The President's Message 20 May 2016

I am delighted to send this first monthly message to you as the new President of the RACP.

I have just returned from a very inspiring and positive Congress in Adelaide attended by 1000 delegates, and preceded by a convocation inducting 121 new Fellows, with another 400 family members and VIPs attending.  

The increasing importance of our College and the principle of collegiality were overwhelmingly evident, and summarised well in the launch of our new College Narrative and logo Specialists. Together.

At Congress we heard from many eminent speakers – both our own Fellows, and international experts. 

I was particularly impressed by the plenary address from Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde, and former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, on the health and biological consequences of poverty and social chaos. Other delegates described it as a “spectacular talk on impact of social determinants of health.” 

Professor Dinah Reddihough also gave a very moving Howard Williams Oration on improving the care of children with cerebral palsy. If you want to read more, selected Congress abstracts are now available at

For me, the presence of many international College Presidents at Congress was symbolic of our role in the global community of physicians.

Increasingly, our College will be taking an international perspective, as we look to widen our sphere of influence and broaden our responsibilities in the South-West Pacific.

Another priority in the years ahead will be training more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and Māori physicians – both peoples are under-represented and we know we can do better.   

We are also committed to improving democracy and transparency throughout the College. 

On that note I am pleased to inform you all of the successful passing of resolutions to the College’s Constitution to see these values strengthened in the preamble and to reduce the size of our Board to 10 directors, with seven of the ten elected by the full membership, and up to three directors appointed to ensure a skills mix best able to act in the interests of your College. 

The changes also see terms for all directors other than the President and President-Elect extend from two years to three. 

Nearly 90 per cent of Fellows and trainees who voted supported these important constitutional changes. Board changes take effect following the AGM in 2018.

This outcome is testimony to the hard work of the last and preceding boards under the leadership of John Kolbe, Les Bolitho and Nicholas Talley and delivers a more agile board better able to respond to the interests of the profession, our members and our communities.
I’d like to thank Laureate Professor Talley and outgoing Directors for their service to us all and welcome our new President-Elect Associate Professor Mark Lane to office, and our new Directors to the Board.

Thank you to all of you who attended Congress, and remember to register your interest for next year at , where we’ll premier an exciting new Congress format. See an introduction to that event

Kind regards,

Dr Catherine Yelland
President, RACP


RACP Congress 2016

Another Congress has come and gone with approximately 1000 physicians from across Australia and New Zealand coming together at Adelaide Convention Centre this week.

College Narrative launch

The College’s new narrative Specialists. Together, and logo were premiered to members as part of the outgoing President’s welcome. View the launch video


There were more than 100 engaging sessions and workshops at Congress. They tackled major health conversations including medical ethics, low value interventions (EVOLVE), the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Indigenous health, and integrated care. 

One of the opening sessions of Congress involved the launch of the RACP End of Life Care position paper. The position paper is the culmination of a significant amount of work for the College and the majority of attendees recognised the importance of having a united voice on this important issue.

Awards, medals and prizes

Congratulations to all recipients of RACP Foundation awards, medals and prizes at Congress and the Convocation ceremony.

In particular we would like to highlight the following recipients: 

The John Sands College Medal 2016
This medal is awarded to one Fellow each year in recognition of significant contribution made over the years towards the welfare of the College.

Awarded to:  Dr John O’Donnell, New Zealand

College Medal 2016
This medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding service to the welfare of the College.

Awarded to:  

Associate Professor Susan Moloney

Professor Robert Michael Whitby

Associate Professor Sanghamitra Guha

Eric Susman Prize 2015
This prize recognises the best contribution by a Fellow to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine.

Awarded to:  Professor Richard Pestell

View a complete list of recipients

The social highlight of Congress was undoubtedly the Gala Dinner on the Wednesday night. It provided the perfect opportunity for physicians to connect and share thoughts on previous sessions.

Register your interest now for Congress 2017 at  We look forward to welcoming you in Melbourne from Sunday, 7 May to Wednesday, 10 May 2017.

RACP Congress 2017
"Bringing Specialists Together" 

Sharing knowledge. Building skills.


Changes to the RACP Training Positions Guide

The RACP has enhanced the medical positions vacant service to enable members to access it on the College website and advertisers to submit advertisements online as they arise.

This means the RACP will no longer publish the Training Positions Guide in hardcopy or PDF.

 What are the benefits?

