The President's Message - 9 October 2015

Doctors for Climate Action and the Day of Global Action

I am proud to announce that the College’s Doctors for Climate Action campaign is now live, following our very successful launch of the website www.doctorsforclimateaction.org at the College yesterday morning, attended by the Editor-in-Chief of the Lancet, Dr Richard Horton.

The ‘Doctors for Climate Action’ digital campaign is a key element of the College’s ambitious global advocacy on the health impacts of climate change, which centres on a Day of Global Action this coming Monday, 12 October.

Over recent months, the College has developed and circulated a Global Consensus Statement on the health impacts of climate change - ‘Act now to reduce the damaging health impacts of climate change’. The Statement calls on world leaders to commit to real action on climate change at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP21). 

I’m delighted to announce that so far the Statement has been endorsed by over 50 international health and medical organisations (and counting!), ranging from the American Medical Association, to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; from the Royal College of Physicians, to the West African College of Physicians. 

On the Day of Global Action on Monday, the College and our international partners will be promoting the calls of the Consensus Statement and urging all individuals in our community to join us in calling for urgent, meaningful action on climate change.

Please visit www.doctorsforclimateaction.org to read the facts about the health impacts of climate change, and add your names as College Fellows and trainees. In doing so, you will be joining health and medical professionals around the world in creating momentum for change. While there you will be able to download campaign posters to display in your workplaces, letting your colleagues and patients know that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. The website also contains content that I encourage you to share on social media, increasing awareness of the health impacts of climate change.

Evolve

Over the last fortnight we have also been advocating the College’s position on the review of the Australian Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) and with that, drawing attention to our Evolve programme.

Due to my role on the Government Committee tasked with reviewing the schedule, I am unable to comment publically on this issue.

However, our President-elect Dr Catherine Yelland told the media our College supports the aims of the reviews to modernise the MBS, which lists some 5,700 tests subsidised by the Australian Government.

Our position is that if the medical profession can start reducing the number of unnecessary consultations, tests and procedures, we can ensure we have a health system that better supports high value and high quality care for our patients and our community.

As part of our EVOLVE initiative the College is already working in partnership with more than 16 medical societies and their members in a physician-led programme to reduce unnecessary practises.

We are developing evidence-based lists of the top five clinical practises in each specialty area that are unnecessary or ineffective under a given clinical circumstance.

If this is an issue you feel strongly about, I would encourage you to participate

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley
RACP President

 

Community Child Health Entrustable Professional Activities Pilot 

Participants in the Community Child Health Entrustable Professional Activities Pilot gathered in Sydney recently for a Wrap-up Session. 

Like many College training programs, Advanced Training in Community Child Health currently requires a series of specific time-based work placements to be completed by trainees over three years of training.

A new approach to training is being considered, to focus on the assessment of trainees’ ability to perform essential work tasks and making training requirements more relevant to workplace practice.

The goal of the Pilot in Community Child Health was to explore the usefulness of Entrustable Professional Activities, in terms of curricula design and workplace application for a College training program. 

Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) are a relatively recent innovation in medical education. They are the essential work activities that can be fully entrusted to a trainee once they have demonstrated the necessary competence to conduct the activity unsupervised.

EPAs have the potential to transform our training programs. A presentation which overviews EPAs and the Community Child Health Pilot is available on the College YouTube channel. 

Feedback from those involved in the Pilot Group Wrap-up Session was very positive, and the College is indebted to our Facilitator, Dr Mick O’Keeffe, our Pilot Supervisors and Pilot Advanced Trainees for taking the time to be involved in this very important project. The feedback sessions were recorded and will be available on the College YouTube channel by the end of the year.

Curricula renewal is a priority for the College Board and the College Education Committee has established the Curriculum Advisory Group to guide and support the renewal of College curricula.

The College-wide curricula renewal program aims to evaluate and refresh College Training Programs to ensure that physicians of the future are competent and safe practitioners, and that the integrity of the College’s training systems continue to be globally recognised, respected and trusted. This is a challenging project with 40 curricula to design and implement across the College. 

Insights gained from the Community Child Health EPA Pilot will inform new curriculum development and evaluation framework across all diverse College training programs.  

Listen to the new Pomegranate podcast investigating Stem Cell Therapies 

“Stem cell research is exciting because it offers a whole new dimension to deliver therapeutics”, says Professor and RACP Fellow John Rasko.

In the latest episode of Pomegranate, the CPD podcast of the RACP, Professor Rasko, Head of the Department of Cell and Molecular Therapies at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a self-confessed “stem cell tragic” presents an overview of stem cell research which he says separates the hope and hype in his field. 

In ‘Stem Cell Therapies Today’ Professor Rasko discusses some of the ongoing clinical trials around the world and the current treatments available in Australia and New Zealand.

Fellows can listen, download, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or the RACP website. The podcast can also be downloaded for other podcast apps by searching for ‘Pomegranate’.

The podcast team welcomes comments and suggestions. To get involved, suggest a Fellow to interview, or request future CPD topics for consideration for podcasts, please email pomcast@racp.edu.au.

Policy development consultation closes 23 November 2015

College education policies, which underpin all College training programs, are regularly developed and routinely reviewed to meet the College’s changing needs and ensure currency and consistency. 

