The President's Message – 3 February 2017

Welcome to a New Year! Congratulations to our 22 Fellows who have been recognised with honours for their contributions to medicine and healthcare.

The Australia Day Honours list announced seven Fellows who have been appointed Officers of Order (AO), seven Fellows appointed as Members (AM), another seven receiving Medals of the Order (OAM) and one Fellow receiving the Australian Public Service Medal (PSM). You can view recipients names here.
The broad spread of specialties, and contributions to medicine recognised, highlights our College's great collective strength through our diversity.

We would list the New Zealand New Year Honours as well, but we did not have any Fellows mentioned this year.

For many of us in Australia and New Zealand, cricket is the soundtrack to summer. Less obvious is the sponsorship of cricket fixtures by major alcohol brands, and the exposure of children to that branding.

The RACP has a strong position on this issue, and over the Christmas/New Year break we’ve achieved significant national publicity in Australia and internationally, seeking to limit exposure of children to alcohol advertising in sport.

In Australia – we begin the year with a new Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt and a new New South Wales Health Minister, Brad Hazzard. The College hopes to continue a productive working relationship with both new Ministers.

This year will mark important milestones in our commitment to continue renewing our entire education curriculum. 

  • The Computer Based Testing project is a part of the Written Exams Strategy and will deliver an end-to-end computer based testing solution for Divisional Written Examinations. During 2017, the work will focus on detailed design and preparation for implementation. 
  • We will be incorporating feedback from the 2016 consultation on Basic Training curricula standards and commencing development of the teaching and learning, and assessment programs to support the revised curricula.
  • The Specialist Training Program (STP) has just had its funding approved for 2017 and we are in the process of rolling out funding agreements to all STP sites.

A final reminder to you all – early bird registrations for RACP Congress 2017 close in little over a week, on Sunday, 12 February. 

This year’s event is Bringing Specialists Together. Sharing Knowledge. Building Skills and will feature an exciting new cross-disciplinary format, with fast paced TED style talks, along with high profile guests and panelists such as  Australian Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs, Australian Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy and  renown Canadian Professor of Clinical Public Health Ross Upshur. 

Congress will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from Monday, 8 to Wednesday, 10 May 2017 – I encourage you to register now to secure a place at reduced rates.

Finally – as a busy new clinical year starts and exams loom, we are thinking of our trainees. Physician training is very rewarding, but can be very stressful, especially when combined with all of the other challenges young doctors face.

Our Fellows remember those early years, and we are thankful that the days of doctors being expected to be stoic or invulnerable to all stress are long gone.

If you, or any of your colleagues, are feeling that it is all too much, it doesn’t make you any less of a doctor – it’s a sign that some help and reassurance may be needed.

Your College cares – and offers a free and confidential counselling and advice service for both trainees and Fellows – no names or details are passed on to us, or any other organisation.

Be kind to yourself, as you are to your patients, recognise that we are all stressed at times, ask your colleagues how they are, and accept help when you need it.

Dr Catherine Yelland
President, RACP

RACP Fellows among 2017 Australia Day Honours recipients

This year 22 Fellows of the RACP were recognised in the Australia Day Honours list.

The number of awards presented to our Fellows highlights the value the community places on the work of all RACP members and the medical community.

Congratulations to all members who received honours.

Officer (AO) in the General Division

Professor Stephen Colagiuri FRACP
For distinguished service to medical research in the field of diabetes and endocrinology as an academic, clinician and author, to global health policy formation, and to professional bodies.

Professor David Jamie Cooper FRACP
For distinguished service to intensive care medicine in the field of traumatic brain injury as a clinician, and to medical education as an academic, researcher and author.

Professor Mark Emmanuel Cooper FRACP
For distinguished service to biomedical research in the field of diabetes and related renal and cardiovascular diseases, to medical education, and as a mentor of young scientists.

Professor Leon Flicker FRACP 
For distinguished service to medicine and medical education in the field of geriatrics, as an academic and researcher, and through contributions to improved dementia prevention and care.

