The President's Message - 29 January 2016

My sincerest congratulations to those from the College’s membership who have been recognised in the recent awards. 

It is an impressive example of how our Fellowship embodies the College’s motto ‘to serve the health of our people’. The range of contributions recognised also reflects the diverse richness of our organisation, from clinical service to medical education and research. A full list of our Fellows included in these awards can be found below.

Joining the debate on low value care is only a click away with the EVOLVE website going live today. The first EVOLVE specialty lists of the ‘top five’ low value clinical interventions and practices can be accessed on the site. These eight completed lists illustrate our profession’s commitment to delivering high quality and safe care.  

The EVOLVE website allows you to find out if your specialty is developing a list, and to view the ‘low value’ practices identified by other specialties. I encourage you to contribute to the discussion by providing your own feedback and insights.

Congratulations and thanks to the hundreds of Fellows and trainees who have contributed to formulating these lists. The advice and guidance they offer will be invaluable to many clinicians, and reflects the commitment of physicians and paediatricians to delivering best practice patient care.

In March, our College will join with several other Colleges in hosting the 2016 International Medical Symposium. I encourage anyone who is interested in the debate around the future role and challenges of the medical professional to attend this one day event; this will be a world class symposium with international and local speakers and is bound to generate ground-breaking and challenging discussion around the development of our roles as health professionals. 

Next month the College Board will meet in Perth, on Friday, 12 February, followed closely by the College Council meeting in Sydney on Friday, 19 February. I would again encourage the Membership to consider nominating for positions which are currently open in the College elections, and contributing to the future direction of the RACP.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley
RACP President

College election nominations closing

Eligible College Members are reminded that nominations for several key positions are closing on Monday, 1 February.

Successful nominees will be appointed for a two year term, starting Monday, 16 May 2016 (at the close of the 2016 Annual General Meeting). Further details of the positions and how to nominate can be found on the College website.

If you have any questions, please contact Brendan Tobin on +61 2 9256 9676 or by email to elections@racp.edu.au.

Practical Skills for Supervisors

Registration is now open for part 1 of the College’s online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP), Practical Skills for Supervisors (SPDP1). 

This course is an online alternative to the popular Practical Skills for Supervisors face-to-face workshop. The five week program is facilitated by Professor Fiona Lake, and will run from Monday, 15 February to Monday, 28 March 2016.

Feedback on this course has been outstanding, with 96% of past participants saying they would recommend this online course to other supervisors.


The time commitment for the course is approximately one to two hours per week, to be completed at your convenience. Online participation can be counted towards your MyCPD program, and the course can be completed using a computer, tablet or mobile device.

To register, please send your Member Identification Number (MIN) number to learning@racp.edu.au, using the subject line 'registration for SPDP1'. Registration closes Tuesday, 9 February 2016.

If you would like to be notified regarding part 2 or part 3 of the online Supervisor Professional Development training series, please send your MIN and your preference to learning@racp.edu.au.

New Year and Australia Day Honours

The RACP congratulates the following Fellows on their outstanding contributions:

New Zealand New Year Honours List

ONZM

Dr Simon Gardiner Allan FRACP FAChPM FRCP
Dr Joanne Dixon FRACP

Australia Day Honours

Companion (AC) in the General Division

Emeritus Professor Robert Arthur Ouvrier FRACP

Officer (AO) in the General Division  

Professor David Leon Copolov FRACP
Emeritus Professor Douglas Edgar Joshua FRACP FRCPA
Professor Finlay Alistair Macrae FRACP
The Honourable Dr Brendan John Nelson FRACP (Hon)
Professor Robyn Elizabeth O’Hehir FRACP FRCPath
Professor Eleanor Joan Ozanne-Smith FAFPHM
Professor Peter David Sly FRACP

Member (AM) in the General Division

Dr Barry Rex Catchlove FRACP
Professor Jeffrey Ronald Flack FRACP
Dr Peter Frederick Pratten FRACP
Professor Ego Seeman FRACP
Associate Professor David Oliver Watson FRACP
Associate Professor Michael Clifford Woodward FRACP

Medal (OAM) in the General Division

Dr Peter Bert Greenberg FRACP

EVOLVE

The first eight EVOLVE specialty lists of the ‘top five’ low value clinical interventions and practices can be accessed on the College’s EVOLVE site, which has gone live today. 

The EVOLVE website allows you to find out if your specialty is developing a list, view the ‘low value’ practices identified by other specialties and contribute to the discussion by providing your own feedback and insights.

Additional lists will be added as they become available, including a further 12 specialty lists which are currently under development.

This physician-led initiative encourages each medical specialty to think about the clinical circumstances in which some of their practices - whether medical tests, procedures or interventions - should have their indications or value questioned and discussed by physicians. These practices may be overused, inappropriate or of limited effectiveness in a given clinical context.

The EVOLVE website can be accessed here, or through the College’s homepage. 

Congress 2016 registrations now open

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is holding its 2016 Congress in Adelaide, South Australia from Monday, 16 to Wednesday, 18 May 2016. RACP Congress is your chance to attend the largest annual multi-disciplinary internal medicine meeting in Australasia.

