The President's Message – 15 July

Our proposed new Physician Training Accreditation System consultation paper is now online.

I invite you to have your say as part of consultation open until Friday, 5 August.

Our College is responsible for assessing the numerous public and private hospitals, clinics and practices across Australia and New Zealand, where the specialists of tomorrow spend today learning on the job. 

Ensuring training is of high quality is a rigorous process – involving regular reassessment.

But as part of the innovative renewal of our entire education curriculum, we have committed to a complete review of the way we accredit training providers.

That’s why this new approach has been developed by the College.

A poor learning environment can demoralise trainees, and in some cases, impact on patient safety.

But a wise supervisor or mentor and a supportive, structured, well organised training environment can sustain, strengthen and inspire trainees during their training, preparing them for their entire careers.

The new accreditation standards framework emphasises the right environment, culture and high quality processes for training. This includes support for the trainee and the supervisor. Curriculum delivery is central.

We need effective, flexible and safe specialists, able to adapt to changes in medical science and practice throughout their careers.

This review is the outcome of two years of effort by a working party of your colleagues, led by Associate Professor David Watson AM. They conducted an international review of global best practice amongst medical accreditation agencies around the world.

The quality of our future training is all important – we want to know if you think we’ve got it right.

On other matters, following in the footsteps of previous presidents, the Chief Executive Officer, Linda Smith and I have just been to Glasgow, London and Dublin visiting the Colleges of Physicians there, and also met with the President of the Edinburgh College, and staff  of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. 

We exchanged experiences in our training programs, revalidation, learning resources, international education initiatives, and medical practitioner registration.  

Building and maintaining strong links with our international colleagues is important to ensure we keep up with best practice in education and continuing professional development. 

Importantly, we also met with 30 RACP Fellows based in the UK, at our Alumni event held at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park. This evening was a valuable opportunity to reconnect and hear their international perspectives on our College and the evolving practice of medicine.

Finally, the Board holds its next meeting in Auckland on 21 and 22 July. 

This gives us the opportunity to hold a Convocation Ceremony there, to welcome our new Fellows in a more formal way. 

We initiated extra ceremonies last year, which have been well received. 

After all their years of physician training, it is important for our new Fellows to be able to attend an event with family, to have photos taken in a College gown, and to celebrate the completion of this phase of their career.  

Please join with me in congratulating all our new Fellows.

Dr Catherine Yelland
President, RACP

Pomegranate podcast turns one

The College’s continuing professional development podcast, Pomegranate, marked its first anniversary last week with the release of an episode focusing on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a decade lower than that of the non-Indigenous population. Addressing this disparity is one of the key priorities of the Closing the Gap initiative agreed upon by the Council of Australian Governments.

The episode, which coincided with NAIDOC Week features Associate Professor Noel Hayman, Clinical Director of the Inala Indigenous Health Service in Brisbane, Ms Shannon Daly, an Aboriginal health practitioner who often works with Dr Joshua Francis, a paediatric infectious diseases specialist based at Royal Darwin Hospital. On the podcast, they discuss where progress has been made and where resources are still lacking.

The 20-minute program, along with all past Pomegranate episodes, is available to download or stream on both iTunes or Subscribe on Android

Pomegranate is a monthly medical podcast created by physicians, for physicians. The show is produced by the College's Learning Support Unit with member input guiding every step of development – from deciding on an episode's theme to peer review of the show's final content.

Previous episodes have included: Law at end-of-life,  Antibiotic resistance – Are we all doomed?, Obesity Inside Out and Physician, Heal Thyself.

The podcast team encourages members to send any feedback on the show, and suggestions for future topics to cover, to 

New episodes of Pomegranate are released on the last Tuesday of every month. Next month, we focus on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a new way of funding disability care that will be rolled out from July. 

Facilitator training – training the trainer to deliver locally based supervisor workshops

The College is holding a Facilitator Training Workshop for the Supervisor Professional Development Program Workshop 2 (SPDP 2): Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings. The workshop will be held on Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 September. 

SPDP 2 is the second of three workshops in the SPDP workshop series.

At this free ‘train the trainer’ event you will gain the skills to facilitate the SPDP 2 workshop in your local network. 

Facilitators are key to the success and delivery of all three SPDP workshops. Facilitators ensure that workshops are:

  • credible, as physicians are best placed to facilitate training for their peers 
  • accessible, by being available in various locations and across specialties 
  • focused on supervisor needs, by being relevant to supervisors from all training programs. 

Facilitator Training for SPDP 2: Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings is open to all RACP supervisors and Fellows interested in medical education and facilitating skill-based workshops.

The objectives of the one and half day Facilitator Training Workshop are to gain experience in: 

  • presenting the SPDP 2: Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings Workshop 
  • discussing and evaluating approaches to teaching and learning 
  • facilitating discussion and workshop activities 
  • practising workshop facilitation skills
  • preparing and evaluating workshops. 

To be a SPDP 2 facilitator, Fellows must complete the SPDP 2 Facilitator Training Workshop and then run a minimum of two workshops, either in a local setting or at an Annual Scientific Meeting.