Professor Gwendolyn Lesley Gilbert FRACP
For distinguished service to medical research, particularly the study of infectious disease prevention and control, to tertiary education as an academic, and to public health policy.

Dr John Graeme Sloman AM ED FRACP
For distinguished service to medicine, particularly to the specialty of cardiology, as a clinician, through advisory roles with a range of medical organisations, and to the community.
Professor Andrew Justin Stewart Coats FRACP
For distinguished service to medical research and tertiary education in the field of cardiology, as an academic and author, and as a mentor and role model for young scientists.

Member (AM) in the General Division

Dr Robin Craig Chase FAFOEM 
For significant service to occupational and environmental medicine, to professional medical organisations, and to education.

Professor Simon Domara Clarke FRACP
For significant service to medicine as a clinical academic and researcher, particularly in the area of adolescent health.

Dr Philip Ernest Harding FRACP
For significant service to medicine as an endocrinologist, to medical ethics and standards, and to the community.

Clinical Professor Harry Jack Iland FRACP 
For significant service to medicine, and to medical research, in the specialty of haematology, and as a mentor of young scientists.

Conjoint Associate Professor Sandra Ariella Lowe FRACP
For significant service to obstetric medicine as a clinician, to medical education, and to professional organisations.

Professor Andrew Mark Scott FRACP
For significant service to nuclear medicine and cancer research as an academic, and to professional organisations. 

Professor Christopher Semsarian FRACP
For significant service to medicine in the field of cardiology as a clinician, administrator and educator, and to the community.

Medal (OAM) in the General Division

Professor Hugh Grant Dickson FAFRM 
For service to aged care and rehabilitation, and to medical education and administration.

Dr John Murray Flynn RFD FRACP
For service to medicine, and to medical education.

Clinical Professor Gregory Ronald Fulcher FRACP
For service to medicine, and to medical administration.

Dr John Richard Graham FRACP
For service to medicine as a gastroenterologist.

Clinical Professor Robert Bernard Howman-Giles FRACP 
For service to nuclear medicine, and to professional organisations.

Associate Professor Gary Edward Richardson FRACP 
For service to medicine, particularly in the area of oncology.

Dr Ranjana Srivastava FRACP 
For service to medicine, particularly in the field of doctor-patient communication.

Public Service Medal

Professor Michael John Ackland FAFPHM 
For outstanding public service through contributions to the health and wellbeing of people in Victoria.

Topics that transcend specialty boundaries on the agenda at RACP Congress 2017

Fellows and trainees have told us that they want opportunities for collaborative discussions on big issues at RACP Congress. This year, we will be bringing specialists together as we explore topics that will impact the practise of all specialists. Medicinal cannabis and obesity are two of these areas that are changing patient needs and expectations across many specialties.

With legislation changing across Australia and New Zealand, medicinal cannabis continues to be something patients, specialists and all medical professionals are eager to understand. 

A panel session at RACP Congress will discuss the legislation across the regions, what patients might be expecting versus what specialists are able to do and what you would like to see from medicinal cannabis research and support.

Children, adults, men, women, those in urban centres and those in regional and rural areas – obesity affects all sectors of society.

The consequences of obesity are many and varied – diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension are just a few – making it something that governments around the world are trying to combat.

Paediatricians, cardiologists, specialists in urban areas, specialists in regional and rural areas, rheumatologists, respiratory and sleep physicians, oncologists, gastroenterologists, paediatricians and many more specialists treat patients experiencing the effects of being overweight or obese.

At RACP Congress 2017 we will take an in-depth look at obesity, what is driving its increasing prevalence, who is at risk and what we, as specialists, can do to help our patients and our communities.

Conversations on these evolving issues are bound to continue beyond the panel discussion at breaks and social events.

Join us at RACP Congress 2017 to contribute to the conversations and share your knowledge and experiences with colleagues.

 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: Monday, 8 to Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Registration: Visit to see program and speaker information and to register.