The College’s model for developing and revising education policies has been designed to ensure that policies are collaboratively developed and shaped by key stakeholders.

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.

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. You can submit your feedback through completion of a brief survey or via email; details and links are available on the webpage. 

Consultation is open until Monday, 23 November 2015. Peer Review Working Groups will be convened to review the consultation feedback and recommend the final policies for Education Committee approval. 

Register for the new online Supervisor Workshop - Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings

Offered as part of the Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) and presented through the RACP elearning portal, this online training resource has been developed in collaboration with A/Prof Victoria Brazil, to assist supervisors with some of the challenges related to teaching and learning in a complex environment. A/Prof Brazil will also be involved throughout the duration of the course, as the online facilitator.

This online course will run over a five week period, from Monday, 2 November 2015 to Friday, 4 December 2015. The course has been devised so that participants can log on progressively throughout each week, and complete activities at convenient times. Delivery of the course will be through an interactive group format, using a combination of videos, facilitated discussions and an online forum.

Enrolment is open to RACP members serving as a supervisor, new supervisors, and those who have not previously attended a supervisor workshop. Online participation can be counted towards your MyCPD program. The course can be completed using a computer, tablet or mobile device. ​

To register for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings, please email our eLearning team on learning@racp.edu.au. Registration closes Friday, 23 October 2015.
 

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Professionalism e-Learning Program (PeP) - Modern Ethical Challenges, closes 19 October 

The contemporary workplace is increasingly complex with physicians and paediatricians regularly challenged by ethical dilemmas, a multitude of cultural dynamics and occasionally, difficult colleagues.

The RACP’s online course on modern ethical challenges will provide Fellows with an eLearning opportunity designed to boost professional skills in these areas. The program will run from October to December and will only take five minutes a day, two or three times a week via email. 

Fellows participating in the PeP - Modern Ethical Challenges program will receive case study questions, with multiple-choice answers. Questions will explore issues including: 

  • modern ethical challenges (social media, use of smartphone, Facebook, Twitter)
  • cultural dynamics in the workplace 
  • dealing with difficult colleagues/when to report inappropriate behaviour.

The program aims to provide participants with: 

  • increased knowledge of professional behaviours
  • prompts for behaviour change
  • a space for constructive discussions about professionalism in the workplace
  • skills to manage stressful workplace situations.

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

Please note, we are seeking new participants for this course as the case study content is similar to the Qstream Pilot run in 2014.

For more information about the course or to register your interest, please email sppp@racp.edu.au, places are limited. Expressions of interest to participate in the 2015 Modern Ethical Challenges course close at midnight on Monday, 19 October 2015.

EOI: Chronic Diseases in Australia Forum, closes 23 October 

Applications are invited from Fellows and trainees to represent the College at the Chronic Diseases in Australia Forum (the Forum) hosted by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration in Melbourne on Wednesday, 25 November 2015 from 10am to 4pm.

The Forum will further develop work on chronic disease targets and indicators appropriate for Australia, as well as consider how to promote accountability, and deliver and measure improved and more equitable health outcomes. Please see the invitation for further information.

Please send your completed EOI Application Form and CV to racpconsult@racp.edu.au by 5pm Friday, 23 October 2015.

EOI: Medicines Australia Code of Conduct Committee, closes 30 October 

Applications are invited from Fellows and trainees who are interested in representing the College on Medicines Australia Code of Conduct Committee.

Medicines Australia has now completed the review of the Medicines Australia Code of Conduct to develop Edition 18. The Code review primarily considered the inclusion of further measures to provide transparency about payments or other transfers of value from pharmaceutical companies to healthcare professionals.

Edition 18 of the Code of Conduct allows for a panel of three physicians nominated by The College to be appointed to the Code of Conduct Committee for a period of three years.

Please see the attached Code of Conduct for further information.

If you are interested in being nominated to Medicines Australia Code of Conduct Committee, please send your completed EOI application form and CV to racpconsult@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 30 October 2015. If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact racpconsult@racp.edu.au

EOI: Accreditation Review Working Group, closes 26 October 

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 programs
  • 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 accreditation@racp.edu.au by Monday, October 26, 2015.

For further information, please refer to the Accreditation Review Working Group Terms of Reference or contact accreditation@racp.edu.au.

Public Consultation: Draft National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) Version 2, closes 26 October

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
racpconsult@racp.edu.au by COB Monday, 26 October.

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 Bella.Wang@racp.edu.au.

Conferences and Events

Anatomy of an Expert Report: dissecting the essential elements, 24 October, Brisbane

An interactive, pragmatic workshop for doctors, solicitors and barristers to learn from a judge, a briefing solicitor and a panel of experienced medical experts.

Venue: Evan and Mary Thomson Auditorium, Wesley Hospital, Auchenflower
Date: Saturday, 24 October 2015
Registration: Please register by 20 October 2015 on the MLSQ website.

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 contact@strokeacademy.com.au.

Awards and Grants

RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships, Applications close Friday, 30 October

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 are now being accepted for:

The John Sands College Medal  

RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas

RACP International Medal

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.

For Information

Therapeutic Goods Administration TGA October 2015 - issue of Medicines Safety Update now available

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

 

 

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