The President's Message - 9 July 2015

Time to move forward together and embrace our future in order to serve our profession and our community

I want to thank the 4,144 Fellows and Trainee Members who took the time to vote and engage in the important issues our College is addressing.

For any resolution to be carried, a 75 per cent majority is required which was not met.

The voting results are:

  Required to pass   For    Against 
 Resolution 1  75%  52.21%  47.79%
 Resolution 2  75%  47.66%  52.34%
 Resolution 3  75%  46%  54%
 Resolution 4  75%  50.65%  49.35%

For the full results notice, please visit the RACP Noticeboard. These results demonstrate members' faith in the current Constitution.

The College is a democratic organisation and the recent vote is another demonstration of democracy in action. Every member of your Board is strongly committed to democracy. I also want to point out the Board took no one’s side here – its role, enshrined in legislation, must be to consider what is in the best interests of the College as a whole, not one group or another. The Board actively encourages engagement and dialogue among the membership through current democratic processes within the College that effectively enable this. The requisition process does not adequately facilitate discussion and is expensive as was discussed at the EGM.

While the Board after very careful review of the wording concluded it couldn’t support the motion for placing democracy within the Constitution as it was proposed, it has listened to all views and will seek input from members about how we can embed this principle and take any changes to the next AGM in 2016. In the meantime, the Board is committed to creating opportunities to meet with those who signed the requisition and other members, and has extended an offer to meet in Melbourne in late September and in Sydney in early December to share ideas. The Board has also determined that we will seek input from our peak committees and review the Conflict of Interest policy.

I now invite all Fellows and trainees to look to the future and not to the past, and together engage with our College. It is time to put past concerns behind us and unite.

A united College will provide the best training for all physicians and paediatricians, ensure that the finest quality of care for our patients and our communities continues across Australia and New Zealand, and provide the most successful advocacy for our communities and the profession we serve.

The College must deal with the multiple challenges of a rapidly changing world and governance must be workable; we cannot go back to the past unless we wish to fail. The College is not perfect but has made great progress in recent times and is changing, but we would all agree there is more to do.

The Board and I strongly support vigorous debate and discussion on all issues. This is how we make better decisions, and this is how your democratically elected Board does function and will continue to function. Our Board committees and other committees do this too – Fellow led excellence in action. It is terrific to see the College successes in policy and advocacy, in education, in research and elsewhere, evidence the College is a 21st Century College. None of this would be possible without dedicated Fellows and trainees and the excellent highly qualified staff who support the members on our Committees. There will be elections for office again in the near future and I urge you all to vote (or consider standing), as is your democratic right in our great organisation.

Over the coming several months the Board looks forward to working with all members to strengthen our College, a College that honours our past and embraces the future through:

  • launching our new representative College Council
  • strengthening and supporting continuing professional development
  • further invigorating our highly successful public advocacy agenda on vital issues like health system change EVOLVE, the health impact of climate change, the health of refugees, the health risks of e-cigarettes and alcohol, the role of marijuana, and many others issues
  • engaging members through our committees, enhancing mutually valued relationships with Speciality Societies, and strengthening the new College website and other channels.

The best way to keep our College strong and successful is to volunteer to serve. We need you! There are multiple opportunities for all to be actively involved in our work – be it in training, research, professional development, fellowship relations, or policy and advocacy to name a few.

The Board and I welcome any and all feedback from members and urge you to register on the Our College site – to have your say in meeting these challenges.

Thank you again for your support and interest in our College.

Yours sincerely,
Laureate Professor Nick Talley

College launches online training program for supervisors

The College is running an online supervisor course as part of the Supervisor Professional Development Program. This course; ‘Practical Skills for Supervisors’ will be facilitated by Prof Fiona Lake.  

Course name: Practical Skills for Supervisors
Course facilitator: Professor Fiona Lake
Duration:  5 weeks, approx. 1-2 hours per week.
Dates: 27 July 2015 to 28 August 2015
RSVP: To register for this course, email before Friday, 17 July 2015.

Who can attend?

‘Practical Skills for Supervisors’ is open to RACP members serving as a supervisor, new supervisors and those who have not previously attended a supervisor workshop. Attendance can be counted towards your MyCPD program.

What is covered in the online workshop?

Practical Skills for Supervisors has been developed in collaboration with Professor Fiona Lake to assist supervisors with delivering effective feedback. This interactive skills-based workshop focuses on:

  • creating a culture for learning
  • describing the impact of feedback on behaviour and performance
  • increasing confidence in giving feedback to trainees, and
  • increasing confidence in dealing with challenging situations, including trainees in difficulty.

This course includes trigger videos, online discussions and activities facilitated by Professor Fiona Lake. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and share ideas via the online forum, and practise giving feedback in their local settings.

What technical requirements are there?

Regular internet access is required along with the ability to watch videos. You can complete the course from a computer or mobile device.

