The President's Message - 29 April 2015

29 April, 2015

 The President's Message - 29 April 2015


The College received extensive media coverage this week about the important work we are doing on the EVOLVE initiative. EVOLVE is a peer-led initiative to create a list of the 'Top 5' low value practices in clinical practice and reflects the RACP's commitment to a high quality, safe and sustainable health care system. 

Health Editor of the Herald Sun newspaper, Grant Mcarthur published a prominent article on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 about EVOLVE and this created positive radio interest around the country. 

This story continued to run throughout the day both online and on radio news bulletins. 

Media analysis shows that today’s coverage of EVOLVE reached a total audience of nearly 1.5 million Australians. Overall the College received 13 mentions on AM and FM radio Australia-wide in morning and afternoon bulletins, including my interview on prime time breakfast radio on 3AW. 


At its meeting in March, the Board received an update of the work of the College’s Revalidation Working Party and approved the collaborative development of a pilot program of “augmented CPD” in selected New Zealand District Health Boards. The Board also provided approval for an initial planning workshop with relevant external stakeholders to identify the resources that will be required to meet regulators’ revalidation requirements in due course. 

Progress in College Reform

The Board, in consultation with members, continues to work on the best way forward for College Reform. This includes the establishment of a Working Party of the Board to oversee the next phase of the consultation process. The Working Party led by the President-Elect, Catherine Yelland, met on 15 April and 27 April 2015 and will prepare a paper for discussion at the May Board meeting. 

The Working Party will continue to build on the consultations with the Divisions and Faculties undertaken during the course of the first quarter of this year with further consultation with members taking place during RACP Congress next month. The final form of the Board and wider College governance reforms will only be determined through consultation so please continue to contribute your ideas and suggestions.

AGM Notice to all Members

This week, members will receive an electronic and mailed notification of the College’s Annual General Meeting and a link to the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report is an opportunity for our College showcase the progress we are making under the six strategic priorities and our many achievements throughout the year. 

The AGM notification will also include information on a minor change to the College’s Constitution. This new provision will allow a member to cast a direct vote without attending a Meeting, for example by post or electronic means. Members will lodge their direct vote with the College before the Meeting and it has the same effect as a vote cast in person at the Meeting. This will facilitate a more streamlined voting process and enables members to cast their vote in a variety of ways. 

In closing, I am deeply saddened by the executions in Indonesia overnight, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - my thoughts are with their families and loved ones at this very sad time.  As a doctor and a father, I oppose the use of capital punishment in all instances and regret this tragic event.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley

President, RACP



President-Elect, Dr Catherine Yelland represented the College at the Choosing Wisely Australia launch in Sydney today, (Wednesday, 29 April 2015).

Choosing Wisely will release lists of ‘top 5 practices’ from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)  and four medical Colleges, including, the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners, Australian College of Emergency Medicine, The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia  and The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.. 

The College is contributing to the campaign through our physician-led EVOLVE initiative by working with more than 40 Specialty Societies to produce their top 5 lists, with the development of lists already underway. 


I look forward to keeping you informed of our ongoing work with the specialties involved and I encourage you to read about the initiative on the RACP website.



At its meeting in March the Board agreed to establish a small cross College Working Party to develop an action/implementation plan based on the findings and recommendations in the WhyteCo Working Together Report (the Report) which was considered by the Board on Thursday, 4 December 2014. 

The Report forms part of a broader cross-College project designed to identify optimal ways for Fellows, trainees and staff to work better, together and concludes Whyte Co’s fact-finding exercise to identify if there were any behaviours that needed to be addressed. 

Expressions of Interest in joining the Working Party are now invited from Fellows, trainees and staff members. 

The Working Party will be led by Board member, Dr Helen Rhodes, and will consist of a representative group of Fellows, trainees and staff members. It will be required to:

  1. Review and further consider the findings of the Report
  2. Undertake additional inquiry and consultation, if required
  3. Develop a plan to guide action and responses across the College and to ensure a comprehensive, coherent and coordinated response occurs over time
  4. Make recommendations for the ongoing coordination, monitoring and review of the implementation of the plan
  5. Report to the Board as required.

