alasdair MacDonald - former Adult Medicine President
  • Professor Philip Morris - Fellow of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine
  • Professor John Wilson - current Adult Medicine Division President

The ballot to choose the next President-Elect opens on Thursday, 3 March and runs until Monday, 4 April 2016. The successful candidate will become College President-Elect at the close of the AGM, to be held on Monday, 16 May 2016 and will become RACP President in 2018.

Voting will be online through a secure website, which will provide each candidate’s election statement and biographical details. 

Members will also be able to request a paper ballot if they are unable to vote online or if they prefer to vote using hard copy ballot papers. Elections for the roles of AMD President-Elect, PCHD President-Elect, AFOEM President-Elect and for positions on the AMD and AFOEM Councils will be held simultaneously. 

Email notification will be sent to all eligible College Members in the week commencing 29 February.
This is your chance to help shape the future of our College. I encourage all members to participate and have their say by voting for the candidate of their choice.

Separately, the College is embarking on an exciting period of innovation in its provision of training for physicians. 

Work is well underway on several strategic projects, some of which feature in the stories below.

The Capacity to Train project is a Board level strategic priority to develop a robust, evidence based model to determine the optimal number of new entrants into the Colleges training programs.

If you are a supervisor, the project team is currently seeking your feedback to contribute to this important work which ultimately helps shape the healthcare workforce. 

The Accreditation Review program aims to develop a good practice model for accreditation, a set of standards for accreditation assessment, and an accreditation framework, with a view to streamlining our site and setting accreditation process without sacrificing quality.

An update from the Working Party on this project is also included in this eBulletin. 

I urge you to take note of these important projects, and provide your expert input to them where possible.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley
RACP President

Inform the College’s Capacity to Train project 

The College is currently undertaking a strategic project aimed at addressing the increased demand for physician training. This project involves the development of a model of training capacity at both a training site and College level.

The model will be informed by several key sources of information, including the Capacity to Train Reference Group, site visits across Australia and New Zealand, and direct stakeholder consultation.

Key to this direct stakeholder consultation is the collation of information about the practice of supervision at a wide range of training sites and settings, to ensure that the model of training capacity is reliable and valid. 

If you currently supervise trainees, please complete the Capacity to Train Supervisor Survey. It is estimated that the survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. You are eligible for CPD points for completing the survey. The survey will be open until Friday, 11 March

For further information on the Capacity to Train project please visit the website or contact Megan Feeney, Research Officer, Education Policy, Research and Evaluation on +61 2 9256 5452 or by email at

Accreditation Review Working Group

Accreditation is a powerful tool that underpins the delivery of College training programs in health services and other training settings. Alongside work taking place in education to renew College curricula and examine areas such as capacity to train, a review of the current College accreditation system is also underway. This review will support the delivery of curricula and outcomes-based training across all programs.

The Accreditation Review Working Group, established in late 2015, will be overseeing the work and have met twice to discuss the project, focussing on the proposed accreditation system including the framework, model, processes and standards. The group expects to release an overview of the proposed physician training accreditation system in the next three months and will be consulting with physicians in training, Fellows, and organisations that train or support training, to ensure we have developed an effective system.

For more information on the Working Group, contact the Senior Project Officer, Jackie O’Callaghan at

Alcohol Policy launch

Developed as a joint initiative with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), the updated Alcohol Policy highlights the many harms of alcohol to individuals and society, and makes a range of recommendations for policy and regulatory strategies to reduce these harms.

You are invited to attend the launch of the Alcohol Policy from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on Thursday, 3 March 2016, at the RACP offices at 52 Phillip Street, Sydney.

Coinciding with the first game of the 2016 NRL season, the launch event will feature a panel discussion on the association between alcohol promotion and sport, the impact of this promotion on children and adolescents, and the need for stronger measures to curb the relentless exposure of young people to alcohol marketing. 