Workshop Facilitators are eligible to claim MyCPD credits under Category 4: Assessed Learning at the rate of three credits per hour up to the cap.

Facilitator Training – SPDP 2: Teaching and Learning in Healthcare Settings Workshop
Venue: The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Date:  Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 September 
Time: (Thursday) 10am to 4pm, (Friday) 9.30am to 1pm
Cost: This is a free event for RACP Fellows
Facilitator: Associate Professor Victoria Brazil
Registration: Email 
RSVP: Monday, 29 August 

RACP Quarterly June/July edition online now

Stories in the June/July 2016 edition of RACP Quarterly include:

  • Our College, our story
  • Family and Community Child Health
  • RACP Congress 2016 – Evolve Educate Engage
  • Helping New Zealanders have healthy hearts.

Download RACP Quarterly June/July 2016 (PDF 4MB).

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) July issue

The IMJ July 2016 issue is now available. This issue covers:

  • Haemoglobin disorders in Australia: where are we now?
  • Young onset dementia: assessment, diagnosis and management
  • Direct oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation
  • Crohn disease: infliximab vs adalimumab therapy
  • Low dose sodium valproate in managing neuropathic pain
  • Cystic fibrosis: liver and lung transplantation.

Read the IMJ (Member login required)

Changes to the accreditation of RACP training providers – have your say

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is seeking your feedback on its revised Physician Training Accreditation System that will accredit all training providers.

Your comments will help to shape the new Accreditation System, so that it supports the development of skilled physicians and the College’s Fellows who train them.

The proposed system streamlines the College’s multiple accreditation processes and links explicitly to College curricula. 

The changes include the introduction of strengthened training standards that require training providers to:

  • have an appropriate learning environment and culture
  • ensure high quality management of training
  • support Fellows in their teaching roles
  • provide a supported training experience for trainees
  • deliver the training program curricula and provide sufficient resources for this to occur.

The Accreditation System will be piloted from late 2017.

The proposed Physician Training Accreditation System consultation paper (PDF 864KB) can be found on the College website and your feedback can be provided via an online survey. The consultation closes on Friday, 5 August 2016.

For any queries regarding accreditation review, please email: 

Regional Victorian Dual Training Program

The College is pleased to announce four new Advanced Training positions as part of the Victorian Dual Training Program. 

The dual training positions will be in general and acute care medicine and another speciality. They will be advertised by the respective Health Services over the coming months. 

The positions are supported by structured, accredited four-year training pathways as indicated in the table below:

Dual Training Program  Year 1
General and Acute Care Medicine
Year 2
Additional Speciality
Year 3
Additional Speciality
Year 4
General and Acute Care Medicine 
General and Acute Care Medicine and Respiratory Medicine Bendigo Health Austin Health  Austin Health  Bendigo Health
General and Acute Care Medicine and Endocrinology Goulburn Valley Health  Austin Health   Austin Health Goulburn Valley Health
General and Acute Care Medicine and Respiratory Medicine Ballarat Health  Royal Melbourne Hospital Royal Melbourne Hospital Ballarat Health
General and Acute Care Medicine and Palliative Medicine Latrobe Regional Health Monash Medical Centre Monash Medical Centre Latrobe Regional Health 

The positions suit trainees who are keen to build careers in regional Victoria and expand their skills and expertise to manage a wide range of challenging clinical scenarios.

For further information on the program, please contact Fiona Hilton, Dual Training Project Manager on +61 3 9927 7708 or email

Update on the first Victorian Dual Training position: Bendigo Health and Austin Health

Bendigo Hospital in central Victoria has been at the vanguard of Advanced Dual Training in Medicine in Victoria. Based on a model from New South Wales, Bendigo Hospital, along with Austin Health in Melbourne, has appointed a trainee who will be trained in general medicine and gastroenterology. 

The trainee started in Bendigo's Intensive Care Unit in February 2016, and will rotate to a senior registrar position in the Acute Medical Unit in August. 

A senior and experienced trainee was appointed to the dual training position. It has allowed us to provide senior medical input at Medical Emergency Team calls, and facilitate closer cooperation between the Intensive Care Unit and the General Medical Unit at Bendigo Health.  When the trainee rotates to the Acute Medical Unit their primary responsibility will be facilitating patient flow, preventing inappropriate admission and facilitating rapid but appropriate discharge.  

Associate Professor Mark W Savage 
Director of Clinical Training, Director of Medicine and Clinical Dean, Consultant Endocrinologist and General Physician, Medical Services, Bendigo Health

Regional Advanced Training in General Medicine and Gastroenterology

Dr Chris Mills is the Advanced Trainee appointed to Bendigo Hospital and is training in General and Acute Care Medicine and Gastroenterology Medicine. He discusses his experience having been selected for the position.

The dual training position at Bendigo fits perfectly with my career goals and aspirations. It recognises the need for training rural specialists, particularly rural general specialists. 

