The President's Message – 1 May 2017

We are an important part of a national and international medical community.

During the last few weeks, I have attended a number of meetings, and I am very reassured that the RACP is up to date with latest issues in healthcare here, and around the world.  

Last week I met with the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges in Canberra. All 15 Colleges across Australia and New Zealand have much in common.

We’re asking searching questions about the culture of medicine and medical education, and what needs to change. What is the role of the medical colleges in a competitive educational environment? We have a sound model of knowledge and skill acquisition, centred in workplace learning and supervision. We all agreed that our doctors are world class, and our health care outcomes are among the best in the world, and we must preserve this excellence. 

We’re navigating the complexities of regulation of medical education, and topics such as revalidation.

Our links with our international peer Colleges and organisations are also critical in anticipating issues and developments in healthcare around the world.

I recently represented the RACP at the American College of Physicians Annual Scientific ​Meeting in San Diego. 

We often think of the US health system as very different from our own, but our American colleagues share many of the same concerns regarding unnecessary or potentially harmful procedures being requested by patients. 

They were very interested to hear about our Evolve program and the progress our physicians are making in eliminating these practices across many different specialties.

In March, the Tri-nation Meeting included our partner, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. We shared our understanding and experience of Indigenous Health in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. We had presentations from ​Indigenous doctors, who talked of their challenges, and how important it is to increase their numbers as part of the strategy to improve Indigenous health outcomes. 

This will contribute to our next Indigenous Health meeting in the middle of the year, when we will review our own progress and future plans. 

We also learnt more of the global context of medical practice as we continue to build our own international strategy, focusing on the South-West Pacific.

Back here – Congress is fast approaching – with an exciting, fast paced program and eminent national and international speakers.

A panel discussion involving Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, and an address by Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy are among the highlights.

We’ll also hear from one of the architects of Australia’s National Disability Insurance scheme John Walsh AM, Emeritus Professor Nortin Hadler on the illness of work incapacity, and Professor Ross Upshur of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada on the Ethical obligations of the 21st Century physician. 

Make sure you stay until the end – on the final day we feature a special recorded presentation by international public health luminary Sir Michael Marmot as part of a discussion on employment, poverty and health.

Finally – be sure to read the Notice of Meeting emailed and posted to you recently - and specifically the two resolutions we are putting before the AGM. 

Your board has carefully considered these and we ask you to vote on both resolutions. 
Kind regards,
Dr Catherine Yelland
President, RACP

RACP to shift Basic Training Written Examinations to a computer-based testing environment in 2018

As of 2018 the RACP will be transitioning some of its Basic Training Written Examinations from a pen and paper format to a computerised test across Australia and New Zealand.

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Don’t miss out on this year’s RACP Congress coming up in just one week in Melbourne. The program offers something for all members including orations, panel sessions, trainee presentations and, of course, social events where you can catch up with colleagues from across all specialties.

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Talk about end-of-life care at Trainees’ Day 2017

A round table discussion at Trainees’ Day 2017 will be the perfect opportunity for all trainees’ to find out more about treating patients towards the end of life.

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Transitions to retirement podcast – it's never too early, or too late, to start planning

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RACP Annual Report 2016 – online now

The RACP Annual Report 2016 is now available online.

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Read the latest journals

Internal Medicine Journal – April 2017 edition

The April issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now available on the Wiley Online Library

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health – April 2017 edition

Access the latest edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health online on the Wiley Online Library.

Celebrating your RACP Fellowship at College Ceremony in Auckland

Recently admitted Fellows are invited to attend the New Zealand Ceremony at The Langham, Auckland on Friday, 30 June 2017 to receive their testamur. 

Any Fellows who have not yet had the opportunity to attend College Ceremony regardless of when they attained Fellowship are also invited to attend.

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Consultation – New policy on Post Fellowship specialty recognition

The RACP is seeking feedback on the draft Post Fellowship Specialty Recognition Policy which is proposed to replace the current Recognition in a specialty without completion of the relevant Advanced Training Program Policy (2010).

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Interim arrangements for the Australian National Cervical Screening Program

The National Cancer Screening Register, and subsequent implementation of the renewed National Cervical Screening Register has been delayed from 1 May to 1 December 2017. 

The decision to delay was taken in consultation with, and support from the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Until 30 November 2017, please continue to encourage all eligible women aged 18-69 to have their two yearly Pap test, and attend their follow up appointment when due. Regular screening remains the best way to prevent cervical cancer, and women should not delay cervical screening.

For more information on the National Cancer Screening Register and National Cervical Screening Program visit the Australian Department of Health website.

Information resources on biosimilar medicines

The Australian Department of Health has developed a range of materials to support the quality use of biosimilar medicines, available on the Department’s website, including information resources and factsheets for health professionals and consumers.

Increasing numbers of biosimilar medicines are being made available in Australia and New Zealand, including a new brand of etanercept which was listed on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from 1 April 2017. It is the first biosimilar medicine in Australia to be available through community pharmacies as a self administered therapy substitutable (‘a’ flagged) with the originator medicine. Etanercept treats a range of autoimmune inflammatory conditions. There are specific factsheets available on the Department of Health website for this new medicine.

Expressions of Interest

We have introduced a new way of advertising Expressions of Interest. 

You can now check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.

Events for trainees based in South Australia

The RACP SA Trainees’ Committee is hosting two upcoming events for trainees:

Upcoming RACP events

View all events

Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clinical Care Standard launch – Friday 19 May

Do you have a special interest in osteoarthritis care?

Members are invited to attend the launch of the Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clinical Care Standard, being held on Friday, 19 May from 10.15am at the General Practice Conference & Exhibition at Sydney Olympic Park.

The new standard has been developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, in collaboration with consumers, clinicians and health organisations.

This new clinical care standard seeks to address unwarranted clinical variation and provide primary healthcare professionals with guidance on assessment, diagnosis, conservative treatment, and specialist referral for this common chronic condition.

For further information and to register visit the event registration page.

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