Led by Professor Paul Haber, Clinical Director Drug Health Services at RPA and Head Addiction Medicine at University of Sydney, panel participants include:

  • Professor Elizabeth Elliot AM, Paediatrician, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (Westmead)
  • Associate Professor Kerry O’Brien, Researcher into alcohol and associated harms, Monash University
  • Professor Maree Teesson, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW
  • Mr Nathan Millett, Head of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Engadine High School.

Please register your attendance at by Thursday, 25 February 2016.

2016 MyCPD Framework 

The College Education Committee has approved small, incremental changes to the 2016 MyCPD Framework, with the aim of retaining familiarity, simplifying recording and incentivising desired educational outcomes. 

  • All CPD activities are now awarded credits based on an hourly rate, instead of set value.
  • Preparation for teaching/publication/presentation has been merged with the event/publication in Category 1 to reduce the need to double claim.
  • Grand rounds, journal clubs and other medical meetings have been moved to ‘Group learning activities’ in Category 2.
  • The 50 credit cap has been extended to all categories to promote diversification of CPD activities.

See the 2016 MyCPD Framework and 2016 MyCPD User Guide for further information. 

For any assistance with your CPD record please contact the CPD Unit on +61 2 8247 6201 or In New Zealand, CPD Unit can be contacted directly on +64 4 460 8122 or

Bullying, discrimination and harassment

The report submitted to the December Board meeting by the working party found the College has sound mechanisms in place, particularly in its setting of standards of professional and lawful conduct and behaviour. We also have a range of high quality training modules that address this issue.

The College is now developing a project plan to ensure a cross College approach to bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment from trainee entry, across all our physician training pathways. 
Regardless, our position on bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment is clear – there is no place for this type of behaviour within the College.

Work on this issue is still ongoing and the College intends to update members regarding our policies and procedures via the website soon.

Expressions of Interest

EOI – College online learning resources working groups 

The College is currently in the process of establishing several working groups to assist in the development of online educational resources. The College Education Committee is seeking to appoint both Fellows and trainees to the below working groups, through an expression of interest process.

Creating a Safe Culture: exploring strategies to deal with bullying and harassment

This online module will aim to create understanding around the importance of a safe work culture and how bullying and sexual harassment impacts physicians and their ability to learn and effectively practice medicine.

Trainees in Difficulty Support

This online module will aim to create better understanding around how to identify a trainee in difficulty, and how to assess and best utilise the College’s tools and other assistance available for Supervisors supporting trainees experiencing difficulties.

Cultural Competency 

This online module will aim to increase cultural understanding by integrating knowledge of varied and diverse cultural perceptions into physician practice, and work towards improved health outcomes.

Trainee Self-Regulation and Wellbeing

This online module will aim to create understanding around the importance of self-regulation and well-being, and how it impacts physicians and their ability to learn and effectively practice medicine.

The key responsibilities of the working groups are to:

  • review and approve the resource outline and topic structure
  • assist in the development of content for scenarios and video scripts
  • recommend appropriate peers to review development content
  • assist with the implementation and communication plans to support the release of the new resource, including filming of a course welcome video
  • evaluate the new resource at the completion of the course.

Interested Fellows and trainees should complete and submit an expression of interest form, which includes a supporting statement outlining how the applicant’s knowledge, experience and interest in medical education program development will contribute to the objectives of this working group. 

The expression of interest form and a brief CV should be emailed to by Monday, 15 February 2016

Applicants should be available to attend a face-to-face meeting in Sydney in April or May 2016.

For further information, please contact Melanie Healy of the eLearning Design & Resource Development Unit on +61 2 80766367 or

Get Involved: RACP Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group

The debate on medicinal cannabis has intensified in the last 12 months, with both the general public and politicians calling for legislative change to allow its use. New Australian Federal legislation to allow the controlled cultivation of cannabis for medicinal or scientific purposes has been introduced this week. Legislation has been proposed in Victoria to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis for paediatric drug-resistant epilepsy, terminal illness and to manage symptoms associated with chemotherapy, and a number of other states have committed to clinical trials and research.