Trainees’ Day 2017 – Focusing on you, your training journey and your future career

Trainees’ Day 2017 is an important event in the calendar for all trainees and we are working on a program that will focus on you, your questions and issues that will affect your future career and practices.

Trainees’ Day will feature presentations and interactive sessions where you will: 

  • learn about topics that will affect your future practice 
  • gain skills to help shape your future career 
  • meet and interact with trainees from across Australia and New Zealand
  • network with global thinkers and healthcare leaders
  • socialise with peers and forge new professional ties.

"Our diversity will make these discussions lively and inspiring as we bring our various skills and experiences to the table," said Dr Hong Wu, Chair of the Trainees' Day Committee. 

"You're encouraged to join us at Trainees’ Day 2017 and come together as trainees connected through your common goal of completing specialist training and providing our patients with the best care possible."

Venue: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: Sunday, 7 May 2017
Time: 8.55am – 5.20pm
Cost: A $150 per person. Dinner A $59 per person (does not include beverages or transfers - cash bar available)
Registration: To register go to the Trainees' Day tab on the RACP Congress 2017 website.

Online supervisor courses open for registration

Registration is open for online alternatives to the successful Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) face-to-face workshops. 

These online courses for supervisors, listed below, are facilitated by RACP Fellows. They can be completed in any order, over five weeks.

Scheduled dates 2017

SPDP 1 – Practical Skills for Supervisors 
13 February – 19 March  17 July – 20 August
SPDP 2 – Teaching & Learning in Healthcare Settings
6 March – 9 April 21 August – 24 September
SPDP 3 – Work-based Learning and Assessment
1 May – 4 June 9 October – 12 November

The course format includes scenario videos, weekly activities, and online discussions with other supervisors, and can be completed using a computer, tablet or smartphone device.

Feedback from more than 150 participants who have attended these courses has been outstanding.

  • ninety-six per cent of participants say they would recommend the course to their colleagues
  • eighty-nine per cent of participants say they felt they had the opportunity to develop their supervisor skills.

The time commitment is one to two hours per week, to be completed at your convenience, within the five weeks. Online participation can be counted towards your MyCPD program.

To register, email with your preferred course dates. Enrolment instructions will be sent out closer to the course start date.

If you would prefer to attend a face-to-face supervisor workshop, go to the Supervisor workshops in 2017 webpage to find a workshop near you.

Join the 2017 Diagnostic Error Qstream Course – part of the RACP Online Professionalism Program

Diagnosis is one of the most difficult cognitive tasks in medicine, it is also the first step in informing clinical management decisions. 

Registrations are now open for the 2017 Diagnostic Error Qstream Course.

This course will: 

  • enhance your understanding of decision making during diagnosis in complex clinical environments
  • increase your understanding of potential system and cognitive factors that can impact accurate diagnostic decision making within clinical practice
  • teach you methods to identify, learn from and reduce diagnostic errors in clinical practice.

This version of the Diagnostic Error Qstream Course has been modified based on participant feedback from the first two courses run in 2016. The revised course includes an emphasis on critical thinking and self-reflection. There will also be greater opportunity for peer-to-peer interaction with other participants.

The RACP Online Professionalism Program is delivered using Qstream, a spaced learning platform developed by Harvard Medical School. Qstream is an interactive and engaging way to learn with peers. Participation has been shown to increase knowledge retention, change on-the-job behaviours and improve patient outcomes.

Participants are emailed case studies, based on real-life clinical scenarios, at spaced intervals. The case studies are designed with the aim of challenging physician thinking and enhancing professional practice.

The course will run from late March to May and takes as little as five minutes a day, two to three times a week to complete via email. 

Register for the 2017 Diagnostic Error Qstream Course online today. Places are limited.

Registrations close Wednesday, 15 March 2017, or earlier if full. 

Registration is open to RACP Fellows and Advanced ​Trainees.

The RACP Online Professionalism Program is FREE for RACP members and counts towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

If you have questions about this course or the RACP Online Professionalism Program please email

Seeking Fellows in private practice to participate in RACP multisource feedback trial

A trial to determine the benefits of a multisource feedback (MSF) tool in which physicians receive feedback from peers, colleagues and patients on their professional and clinical behaviour has begun.