In an era of increasing sub specialisation, regional centres such as Bendigo provide one of the best opportunities for advanced training in General and Acute Care Medicine.

Beginning the rotation in Intensive Care enabled me to hone my skills in caring for acutely unwell patients and foster a collaborative bridge between Intensive Care and Acute Care Medicine departments. The Intensive Care training gave me the opportunity to appreciate the quality of care that can be offered in a regional setting when diverse specialists are available.

The position at Bendigo has also given me the opportunity to become engrossed in the local community, developing friendships and community partnerships to a degree not possible in metropolitan centres.

Expressions of Interest

Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in General Medicine Appointed Member, closes 29 July

The Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in General and Acute Care Medicine is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from RACP Fellows to join the ATC as Appointed Member. 

Please note, while the position is preferably recommended for a NSW-based Fellow, EOIs from non-NSW Fellows will be considered.

The Committee oversees Advanced Training in General and Acute Care Medicine in Australia. There is currently one vacancy.

The ATC meets via teleconference twice yearly, with two face-to-face meetings in Sydney per year. The term of office is for two years, with the option to serve up to a maximum of six years.

Please contact Bev Bucalon via email on to obtain an EOI form. EOIs are due by COB Friday, 29 July 2016.

Deakin University Clinical Leadership Program

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

The school runs three 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 Master’s 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 the week of September 5 at Deakin’s Warn Ponds Estate, Geelong. A 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.

More information can be found on the Deakin University website or by contacting the Course Director, Associate Professor Grant Phelps at or on +61 418 504 252.

RACP Foundation Awards

The College offers a wide range of prizes to acknowledge Fellows and trainees for excellence and outstanding contributions or achievements.  

Nominations for the following prizes close Monday, 3 October 2016:

  • Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal – presented every five years to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine.
  • Eric Susman Prize – for a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine.
  • Howard Williams Medal – acknowledges a person who has made an outstanding contribution to Paediatrics and Child Health in Australia or New Zealand. 

Nominations are also now being accepted for the following:

Nominations for these prizes close Monday, 31 October 2016.

Nominations are also being accepted for RACP Mentor of the Year and RACP Trainee of the Year.

The RACP Mentor of the Year Award is presented to a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or providing a high level of support and guidance throughout training.

The RACP Trainee of the Year Award is presented to a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and/or trainee activities during 2016 and earlier.

Nominations for the RACP Mentor of the Year and RACP Trainee of the Year awards close Monday, 31 October 2016. 

Go to RACP Foundation College & Congress prizes for information on eligibility and requirements for all these awards and to download nomination forms.

Submit your abstract today for the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

Recognising researchers of the future

The annual RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence identifies and acknowledges the best trainee research presentations in the fields of adult medicine and paediatric medicine. 

Each region hosts a competition and two representatives from each region, one in the field of adult medicine and one in the field of paediatric medicine, will be selected to present their research in Melbourne in May 2017. This year, 16 regional representatives were selected to present their research at RACP Congress 2016, eight in the field of adult medicine and eight in the field of paediatric medicine. Abstracts are now being accepted for regional competitions from trainees enrolled in:​ 

  • Adult Medicine Division
  • Paediatrics & Child Health Division
  • Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine.

This is an excellent opportunity for trainee representatives to present their ideas and research in a professional and public setting.

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence are funded from donations received from Fellows and trainees.

For more information, including abstract submission information, go to the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence page.

Regional submission and competition dates are below.


Abstract closing date (by 5pm)

Abstracts to be submitted to

Competition date and time

Competition venue

New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory

Friday, 30 September 2016

Thursday, 17 November 2016

RACP Sydney Fairley Room
Level 9, 52 Phillip Street, Sydney  

Northern Territory

Friday, 28 October 2016


Northern Territory Annual Scientific Meeting
9am to 5pm
Saturday, 26 November 2016

Charles Darwin University
The Waterfront Lecture Theatre
21 Kitchener Drive, Darwin

Queensland Friday, 23 September 2016 6pm to 9pm
9 November 2016

Royal Brisbane Place
Level 3, Unit 20
17 Bowen Bridge Road, Herston

South Australia Friday, 9 September 2016


6.30pm to 9.30pm
13 October 2016

RACP Adelaide
Suite 7, Level 2
257 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide


Friday, 5 August 2016

Saturday, 10 September 2016
Time TBA

Medical Sciences/Menzies Building
17 Liverpool Street, Hobart


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

RACP Victoria
Level 2, 417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Western Australia

Friday, 26 August 2016 

12pm to 2.30pm
Thursday, 6 October 2016

13 October 2016
5.30pm – 7.30pm

Princess Margaret Hospital McDonalds Lecture Theatre Level 2, Administration Building Roberts Road, Subiaco


WA State Office
Unit 1-3
24 Leura Street, Nedlands

New Zealand

In the field of paediatric medicine
Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Paediatric Society of New Zealand website

17 November 2016

Paediatric Society of New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting 2016
16 – 18 November
Bethlehem College, Tauranga

In the field of adult medicine


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