For further information, please contact the Supervisor Learning Support unit at

Inaugural Pacific Island Health Scholarship (New Zealand)

As part of its ongoing commitment to Indigenous Health the RACP is pleased to announce the addition of the Pacific Island Health Scholarship to the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program.
In keeping with other Scholarships offered through the Program, the Pacific Island Health Scholarship offers a funded pathway for Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training which can be undertaken in Australia or New Zealand.

The Scholarship is available to medical graduates and doctors, resident in New Zealand who identify as being of Pacific Island heritage and is made available by the Fellows of the RACP, New Zealand.
The aim of RACP Indigenous Health Program is to encourage medical graduates and doctors of Indigenous heritage to undertake specialist medical training, in order to help close the gap in the provision of specialist health care in Indigenous communities.

Applications for 2016 RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships are now open. For further information contact the Senior Administration Officer at

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Consumer Engagement Project Steering Group – closes Friday, 24 July 2015

The College is seeking nominations from Australian and New Zealand Fellows to join the Consumer Engagement Project Steering Group.  Education committee experience and/or education expertise is required.

What is the Consumer Engagement Project?

The Consumer Engagement Project is a collaborative project with a leading consumer body to develop recommendations and strategies to improve how the College engages with health care consumers. The project has a focus on strengthening consumer input to College governance, education and policy activities.

What is the role of the steering group and the time commitment involved?

The Project Steering Group is responsible for providing expert advice and direction to the Project Team over the course of the Consumer Engagement Project (July 2015 – May 2016). The Group will meet face-to-face in Sydney and by videoconference three times over the course of the project (project initiation, mid-point review and end of project). Members may also be asked to review written materials out of session.

How do I register my interest?

To submit an Expression of Interest, please send a copy of your curriculum vitae and a brief statement outlining how your knowledge, qualifications and experience will contribute to the Consumer Engagement Project Steering Group to RACP Research Officer, Rebecca Paton at

All EOIs must be received by COB Friday 24 July 2015.

EOI: College Council

Expressions of Interest are now open for College members interested in sitting on our inaugural College Council.

The new 50 member College Council is an opportunity for specialty societies, regional committees and all RACP specialty education streams to lead the College in important new ways – in advocacy, training and college work.

It will include:

  • a representative from each of the 25 identified Education Pathways (including Chapters) within the College. Some Education Pathways are associated with more than one Specialty Society, but will have one representative
  • a Fellow or trainee appointed by each RACP Division and Faculty
  • a Fellow or trainee appointed by each of the seven Australian Regional Committees
  • a Fellow or trainee appointed by the New Zealand Committee
  • two trainees appointed by the College Trainees’ Committee.

The first meeting of the new College Council will be held on 24 September in Melbourne.

You can download the Expression of Interest form here and send through to by Sunday, 26 July.

You can read the full College Council bylaws here.

College staff will collate all Expressions of Interest received for positions that will be determined by the relevant College Body, e.g. DFaC Councils, and provide them to the relevant College Body to appoint their representative.

​Conferences and Events

Telehealth Technology Workshops

The colleges of Physicians, Pathologists, Ophthalmologists and Dermatologists are holding joint workshops in Hobart and Port Macquarie to give Fellows ‘hands on’ experience with telehealth technologies, including videoconferencing, imaging, cameras, 3D printers and more.

To register, please click on the relevant link below:

  • Port Macquarie: 2pm to 5pm, Saturday 25 July, The Glasshouse
  • Hobart: 11am to 2pm, Saturday 1 August, University of Tasmania (TBC)

Please contact Krista Recsei on + 61 (0) 2 8247 6239 or for more information.

RACMA E-dgy Issues Webinars, various dates in 2015

The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administration in conjunction with the Rural Health Continuing Education Stream is hosting a set of E-dgy Issues webinars based on contemporary and ‘e-dgy issues’ that are current to health services. The programs provide doctors in rural and remote areas opportunities to enhance their CPD and sustain best practice in medical leadership and management.

July 2015 – Playing ball: Embracing collaborative care and reducing load on rural practice through thru multidisciplinary integration
August 2015 – Conquering fragmented rural mental health and other specialist medical services (telehealth)
October 2015 – Ageism, sexism, bullying, respect or un-esteemed collaborations between medical professionals. Are we duplicating what is taught in medicine?

For enquiries regarding the E-dgy Issues Program contact Carmel at

Medico-Legal Society of Queensland Annual Conference, 28 and 29 August 2015, Surfers Paradise

The conference theme, A Claim Cycle: The Crossroads of Law and Medicine encapsulates the program scenario depicting Lance Pharmstrong, an unfortunate cyclist who had an accident enroute home from work.  His civil claim is still unsettled over three years down the track. Join colleagues and friends and follow the complexities and meandering nature of the life cycle of this claim.

Venue: Marriot Hotel, Surfers Paradise
Date: Friday, 28 August to Saturday, 29 August
Registration: Please visit the online conference registration booklet.