The public hospital based vacancies on the trial have been filled. The RACP is seeking expressions of interest from Fellows working in sole or group private practice who are keen to test the feasibility and efficacy of MSF, for Australasian physicians.  

MSF has been identified by both the Medical Council of New Zealand and the Medical Board of Australia as a way to strengthen CPD processes.

On registering your interest you will receive more detailed information to consider before committing to the trial.

Participation in this MSF trial is eligible for CPD credits under MyCPD Category 1: Practice Review and Improvement (three credits per hour up to 50 credits).

Step back in time with the Pomegranate podcast

The latest episode of Pomegranate – the RACP's medical podcast – takes you back two hundred years with tales of the conditions at the Sydney colony's first hospital and overflowing graveyards. 

In the episode Dr Fiona Starr from Sydney Living Museums retells colourful accounts of the colony’s first general hospital, better known as the Rum Hospital. It was built in 1816 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who saw an urgent need to maintain the health of the convict workforce. Peter Curson, Emeritus Professor in Population and Health at Macquarie University, describes the worst infectious diseases that struck the colony over the 19th century, from the measles outbreak that killed over a thousand children to the plague epidemic that caused panic and social conflict. And, City of Sydney Council historian, Dr Lisa Murray discusses the perennial problem of where to bury the dead in an era of incredibly high mortality. 

This podcast was recorded at the ‘Our Healthy Heritage’ seminar series hosted quarterly by the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine.

Download or stream Pomegranate podcasts on iTunes or  Android, or listen online.

Read the latest journals

Internal Medicine Journal – January 2017 edition

The January issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now available on the Wiley Online Library. Articles include:

  • Timely initiation of chemotherapy
  • Waldenström  macroglobulinaemia:  clinical  practice  guidelines
  • Viral load and hepatitis B 
  • ANCA associated vasculitis post-earthquake 
  • Chemotherapy in octogenarians
  • Chronic kidney disease in intensive care

The Editor’s Choice for the month is ‘Treatment of patients with Waldenström macroglobulinaemia : clinical practice guidelines from the Myeloma Foundation of Australia Medical and Scientific Advisory Group (PDF 706 KB)’. 

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health – January 2017 edition

Articles in the latest edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health include:

  • Growth faltering, child rearing and social determinants of health in Aboriginal community children
  • Children referred for specialty care: Parental perspectives and preferences on referral, follow-up and primary care
  • Environmental and behavioural factors associated with school children’s sleep in Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • A case of rat bite fever in a 12-year-old boy

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Advisory Council to Medicines Australia, closes 13 February 2017

Medicines Australia (MA) is the peak body representing the innovative medicines and vaccines industry. It is seeking applications from thought leaders to join its Advisory Council. 

The future focused Advisory Council will provide the MA Board with strategic advice on trends and issues impacting the industry in the medium to long term (3 to 10 years). 

For more information and to apply visit the Medicines Australia website.

Applications close Monday, 13 February.

EOI: Assist in the development of College online learning resources, closes 15 February 2017

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 following working groups, through an expression of interest process:

  • Ethics: professional approaches to common ethical dilemmas in medicine.
  • Quality and safety: optimising patient outcomes and practitioner experience.
  • Research supervision: the art of supporting clinical research.
  • Optimising the learning experience: utilising pedagogical research to enhance the outcomes of lifelong learning.
  • Cultural competence: exploring case studies of migrant and refugee health.

The key responsibilities of the working group 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.

An Expression of Interest form and a brief CV should be emailed to by Wednesday, 15 February 2017.

Applicants should be available to attend a face-to-face meeting in Sydney in April or May 2017.
For further information, please contact Rachael Myers of the eLearning Design and Resource Development Unit on +61 2 8076 6367 or

EOI: ASID/ASA Antimicrobial Resistance Summit – RACP representative, closes 15 February 2017

Do you have a special interest in antimicrobial resistance?