It is anticipated that the final make-up of the Working Party will consist of approximately eight to ten people made up of Fellow and trainee representatives with the majority of the group being staff members from particular areas across the College. The membership of the Working Party will be decided by the Chair of the Working Party and the CEO to ensure an appropriate spread across Australia and New Zealand, levels of responsibility and relevant functional areas.

In determining the make-up of the Working Party it is acknowledged that a number of staff, Fellows and trainees who were interviewed by WhyteCo have already informally expressed an interest in being involved. It will be important, in addition, to ensure that it is representative of the most significant groups and interests that are impacted by the recommendations. 

In addition to attending Working Party meetings, which will be held face-to-face and by teleconference and/or online, members of the Working Party will be expected to undertake a limited amount of consultation and discussion with their peers and identify and facilitate opportunities for discussion about specific implementation initiatives. The Working Party is expected to hold the first meeting in June 2015 and then more intermittently as it moves into a coordination and monitoring function during the remainder of 2015 and beyond.


The RACP's biannual Advanced Training Forum will be held on Monday, 4 May 2015 in Sydney. The Forum is facilitated by Dr Jonathan Christiansen, Chair, College Education Committee (CEC), Dr Marie-Louise Stokes, Director, Education and Associate Professor Martin Veysey and will be attended by 38 Chairs from the Advanced Training Committees. The Forum is an opportunity for participants to receive updates on the work of the Fellow-led CEC and to provide input into College education strategies and approaches for Advanced Training.

During the Forum, participants will commence planning for upcoming reviews of Advanced Training Curricula which forms part of a College-wide curricula renewal project that also includes the Basic Training Curricula.

The curricula renewal project aims to evaluate and refresh College training programs to ensure that the physicians of the future are competent and safe practitioners, and the integrity of College training continues to be globally recognised, respected and trusted.


Dr Georgia Paxton, RACP Fellow and paediatrician, and 25 of her colleagues co-authored a paper published in the April issue of the Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health on the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention. The paper outlines the findings of the Inquiry and provides a perspective based on the collective clinical experience of the authors many of whom have seen children in detention.  

The paper also highlights some of the systematic challenges facing healthcare providers such as accessing information for children in detention and the overwhelming nature on the part of the clinician in providing clinical care, particularly to families who have been in prolonged detention.   

I commend the work of this group on this important topic and encourage members to read the article.


EOI: Practice Review Support Working Group, one additional Australian member - closed

The Practice Review Support Working Group (the Working Group) was established primarily to promote practical and useful frameworks for regular practice review (RPR). 

RPR is being trialled in New Zealand and the Working Group includes strong New Zealand representation. As the Working Group is planning Australian trials of RPR in the future, it is broadening its Australian representation through seeking a nomination for an additional Australian member. 

Nominees should be Fellows with experience in the development, implementation and review of performance/practice review processes (even if at the local level) and/or an interest in developing an effective framework (including processes, information and tools) to promote practice audit and review in Australia. The College is keen to ensure that practice review is flexible, valuable and designed to fulfil as many of a physician’s audit and review requirements as possible.

The group may meet up to six times a year via teleconference and a maximum of twice a year face to face.

For more information please download the Working Group’s Terms of Reference. For any questions please contact Michael Pooley on (02) 8247 6203 or 



Applications now open for 2016 Research Awards 

I am pleased to announce on behalf of the RACP Foundation that awards in the following Award categories are now being offered to Fellow and Trainee Members. 

Research Development Scholarships providing funding for smaller projects.

Research Entry Scholarships to assist Fellows and trainees at the start of their research career and who are enrolled in a Masters, PhD or higher research degree.

Research Establishment Fellowships available to Fellows and trainees who wish to establish themselves in a research career.

Career Development Fellowships for Fellows who are established researchers.

Travel Grants to support short periods of research or study.

There are multiple awards available in each category.

Visit the RACP Foundation website for full details including:

  • Closing dates
  • Eligibility
  • New Online application system
  • Award Terms and Conditions

Please contact with any inquiries.

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