The President's Message - 23 October 2015

Under the headline Australia leads on climate and health, The Lancet has highlighted our College as "placing itself in the forefront of Climate advocacy.” I encourage you to read the article in full here.

This is extremely valuable endorsement of our Doctors for Climate Action campaign which will generate global publicity ahead of the December COP21 United Nations Paris conference on Climate Change. 

Our Doctors for Climate Action campaign continues to attract signatories, with 62  organisations from 35 countries having signed our consensus statement on the call for action on the health effects of climate change.

If you haven’t already done so, please visit and read our consensus statement and the facts relating to how unchecked climate change will impact human health. While there, please add your name to the call. The more people from the College and around the world who add their name, the greater our chance of influencing world leaders to commit to real action at the upcoming COP21 meeting.

Continuing on the theme of advocacy, Dr Karen Zwi and I travelled to Canberra in the last fortnight to meet with members of the Government’s newly-established Child Protection Panel. We raised our concerns over the lack of health input on the Panel and emphasised our view that effective child protection in an immigration detention setting is an impossibility.

We felt we received a good hearing from the Panel, along with a commitment to remain in contact on this significant child health issue.

On that note, I support and commend many of our paediatrician colleagues who gathered in a widely-publicised protest at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital last week. I would also like to acknowledge and offer my support to those at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital who have spoken out on the health concerns surrounding children in detention.

In line with their commitment to the care of their patients, our colleagues are refusing to release children from their care back into the harmful detention environment. 

We remain firmly committed to voicing our opposition to this policy, on behalf of the most vulnerable of our patients, who remain incarcerated on Manus, Nauru and the Australian mainland.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley
RACP President

Submit your RACP Congress 2016 abstract before 30 November 2015  

RACP Congress provides an unparalleled opportunity to present your work before a wide audience of peers. As the College’s flagship event, Congress acts as a forum for leading physicians to share break-through research and innovative developments in patient care.  

Congress abstracts are often published in well-respected industry journals and in some instances are leveraged to focus mainstream media attention on Congress and the health issues that are important to the public.
The College invites members and other health professionals to submit abstracts for RACP Congress 2016. 

The theme for Congress 2016 is ‘Evolve Educate Engage’. Abstracts should be submitted under one of the following areas: 

  • clinical updates
  • research projects
  • educational changes
  • policy breakthroughs.

Abstracts with a genetics ‘flavour’ will be favourably assessed, however all abstracts will be considered.

Abstracts can be submitted for oral and/or poster presentations, in any topic across the Divisions, Faculties and Chapters of the College.

Committees and working parties are also encouraged to submit an abstract to present at Congress.
Oral abstract submissions close Monday, 30 November 2015.

Poster presentation submissions close Sunday, 27 March 2016.

Please visit the RACP Congress 2016 website for more information.

WHERE: Adelaide Convention Centre
              Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

WHEN:   Monday, 16 to Wednesday, 18 May 2016.

Help College Congress Evolve 

RACP Congress provides physicians and paediatricians across the College the opportunity to come together, discuss the latest research and contribute to advancements in their specialties.

The College recognises that the needs of its members are varied, and change as the medical landscape changes, or as physicians and paediatricians move through their careers. 

To help shape a framework for RACP Congress into the future and create an event that resonates with members, the College has engaged an external organisation to conduct research into member needs, motivations, and barriers, to attending the event.

The survey is being conducted by Woolcott Research and Engagement, an independent research organisation that abides by all Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) guidelines. They have a commitment to ensure that individual responses are kept confidential. In that respect, survey responses will not be analysed or assessed individually, but instead are aggregated with all other responses in order to determine general trends that emerge. Only general trends will be reported to the College.

Your personal information and data collected will not be disclosed to third parties. Data collected through this survey will be used for the purposes of the research only.

Take the College Congress survey.

Submit your entry to the College Roll 

If you are a retired Fellow, or are soon to retire, we invite you to submit a biographical entry for our College Roll. 

The College Roll has historically been a directory of biographies recognising the careers of deceased Fellows.

These biographies provide fascinating insight to medical practice in Australasia and beyond, and into the history of the College’s Fellows and wealth of achievements.