To enable the College to make timely and well informed responses on this topic, the College Policy & Advocacy Committee (CPAC) is establishing a Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group (the MC Reference Group). 

The purpose of the MC Reference Group will be to enable the College to respond with appropriate expertise on medicinal cannabis topics and to guide policy development on this topic. 

Getting involved
Joining the MC Reference Group will allow you to contribute your views and expertise to the medicinal cannabis debate.

The roles and responsibilities of the MC Reference Group are:

  • to provide input to College submissions on matters related to medicinal cannabis
  • to be a source of subject matter experts to represent the College at medicinal cannabis related meetings, workshops and advisory groups
  • to contribute to College work on other policy priorities where medicinal cannabis is a related matter.

Please find the Terms of Reference here.

Physicians of all specialties are invited to apply, to ensure the breadth of physicians’ perspectives is brought to the MC Reference Group. However, the College is particularly seeking Fellows and trainees working in the following areas of specialty practice:

  • Neurology
  • Paediatric neurology
  • Oncology
  • Paediatric oncology
  • Palliative medicine
  • Addiction medicine
  • Public health medicine
  • General paediatrics
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Occupation and environmental medicine
  • General medicine
  • Clinical pharmacology

If you would like to join the MC Reference Group or would like further information, please contact or phone +61 2 9256 9624.

EOI: Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party

The College Policy and Advocacy Committee is seeking Expressions of Interest from Fellows and trainees for its new Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party.

The College is committed to a fair, balanced, robust and transparent process for establishing a College position or positions on these topics. 

The Terms of Reference, and Expression of Interest Application Form for the Working Party can be accessed here. 

Expressions of Interest must be submitted by close of business on Monday, 29 February 2016 to

If you have any further questions regarding the establishment of the Working Party, please contact Louise Hardy, Manager – Policy and Advocacy on +61 2 8076 6358 or

Get Involved: RACP eHealth Reference Group

It is acknowledged that eHealth has the potential to drive significant improvements in both the quality and safety of healthcare. Yet it remains a work in progress.

With the re-commitment of the government to a national eHealth strategy, and the upcoming transition from NEHTA to a new Australian Digital Health Agency, physician and paediatrician input to this policy area is vital.

To enable the College to provide informed and expert input to e-Health policy, make timely and well informed responses on eHealth matters, and increase physician and paediatrician representation on relevant external committees and working groups, the College Policy & Advocacy Committee (CPAC) is establishing an eHealth Reference Group.

Getting involved
Joining will allow you to contribute your expertise and views on current and future eHealth issues and enable physician and paediatrician input to shape eHealth developments and plans.

The roles and responsibilities of the eHealth Reference Group are:

  • to provide input to College submissions on eHealth matters
  • to be a source of subject matter experts to represent the College at eHealth related meetings, workshops and advisory groups
  • to contribute to College work on other policy priorities where eHealth is a related matter.

Please find the Terms of Reference here.

If you would like to join the eHealth Reference Group or would like further information, please contact or phone +61 2 9256 9624.

Consultation: Draft RACP Policy and Position Statement on E-Cigarettes

The dilemmas surrounding e-cigarettes are an area of active debate worldwide. The RACP Reference Group on Electronic Cigarettes is seeking feedback on the College’s draft policy and associated draft position statement. Your input will greatly assist in the development of the RACP’s final policy position.

To request a copy of the documents and consultation questions or to submit your comments contact Ritu Mohan at

The consultation period closes on Monday, 29 February 2016.

University of Queensland: Survey of practitioners working with consumers living with severe mental illness

The University of Queensland are currently recruiting health practitioners in Australia who work with consumers living with severe mental illness such as Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression to complete an anonymous survey.

It is expected that the survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete. This survey has been approved by the University of Queensland, School of Public Health Research Ethics Committee.

In appreciation of participation, survey participants are eligible to enter a prize draw to receive a travel gift voucher worth AUD $2000.