The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) and the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (ASA) will co-convene the second Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Summit in Melbourne on Thursday, 29 June 2017, at a venue to be advised. 

ASID and ASA have invited a representative of the RACP to participate.

The first summit was held in 2011 and brought together experts from the medical, veterinary, agricultural, infection control and public health sectors; to discuss the issues and establish an action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

The 2017 summit will again bring together key stakeholders, including Government, Medical Colleges and the Australian Medical Association, to make a commitment to measurable outcomes which will be reviewed regularly in future years.

If you are interested in representing RACP on this roundtable, please complete an EOI form (MS Word 91KB) and send together with a copy of your CV to by COB Wednesday, 15 February 2017.

EOI: Exercise is Medicine Australia National Advisory Council, closes 15 February 2017

Applications are invited from RACP Fellows who are interested in representing the College on Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Australia National Advisory Council.

The Advisory Council oversees the EIM Strategy which aims to increase the confidence and capacity of Australia’s healthcare providers to appropriately counsel and/or refer patients based on their physical activity, exercise and health needs. 

Further information is available in the Terms of Reference (PDF 58KB).

If you are interested in being nominated please send your completed EOI form (MS Word 82KB) and CV to by COB Wednesday, 15 February 2017

EOI: Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, closes 16 February 2017

Would you like to influence matters relating to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)?

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is seeking nominations for at least three medical specialists (preferably endocrinologists) to serve on the PBAC.

The central role of the PBAC is to advise the Minister for Health on matters relating to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS); in particular the clinical effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of a medication compared with existing therapies.

The Committee comprises 21 members appointed by the Minister of Health, with an appointment period of four years for each term. The PBAC meets three times a year for three day meetings to consider PBAC applications. 

PBAC members will receive remuneration and have expenses paid to attend meetings.

If you are interested in being nominated, please send your relevant CV (no longer than two pages) to by COB Thursday, 16 February 2017. We will then forward to PBAC for their consideration.

EOI: Training Committee in Addiction Medicine, closes 17 February 2017

The Training Committee in Addiction Medicine (TCAM) is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) for two vacant positions:

  • current AChAM Advanced Trainees are welcome to apply for the position of Trainee Representative
  • all AChAM Fellows are welcome to apply for the position of Appointed Member.

The TCAM oversees Advanced Training in Addiction Medicine in Australia and New Zealand and meets three times per year via two teleconferences and one face-to-face meeting in Sydney.

The term of office is for two years, with the option to serve up to a maximum of six years.

Please contact Jane Hoare via email on to obtain an EOI form.

EOIs are due by COB Friday, 17 March 2017

EOI: Training Committee in Sexual Health Medicine, closes 17 February 2017

The Training Committee (TC) in Sexual Health Medicine is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) for three vacant positions:  

  • current AChSHM Advanced Trainees are welcome to apply for the position of Trainee Representative
  • AChSHM Fellows who are practising in New Zealand are welcome to apply for the position of New Zealand Representative 
  • all AChSHM Fellows are welcome to apply for the position of Appointed Member.

The TC oversees Advanced Training in Sexual Health Medicine in Australia and New Zealand and meets three times per year – one teleconference and two face-to-face meetings in Sydney.  

The term of office is for two years, with the option to serve up to a maximum of six years.

Please contact Jane Hoare via email on to obtain an EOI form. 

EOIs are due by COB Friday, 17 March 2017.

MyCPD 2016 Submission Reminder

MyCPD submissions for the 2016 year are due by Friday, 31 March 2017. 

MyCPD can also be used to help you plan your CPD activities for 2017.

Late submissions

Participants who miss the 2016 CPD submission deadline of 31 March 2017 will need to contact the CPD team to have the program re-opened. As a matter of fairness to all members, the College has implemented a late CPD submission fee to recoup the cost of managing late submissions, so that this cost is not borne by members in general.