The College Roll was first published in 1988, during the RACP’s Golden Jubilee. College Roll Volume 1, was edited by Dr Geoffrey McDonald. Under his guidance a brief biography was prepared on all those Fellows who had passed away since the College was established in 1938. 

The College Roll has now expanded to incorporate retired Fellows, to celebrate their careers and showcase their contributions. 

If you have retired, or will soon be retiring, we encourage you to submit your biography for inclusion on the College Roll.

View the Roll here

For further information on the College Roll, please contact the Member Services team on 1300 69 7227 (AU), 0508 69 7227(NZ) or email

Policy Development consultation 

Four education policies are currently open for consultation, and we invite all interested Fellows and members to contribute to this process. 

The policies currently in development are:

  • Flexible training, and Progression through training
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) participation
  • Academic honesty and plagiarism
  • Assessment.

We wish to ensure that revisions and changes in these policies are collaboratively developed and shaped by key stakeholders, including, for example, such important revisions as a reduction in the number of attempts at Divisional examinations.

A consultation pack for each of these policies (including a summary document outlining key policy features and standards) is available on the College’s Education Policy Development page. Please submit your feedback through completion of a brief survey or via email, before Monday, 23 November 2015; details and links are available on the webpage.

Peer Review Working Groups will then be convened to review the consultation feedback and recommend the final policies for Education Committee approval. 

Patient-Centred Care and Consumer Engagement Survey

Our online survey for all physicians, clinical and non-clinical, to share their knowledge and experience of consumer engagement and patient-centred care is open until Sunday, 25 October 2015.

Results of the survey will be analysed in conjunction with feedback given at a series of workshops held throughout September and October. Your input will help develop a patient-centred care and consumer engagement framework to improve the way the College engages with healthcare consumers.

The survey takes 5-7 minutes to complete, and results will be made available in early 2016 on the RACP website and in RACP News.

Take the Patient-centred care and consumer engagement survey

For more information, email

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Accreditation Review Working Group, closes 26 October, 2015

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are invited for membership of the Accreditation Review Working Group (the Working Group). 

The College Education Committee (CEC) approved the formation of the Working Group on Friday, 19 June 2015 following the completion of the Accreditation Review Scoping Paper. The paper identified a clear need for change within the current College accreditation system in order to support the delivery of curricula and outcomes based training across all programs. 

Meetings will be held four times per year face to face, with up to six teleconference meetings if required. Members will need to commit to attending the inaugural meeting to be held in November 2015 and the majority of meetings that follow. 

Key responsibilities of the Working Group are to: 

  • develop a College accreditation system for physician training and phased implementation plan including accreditation standards that support competency based curriculum and a governance model for the accreditation system changes
  • include in the scope of accreditation networks, training setting and training unit with standards for both institutional and programmatic elements
  • ensure that standardisation of accreditation processes across all training programs is incorporated into the accreditation system
  • include in the system the plan for recruiting, selecting and training the accreditation assessment team
  • make recommendations to the College Education Committee in relation to the requirements of the accreditation system and implications of the changes.

The successful candidate will possess the following: 

  • in-depth knowledge of the College’s current accreditation system as well as an understanding of emerging issues and trends in accreditation of physician training program
  • the ability to represent the broad spectrum of issues across accreditation of all physician training programs beyond their own specialty or Division
  • an understanding of competency based training and the role accreditation plays measuring these outcomes
  • significant experience in site and/or program accreditation.

Those interested are invited to submit an Expression of Interest and CV, including a supporting statement outlining how their knowledge, qualifications, experience and interest in accreditation of physician training programs will contribute to the objectives of the Accreditation Review Working Group.

All EOI applications and supporting documentation should be sent to by Monday, October 26, 2015.

For further information, please refer to the Accreditation Review Working Group Terms of Reference or contact

Public Consultation: Draft National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) Version 2

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has released a draft Version 2 of the NSQHS Standards for public consultation. 

The new version of the Standards places greater focus on partnerships with consumers and consists of nine specific standards with fewer actions.

