The President's Message - 26 February 2016

Our second College Council meeting in Sydney last week demonstrated the value of your new representative body as an advisory group to the Board.

Large representative groups like the Council can be challenging to organise and facilitate.

All participants’ views need to be equally heard, time effectively and efficiently used, and discussions guided to defined conclusions and outcomes.

As Council Chair, Associate Professor Alasdair MacDonald led a highly productive meeting in which valuable contributions were made by all there. 

The agenda covered significant issues of strategic importance in the College, and to members on Council.

An update was provided to the Council on the Board’s progress in reporting on the issue of bullying discrimination and sexual harassment.  

In return, Council members provided valuable advice and feedback about issues and solutions they use in their specialties and workplaces – and more will be communicated on this important topic in coming weeks and months, and at Congress.

The Council was also briefed on our proposed international strategy, College Governance reform, and progress on the College’s communications strategy. The Board sought the Council’s view on whether the Board was taking the right approach to all these matters.

There was also over an hour’s consultation on the College’s Consumer Engagement Project. For those of you who may not be aware, this project is significant and a requirement from the AMC for College accreditation.

It focuses on developing a patient-centred care and consumer engagement framework to improve the way the College engages with healthcare consumers. 

The Council members' input was sought on what type of community engagement would be appropriate as part of the project.

Each of your representatives offered many insights that will directly assist the Board and your College in shaping some of the high level issues that the Board recognises as key strategic priorities. 

It is pleasing to see how well the Council is working as a diversely representative group on cross college issues.

I would like to thank all those who attended for their time and their contributions.

The Council has made a promising start and it is up to us all to ensure it continues to be a vibrant forum for debate and discussion.

I encourage you to ​contact your representative on the Council to make sure your views and feedback are provided directly to the Board.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley
RACP President

Evolve Educate Engage at RACP Congress 2016

With a program spanning the beginning of life to its end, RACP Congress 2016 is an opportunity for all Fellows to benefit from our large and diverse membership.

The program of workshops, sessions, exhibits, and social functions will include the launch of the College’s End-of-Life Position Statement and sessions on the role of genetics in medicine and the health and wellbeing of doctors.

World leading speakers from home and abroad will challenge you, inspire you, educate you and engage you. Special guest speakers include Sir Henry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde. He was Chief Medical Officer for Scotland from September 2005 to April 2014 and has become known for his work to address health inequalities. 

Further details on the topics and speakers can be found on the preliminary program. Register before Friday, 11 March 2016 to take advantage of early bird rates.

Don't miss out on the heavily discounted rates that are available for 2016 only. While in Adelaide take the time to network and catch up with colleagues at one of the many social events including the annual Gala Dinner. Find out more on the Congress 2016 website.

Adelaide Convention Centre
Date: Monday, 16 to Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Registration: Registration, speaker and program details on the Congress 2016 website.

Bringing the future to the front at IMS 2016

Now in its fifth year, the International Medical Symposium will once again address the topic of Future Challenges for the Medical Profession.

Speakers from across Australia and New Zealand will be joined by leading international colleagues including:

  • medical education expert, Professor Olle ten Cate from the Netherlands
  • paediatrician and healthcare education researcher Dr Julian Archer from the United Kingdom
  • internal medicine specialist and continuing professional development researcher Dr Craig Campbell from Canada.

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

The 2016 International Medical Symposium, Future Challenges for the Medical Profession​, is hosted by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in association with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

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

RACP Qstream Diagnostic Error Course

Expressions of Interest for the online RACP Diagnostic Error course are now being accepted.

Diagnosis is one of the most difficult cognitive tasks in medicine, and is the first step in informing clinical management decisions. The 2015 Institute of Medicine report on Diagnostic Error states that “the best estimates indicate that all of us will likely experience a meaningful diagnostic error in our lifetime”.

The course has been developed in collaboration with the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) to provide Fellows with an eLearning opportunity designed to highlight the myriad of risks associated with diagnostic error and improve diagnosis.