Exemption from CPD

If you are not currently participating in the RACP CPD program, please inform the CPD team whether you are retired, participating in an alternative CPD program, or were absent from practice during 2016. 

Simply give your national CPD office a call on (AU) 1300 69 7227 or (NZ) 0508 69 7227, or email us at (Australia) or (New Zealand).

Register today: RACP New Zealand Trainees’ Forum 2017

Registrations for the RACP New Zealand Trainees’ Forum 2017 are open. The event, themed Learners to Leaders, will be held on Friday, 3 and Saturday, 4 March 2017 in Wellington.

RACP New Zealand President Dr Jonathan Christiansen and RACP Paediatrics & Child Health Division President Dr Sarah Dalton are just two of the many inspiring speakers. Presentations will be delivered on topics including mentoring, mindfulness and end-of-life care.

This two day event will feature a new workshop session – ‘Research Kickstart’ – on the Friday afternoon. This session has been designed to equip trainees with basic skills and insider tips on executing successful and meaningful research projects during their training.

An orientation session aimed at Basic Trainees who are just beginning on their RACP training journey will run alongside the ‘Research Kickstart’ workshop.

Venue: Te Wharewaka o Poneke, Wellington Waterfront
Date: Friday, 3 and Saturday, 4 March 2017
Cost: NZ$315 per person (including GST). You may be eligible for reimbursement from your District Health Board.
Registration: For more information and to register visit the RACP New Zealand Trainees' Forum 2017 website

2017–2018 Physician Readiness for Expert Practice (PREP) Program Requirements Handbooks now available

The 2017–2018 Physician Readiness for Expert Practice (PREP) Program Requirements Handbooks are available on the RACP Basic Training and Advanced Training web pages.

The 2017–2018 handbooks apply to all trainees registered in a PREP program in 2017 and/or 2018.

Training education committees evaluate training requirements every two years to ensure that they are in line with educational best practice. 

It is the trainee’s responsibility to ensure that they follow the correct handbook and are aware of the current program requirements.

Ethics Committee – New appointments

I am pleased to advise that the following individuals have been appointed as external members of the Ethics Committee:

  • Dr Hirini Kaa (Māori representative)
  • Ms Eliza McEwin (non-clinical ethicist)
  • Professor Ron Paterson (legal professional)
  • Mr Peter Martin (consumer representative)
  • Mr Tim Benson (consumer representative).

The new appointments help ensure that the appropriate composition of the Ethics Committee is achieved.

Health in All Policies Position Statement

On Tuesday, 20 December 2016 the College launched its Health in All Policies (HiAP) Position Statement (PDF 919KB).

The Position Statement is an introduction to HiAP for physicians and other health professionals, encouraging them to consider how HiAP tools can address the social determinants of health and influence the prevention, treatment and trajectory of illness (physical and mental).

The HiAP Position Statement and more information about the College’s work in this area can be found on the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine policy page.

Healthy People, Healthy Lives: RACP Pre-Budget Submission 2017–18

The RACP has released its Pre-Budget Submission  – Healthy People, Healthy Lives (PDF 151KB) – which outlines key funding recommendations for consideration by the Australian Government ahead of the 2017 Federal Budget.

The submission addresses a number of RACP policy priorities including child and adolescent health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, preventive health, climate change and health, and health system reform.

Go to the Influencing Health Policy Debates page to find out more about the RACP's work to influence health policy at the federal level. 

Survey: Investigating current and future education and training needs of the Australian workforce in genomic medicine 

RACP members are invited to participate in a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded study that is gathering perspectives on current and future education and training of the Australian workforce in genomic medicine. 

The researchers are interested in identifying gaps and opportunities in education and training activities for the workforce in genomic medicine, and gaining a better understanding of the needs of those involved in delivering genomics in health care. 

Participation would involve an interview at a time and place convenient to you, face-to-face or via telephone, and either individual or in a group. The project team may also contact you to clarify some points after the interview; if so, this would be by phone or email.

If you are interested in participating, please contact the Project Officer, Belinda McClaren on +61 3 8341 6415 or at

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