The College will be providing a submission to the Commission and is seeking input from Fellows and trainees regarding the following: 

  1. Is Version 2 clear and easy to follow and comprehend? If not, please explain your answer?
  2. How would it work in your organisation? Are the Standards implementable?
  3. Are there any missing actions in Version 2 that will hamper your organisation’s effort in providing a safe and high quality health service?
  4. Are there any additional issues that should be addressed in Version 2?

The draft Version 2 of the standards can be downloaded here.

If you would like to contribute to the College submission, please provide your feedback to by COB Monday, 26 October 2015.

Alternatively, you can provide individual feedback to the Commission directly by COB Friday, 30 October. 

If you have any further question, please contact +61 2 9256 5432 or email

For Information: NPS MedicineWise: Nominations for non-executive director positions 

The NPS MedicineWise Board is calling for nominations for two Board Director positions. Further information is available on the NPS website and in the attached documents:

Nominations should be sent directly to NPA MedicineWise by COB, Friday, 30 October 2015 in order to be considered.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact NPS MedicineWise: Lynn Weekes  or Governance Officer, Nicola Ryan  or phone +61 2 8217 8671.

EOI: The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - Scoping project for the development of a national hospital admissions policy framework, closes 4 November, 2015

Applications are sought from Fellows interested in being nominated to represent the College on the AIHW scoping project for the development of a national hospital admissions policy framework.

The purpose of the project is to describe variations in admission policies and practices across hospitals in Australia, with the aim of demonstrating how these differences may be impacting on data currently being reported, and to explore and develop options to minimise or accommodate these differences in a selected area. 

Full details of the appointment can be found in the letter of request.

If you are interested in being nominated, please send your completed EOI application form and CV to  by COB Wednesday, 4 November 2015. If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact


EOI: 2017 Victorian Dual Training position submission, closes 20 November, 2015

Following the implementation of a dual training position between Bendigo Health and Austin Hospital to start in 2016, the Victorian Dual Training Working Group (VDTWG) will again be assisting and facilitating a Dual Training Program in rural Victoria with links to metropolitan training hospitals. 

The program encourages trainees to continue to work in regional centres following their physician training, consequently increasing the physician workforce and healthcare capacity in rural areas. 

It provides rural communities with opportunities to better access specialist care, and allows trainees to train concurrently in two specialties.

Trainees  also experience a wide range of challenging clinical scenarios in a regional healthcare environment as well as in metropolitan settings.

As part of the program, General and Acute Care Medicine training takes place in a regional setting, while additional specialty training takes place in a metropolitan setting. Trainees interested in a career in a regional setting would be the ideal candidates for these positions.

The VDTWG is negotiating with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to fund one, or more, new advanced training positions in General and Acute Care Medicine and an additional specialty to begin in 2017. 

Victorian DHHS funding will be associated with the trainee (rather than the health service). 

The VDTWG will consider positions that have strong educational merit from a College training perspective and will help to deliver health care in areas most in need. 

Positions must be for accredited advanced training appointments within the public sector.

To submit an EOI please complete the Expression of Interest: Victorian Dual Training Submission form and send to by COB Friday, 20 November 2015.

Conferences and Events

Acute Stroke Treatment Workshop, 14 November, Melbourne

The event covers content including advanced neuroimaging for stroke (CT perfusion and MRI), selection of patients for intravenous thrombolysis, selection of patients for endovascular mechanical thrombectomy, novel oral anticoagulants for prevention of cardioembolic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage management. 

Venue: RACV City Club, Melbourne 
Date: Saturday, 14 November 2015
Registration: Please see the event website or email

Awards and Grants

RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships

Applications close Friday, 30 October 2015

These scholarships provide a funded pathway through either Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and New Zealand covering:

  • RACP training fees 
  • Examination fees 
  • Attendance at Congress (or relevant Annual Scientific Meeting) each year (return economy air fare, registration, 3 nights' accommodation)
  • $2,500 cash assistance at the beginning of the scholarship.

For further information about the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program and all the Indigenous Health Scholarships being offered for 2016, please visit the RACP website.

Nominations for the following awards close Friday, 30 October 2015:

The John Sands College Medal  
RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas 
RACP International Medal

Nominations for the following awards close Saturday, 31 October, 2015:

RACP Mentor of the Year 2016
RACP Trainee of the Year 2016

Please visit the RACP website to download nomination forms and for further details about each award.
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