The results of this survey will inform strategies for improving smoking cessation services for mental health consumers.

The survey can be completed here.


Trainees’ Day

To support our future physicians, Congress 2016 includes a dedicated Trainees’ Day, which will be held on Sunday, 15 May 2016 at the Congress venue, Adelaide Convention Centre.  Trainees’ Day is run by trainees for trainees, with a relevant and exciting program and cutting edge speakers to develop your clinical skills, promote discussion and prepare you for your career as a physician.
Further details on the topics and speakers for Trainees’ Day can be found on the preliminary program.

Venue: City Room 1 & 2, Adelaide Convention & Exhibition Centre
Date: Sunday, 15 May 2016
Registration: To see a summary of the program and registration details please visit the website.

Evolve Educate Engage – Congress 2016

Planning is well underway for RACP Congress 2016, being held in Adelaide on May 16 to 18 2016. Visit the Congress website for details of the full program and to register.
The early bird deadline is approaching fast, with a significant discount to those who register prior to Friday, March 11. Take advantage and register now. 

For this year only, members who have attended two of the last five RACP Congress events will also be eligible for VIP registration rates. Eligible members will have received an email with a VIP registration code. Use this code during the registration process to receive your discount. 

To support members and encourage attendance, the RACP Board has discounted all registration fees for Congress 2016. This is for 2016 only, so take advantage of this generous offer. 

Speakers at Congress 2016 will include Sir Henry Burns, Professor John Mills, Professor Dinah Reddihough, Professor William Ivan Glass and Professor John Chalmers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the latest clinical updates, learn about the latest trends in your specialty and network with your peers at the College’s annual event. 

Venue: Adelaide Convention & Exhibition Centre
Date: Monday, 16 to Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Registration: Full Congress details can be found on the website

International Medical Symposium

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in association with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists are pleased to host the 2016 International Medical Symposium: Future Challenges for the Medical Profession.

This fifth year edition of IMS will continue to explore the theme of the future of the profession with an informative program that will again bring together representatives of international and local specialist medical colleges, medical schools, health services and regulators.
Below is an outline of the four main sessions:

What is a future doctor? 

What is a future doctor? – Dr Julian Archer
One year later - report back on 2015 – Dr Craig Campbell
2016 and the future challenges for the medical profession - where are we now? 
Dr Vlasios (Bill) Brakoulias, Professor Kate Leslie and Dr Nikki Stamp

How to enhance doctors’ performance at work

Why Entrustable Professional Activities? – Professor Olle ten Cate
Performance of doctors in the public system – Dr Susan O’Dwyer
How my private hospital assesses doctors – Dr Vince Russell
Do senior doctors get this? – Mr Graeme Campbell

Dealing with diversity in the profession and in practice

Understanding diversity in the profession and in practice through Indigenous health –
Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid and Associate Professor Gregory Phillips

The Effects of Ageing on Physicians and Patients

What is ageing? – Why it happens – Professor David Sinclair
Dementia – Associate Professor Mark Yates
Ageing doctors coming to notice – Dr Alison Reid

For a comprehensive view of the program and a full list of our speakers download the Symposium flyer.

Venue: Amora Hotel Sydney 
Date: Friday, 11 March 2016
Registration: Registration, speaker and program details on the Symposium website.

​Awards and Grants

RACP President’s Indigenous Congress Prize, closes Friday, 26 February.

This prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and physician trainees of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori descent. The prize will support attendance at the RACP Congress 2016, which will take place from 16 - 18 May in Adelaide, South Australia.  This is an important initiative designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for the recipient and supports the College's commitments under the Australian Government's Close the Gap Campaign on health inequality. 

Please encourage eligible colleagues to apply for this opportunity before Friday, 26 February 2016.

Abstracts are now being accepted for:

Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine – Fellow
Best Poster Prize in Adult Medicine – Trainee
Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

Abstracts may be submitted via the College Congress website.

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