Australasian Symposium on Perioperative Medicine, 15 to 17 October 2015, Noosa

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists will host the 4th Annual Australasian Symposium on Perioperative Medicine, themed “The post-operative period: from recovery into the unknown”.

Venue: Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa, Noosa, Queensland
Date: Thursday, 15 October to Sunday, 18 October 2015
Registration: Please visit the conference website.

Australasian Doctors Health Conference 2015, 22 to 25 October 2015, Melbourne

In line with our theme of “Pathways and Progress”, we will focus on proactive and reactive approaches to optimising physician health. Our two day academic program will appeal to all who have an interest in the health and welfare of our profession. We will discuss and showcase some of the advances in understanding the health of medical professionals and some of the great initiatives in improving welfare and support systems for doctors and medical students.

Venue: Pullman Mercure Albert Park, Melbourne Victoria
Date: Thursday, 22 October to Sunday, October 25 2015
Registration: Please visit the conference website.

Nominate now for a variety of RACP awards

Nominations are now open for a range of awards for Fellows and trainees.

Research Entry Scholarships

These Scholarships provide stipend support to assist Fellows and trainees who are at the start of their research careers and enrolled in a Masters, PhD or equivalent research higher degree.

Go to the RACP Foundation webpage for full details and application forms, or contact the RACP Foundation.

Applications close Tuesday, 14 July 2015 at 5.00pm AEST

The Eric Susman Prize 2015

Fellows are invited to submit nominations for the award of the Eric Susman Prize for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine.

Nominations close on Wednesday, 30 September 2015.

RACP Mentor of the Year 2016

Fellows and trainees are invited to submit nominations for the RACP Mentor of the Year Award 2016 for a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.

Nominations close on Saturday, 31 October 2015.

RACP Trainee of the Year 2016

Fellows and trainees are invited to submit nominations for the RACP Trainee of the Year Award for a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and/or trainee activities during 2015 and earlier.

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

Nominations close on Saturday, 31 October 2015.

Launch of the Queensland charter for the care of adult patients at the end of life opens up talk about patient wishes

Openly discussing a patient’s rights and choices at the end of their life is crucial and is the focus of a new patient charter which has been endorsed by the College.

This Charter is one of four recommendations to emerge from a Queensland Clinical Senate (QCS) and Health Consumers Queensland partnership established to explore care at the end of life.

This Charter aims to provide a platform for people nearing the end of their life, their families, carers and healthcare workers to talk about the patient’s wishes.

Most health professionals will, at some stage in their career, care for patients who are nearing the end of their life so it is important that they have a platform from which they can start a conversation about the patient’s rights and choices.

For a copy of the Charter or more information about the Charter and end-of-life care recommendations visit the QCS website.

Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) Consultation Paper

On Wednesday, 24 June 2015, the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority advised that it is seeking submissions to inform the Pricing Framework for Australian Public Hospital Services in 2016/17. The IHPA Consultation Paper 2016-17 seeks commentary on pricing guidelines, and inclusions and exclusions to the scope of public hospital services and pricing. In addition the Consultation Paper raises new issues of future relevance to policymakers formulating hospital pricing at both the Commonwealth and State level (and which would therefore continue to be of relevance after the phasing out of Commonwealth activity based funding) such as:

  • Options for bundled pricing for services or patient episodes of care
  • The appropriateness of ‘best practice’ pricing to ensure safety and quality of care
  • The scope of hospital services and whether posthumous organ procurement should be within scope for Activity Based Funding (ABF)
  • Whether alternative geographical classification systems should be adopted for ABF.

The College’s Policy & Advocacy Unit would like to capture the views of the College’s Divisions, Faculties and Chapters on these and other important matters covered in the Consultation Paper to form a College position. Submissions to IHPA are due by 27 July. We therefore invite any comments you may have by Monday, 20 July 2015. Please send your comments to

Deakin University Clinical Leadership Program

Interested in learning to be a better clinical leader?

Deakin University’s Medical School provides the Master of Clinical Leadership – a Masters program for clinicians who want to develop their leadership and management skills.

The school runs 3 Residential Clinical Leadership programs each year, each with a slightly different focus – leading in the broader health system, leading in healthcare organisations, and leading improvements in patient care. All are core units in the Masters program but they are also available to clinicians wishing to undertake an intensive professional development opportunity.

The next program will focus on the healthcare organisation and will run from Monday, 31 August to Friday, 4 September 2015 at Deakin’s Management Centre in Geelong. A terrific program has been put together and those who attend will hear from leaders at the forefront of the Australian healthcare industry, and work with fellow students on real world case studies.

Please contact the Course Director, A/Prof Grant Phelps at or on +61 418 504 252 for more information.

RACP IT Outage

Due to scheduled maintenance there will be an outage of RACP web-based services from 11.30am to 2.30pm AEST on Sunday, 12 July. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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