Participants are invited to respond to multiple choice questions in relation to ten case studies from late March through to May. It should take no longer than five minutes per day to respond to each question (sent via email).

Questions will explore issues including:

  • recognising diagnostic error
  • factors impacting diagnostic decision making
  • tools that may improve diagnostic processes.

The course aims to provide participants with:

  • an ability to recognise diagnostic error and the potential harms to patients
  • an enhanced understanding of decision making during diagnosis in complex clinical environments
  • an understanding of the potential system and cognitive factors that can impact accuracy during decision making and their impacts on clinical practice
  • a systematic approach that enables clinicians to identify, learn from, and reduce diagnostic errors and near misses in clinical practice.

Course participants will be eligible for CPD credits in Category 3, Self-Assessment Programs. 

To register your interest, please email your name, MIN and how you found out about the course (e.g. RACP website, work colleague, RACP Twitter feed etc.) to

2015 MyCPD submission reminder

All 2015 MyCPD submissions are due by Thursday, 31 March 2016.

If you require any assistance or have any questions about your CPD record please contact the CPD Unit on +61 2 8247 6201 or in Australia or +64 4 460 8122 or in New Zealand.

Further detail on MyCPD and Continuing Professional Development is available.

Expressions of Interests

EOI: Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party, closes 29 February

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.

Download the Terms of Reference, and Expression of Interest Application Form for the Working Party.

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 & Advocacy on +61 2 8076 6358 or

Consultation: Draft RACP Policy and Position Statement on E-Cigarettes, closes 29 February

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.

EOI: College representative to attend ‘United in Compassion’ Medicinal Cannabis Symposium, closes 14 March

The College is seeking a representative to attend the Medicinal Cannabis Symposium in Sydney on Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 May 2016, to be held by the consumer advocacy group United in Compassion. 

The College’s position is that patients should have access to the most reliable therapeutics and that these should be administered in the safest way possible. The College is supportive of clinical trials of medicinal cannabis to develop an evidence-based approach on its safety and effectiveness.  

The successful applicant would be required to attend both days of the event. Download the EOI application form. Applications close 9am Monday, 14 March 2016.

Mentoring opportunity: University of Western Australia Personal Development and Mentoring Program

The UWA Faculty of Medicine is in need of clinical mentors based in Western Australia for postgraduate medical students to complete part of the UWA Personal Development and Mentoring Program.

What is the mentoring program?

Medical students complete a mentoring program where they meet with a clinical mentor to discuss their careers and medico-ethical issues (Minimum 1-2 meetings per year). We endeavour to match students and their interest in a particular field of medicine with the expertise of the mentors.  While this is a volunteer program, students do NOT require clinical time or access to patients for this program. Meetings can be kept informal.

Benefits to mentors:

  • enhance skills in coaching and counselling
  • gain satisfaction from helping a student develop professional behaviours and attitudes
  • contribute to their own professional development
  • increase awareness of different areas of medicine and medical education.

Benefits to mentees:

  • receive encouragement and support in studies and work
  • reflect on their learning, learning styles and work life balance
  • discuss their career aspirations and options, and develop career networks
  • develop new skills, knowledge and confidence
  • reflect on their personal and professional behaviours and attitudes.

Mentors need to be qualified clinicians, with at least three years of post-graduate experience.

If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact Ms Deborah Chapman, PDM Administration Officer at or +61 8 6488 5075.

Conferences and events

Alcohol Policy launch, 3 March 2016

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 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Head of 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 online for this free event by Tuesday, 1 March 2016.

Trainees’ Day, 15 May 2016

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 Centre
Date: Sunday, 15 May 2016
Registration: To see a summary of the program and registration details please visit the website.

RACP building renovations (Sydney) 

The front façade of the RACP Offices at 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney are currently being renovated with work expected to continue through to April 2016. This work is to ensure the upkeep of the building’s heritage features and complete other essential repairs. 
During this time, scaffolding and shade cloth are covering the front of the building and there will be tradespersons on site. Access to the building will not be restricted during this time, however we advise that some internal spaces will be impacted by noise, in particular the Fellows’ Room. 

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