  • It’s flexible – you are no longer limited to an annual publication, which means positions can be advertised at any time
  • Up-to-date information – advertisements no longer appear after the closing date
  • Advertisements reach a wider audience – medical positions vacant can now be accessed from the ‘About’ tab on the College website. 

View the current Trainee Positions and General Medicine Positions on the RACP Website.


New eLearning resources available now

Two new online resources on communication in difficult situations, and research projects, are the latest addition to the College’s eLearning library and are available to both trainees and Fellows. The eLearning resources have been created by drawing on member feedback and cover topics that form part of the College’s training program curricula and the new College Standards framework.

Central to the design are video and audio scenarios that are inspired by the real life experiences of our trainees and supervisors. The resources also include reflection and practice activities, online discussion forums and curated information. 

Communication skills

This resource is created to help trainees through difficult communication situations which emerge in everyday practice, such as conversations with patients and families around end-of-life care.  It is based on established medical communication frameworks such as ISBAR, NURSE and SPIKES.

Research projects 

In line with new Advanced Training program research requirements from 2017, this resource provides a useful guide to the College approved research types.  

It provides an interactive overview of the research process, from finding a supervisor to publication.  It includes tips from trainees who have completed successful advanced training research projects, as well as activities and opportunities for discussion.
Access is easy, follow these steps 
  1. Log into the eLearning@RACP site.
  2. Watch the welcome video and complete the pre-participation survey. 
  3. Watch the videos or listen to the podcast interviews. 
  4. Use the “mark as read” buttons to keep your progress up to date. 
  5. Generate your certificate of completion.  

Internal Medicine Journal (IMJ) May 2016 Issue

The IMJ May Issue 2016 is now live on the Wiley Online Library and the College website. It includes:

  • heart failure: Mechanical circulatory support
  • hyperglycaemia in Type2 diabetes mellitus
  • exertional rhabdomyolysis and resistance training
  • faecal calprotectin and endoscopy resources
  • minimisation of medical terminology
  • prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia in Australians.

The Editor’s Choice for the month is an Editorial by C. W. Ong (pages 525-530) - Zika virus: an emerging infectious threat

Expressions of Interest 

Call for applications: Positions on the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Assessment Committee

Applications are invited to fill two positions on the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Assessment Committee.

A new model of governance for assessment has been approved by the College Board. This new model includes the establishment of a Paediatrics & Child Health Division Assessment Committee, reporting to the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Education Committee. 

We are seeking Expressions of Interest from RACP Fellows, for the following Committee positions: 

  • a member, responsible for formative assessments
  • a member, representing New Zealand interests.

Positions will be appointed for an initial term of two years, with opportunity for renewal. 

To request a copy of the Terms of Reference, please email:  

Interested Fellows should submit their CV, together with a short summary of their relevant knowledge and experience in education assessment principles and methodologies, to Dr Michael Nowotny, Chair, Paediatrics & Child Health Division Assessment Committee, via email:

Closing date:  COB Monday 30 May 2016.

Conferences and Events

“The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.”

COSA Cancer Chemotherapy Workshops for Oncology & Haematology Advanced Trainees (QLD)

This series of four workshops will be held every Wednesday evening from 1 June to 22 June (inclusive) in Brisbane.  Attendance by videoconference is also available for regional sites in Queensland.

Date:  Wednesday evenings from 1 June to 22 June (6pm - 8pm)
Venue: Princess Alexandra Hospital, Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba
(or attend via videoconference from regional sites in Queensland)
Host:  COSA

COSA is Australia’s peak multidisciplinary society for health professionals working in cancer. The COSA Cancer Pharmacists Group (CPG) is comprised of pharmacists practicing in a variety of settings and provides the only national multidisciplinary forum for pharmacists working in cancer services.

The COSA Cancer Pharmacists Group would like to invite Oncology and Haematology Advanced Trainees in Queensland to a workshop on the 'Pharmacology of Cancer Chemotherapy'.

The workshop will be comprised of four modules.  Module 1 covers cytotoxic principles, pharmacokinetics and alkylating agents.  Module 2 covers plant alkaloids, platinum agents and antibiotic cytotoxic agents.  Module 3 covers antimetabolite cytotoxic agents and hormonal cancer therapies.  Module 4 covers targeted therapy and monoclonal antibodies.

Registration: RSVP to Rhonda DeSouza at COSA  by Friday, 27 May. Please include your name, role, hospital address, contact number and email.  The workshop is free of charge with limited places so don’t delay.

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