This year’s theme - Evolve, Educate, Engage, will challenge and inspire you to think about the changing face of medicine and medical practice. The diverse program of workshops, sessions, exhibits, and social functions will allow you to engage and benefit from the opportunities that come from being part of this large and varied Fellowship. Further details on the topics and speakers can be found on the preliminary program viewable here.

RACP Congress is a valuable learning opportunity and participation counts towards your annual CPD requirements. For more information go to the MyCPD section of the College website.

For early bird rates and further information on our special VIP Registrations view our registration information before the early bird deadline Friday, 11 March 2016.

We look forward to seeing you in Adelaide!

Radiology Written Report Guideline – survey request

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists have requested that we ask Fellows for feedback on the RANZCR Radiology Written Report Guideline, approved in 2011, which is due for review.

As part of this review process, RANZCR are requesting feedback from referrers, regarding the current recommendations, a proposed new recommendation and any suggestions regarding additions, subtractions or changes to the existing recommendations or any other aspect of the guideline.

The full guideline document is accessible here: Guidelines for the Written Radiology Report.

The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete. For further information visit the RANZCR website.

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 learning@racp.edu.au 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 melanie.healy@racp.edu.au.
 

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. 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. 

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 policy@racp.edu.au or phone +61 2 9256 9624.

EOI: Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Dying Working Party

The College Policy and Advocacy Committee is seeking Expressions of Interest from Fellows and trainees for its new Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Dying 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 policy@racp.edu.au.

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 louise.hardy@racp.edu.au.

Get Involved: RACP e-Health Reference Group

It is acknowledged that e-Health 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 e-Health 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 e-Health Reference Group.

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

The roles and responsibilities of the e-Health Reference Group are:

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

Please find the Terms of Reference here.

If you would like to join the e-Health Reference Group or would like further information, please contact policy@racp.edu.au 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 racpconsult@racp.edu.au.

The consultation period closes on Monday, 29 February 2016.

For Information: Therapeutic Goods Administration TGA January 2016 - issue of Medicines Safety Update now available

The December issue of the TGA Medical Devices Safety Update can be found here

Events

Public Health Summer School, University of Otago, 1 - 19 February, Wellington

 Members of the RACP are encouraged to consider the Public Health Summer School, a great opportunity to increase your skills and update your knowledge in critical areas of public health.

The University of Otago Public Health Summer School is held in Wellington New Zealand in February each year and is now one of the largest and longest running in the world.

It regularly attracts more than 600 course enrolments from NZ, Australia, and further afield. It is now in its 20th year and stronger than ever. 

Our 2016 programme of 33 short courses (1-3 days) includes:

  • Topics which help build essential key public health skills in such areas as epidemiology, biostatistics, qualitative methods, systematic reviews, health screening, health economics, evaluation, health geography, public health law, health promotion, leading and influencing, and use of social media.
  • Seminar-style courses which address important current public health issues including childhood obesity, climate change, health inequalities, health of indigenous people, trade and health, housing and health, sustainable cities, smoke free environments, , infectious diseases, injury prevention, health systems, and mental health.
  • A teaching faculty of leading international thinkers, including:

o Prof Johan Mackenbach , inequalities
o Prof David Stuckler, economics and public health
o Prof Robert Beaglehole and Prof Ruth Bonita, global health
o Prof Philippa Howden-Chapman, housing and sustainable cities
o Prof Michael Baker, infectious diseases
o Prof Tony Blakely, epidemiological methods
o Prof Richard Edwards and Prof Nick Wilson, tobacco control
o Prof Diana Sarfati, screening
o Prof Jonathan Carapetis, child health and rheumatic fever.

Venue: RACV City Club, Melbourne 
Date: 1 – 19 February 2016
Registration: To see a summary of all courses available, please view our flyer. For further information and to register please visit the Public Health Summer School website.

International Medical Symposium

Now in its fifth year IMS 2016 will again bring together representatives of international and local specialist medical colleges, medical schools, health services and regulators for an inspiring day where challenges will be discussed and new ideas explored. 

Program Overview

  • Future roles and responsibilities for doctors: who is the doctor of the future?
  • How to enhance doctors’ performance at work.
  • Dealing with diversity in our profession and in our practice.
  • The effects of ageing on physicians and patients.

Keynote speakers at IMS 2016 include:

  • Professor Olle ten Cate, Head, Directorate of Education and Training, Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Professor David Sinclair, Co-Director, Paul F. Glenn Centre for the Biology of Aging, Harvard Medical School and Faculty of Medicine UNSW
  • Dr Julian Archer, Collaboration for the Advancement of Medical Education Research Assessment, Peninsula Medical School, UK
  • Dr Susan O'Dwyer, Executive Director, Medical Services, Metro South Health Service, Brisbane, Queensland
  • Dr Victoria Brazil, Academic Lead for Integrated Clinical Practice, Bond University, Queensland
  • Dr Papaarangi Reid, Tumuaki (Deputy Dean - Maori) and Head, Te Kupenga Hauora Maori (Maori Health Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences University of Auckland.
For a comprehensive view of the program and a full list of our speakers please visit the Conference 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.

For further information, please visit the RACP Foundation website.

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.

For information on eligibility and requirements, please visit the RACP Foundation website

Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment report

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.
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