The President's Message – 31 January 2018

A warm welcome back to all of you who have returned from holidays.

I am very pleased to congratulate our 2​7 Fellows who have been recognised in the New Zealand New Year Honours list and the Australia Day Honours announced last week, including our immediate past President.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley FRACP, FAFPHM is one of two Fellows awarded Australia’s highest honour. He has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to medical research, and to education in the field of gastroenterology and epidemiology, as an academic, author and administrator at the national and international level, and to health and scientific associations.

Professor David Kissane FAChPM is also made a Companion of the Order for eminent service to psychiatry, particularly psycho-oncology and palliative medicine, as an educator, researcher, author and clinician, and through executive roles with a range of national and international professional medical bodies.

Three Fellows have been announced as Officers of the Order, ​eight as Members of the Order, ​1​1 have received the Medal of the Order of Australia and one the Australian Public Service Medal.

In New Zealand, two Fellows have been made Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

You can view the full list of Fellows honoured in the news story.

Putting our international strategy into action

I’ve recently returned from Fiji, where the RACP announced a formal agreement with Fiji National University (FNU) which will see doctors from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji working together to develop specialist medical training expertise and education.

We have determined to focus our initial international strategy efforts on supporting specialist medical training and education in the South West Pacific and Timor Leste.

This five-year memorandum of understanding with FNU is a great starting point.

The year ahead

This is our 80th anniversary year as a College, and we have a big 12 months ahead of us.

There’s a major Education milestone in approximately two weeks, when we transition to our first ever computer-based test for the Divisional Written Exams; best wishes to our basic training candidates.

Our new Basic Training Curriculum will also go-live from mid-March for use by basic trainees, their supervisors and DPEs, and we’ll relaunch the College Learning series soon after.

The program for Congress 2018 Disruption for Healthy Futures is nearly finalised and it’s shaping up to be an interesting and thought provoking meeting. I encourage you to register before the early bird closes on 18 February. I look forward to seeing you there.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that nominations for College elections close on Friday, 2 February. For more information, visit the elections page on our website.

This is your chance to nominate for positions ranging from those on Chapter Committees through to the RACP President-Elect.

Your can have your say, and perhaps be among future leaders of your College.

Dr Catherine Yelland
President, RACP

Fellows honoured

Congratulations to the 2​7 RACP Fellows recognised in the 2018 Australia Day and New Zealand New Year Honours lists. We would also like to congratulate the two Fellows who were state Australian of the Year recipients.

These awards highlight the outstanding work RACP members do and the importance of that work in local, national and international communities.

See the list of Fellows honoured

Call for nominations closing this Friday

Eligible College Members are reminded that the call for nominations for RACP President-Elect, Directors on the College Board, New Zealand President-Elect and for Presidents-Elect and other positions on Division and Faculty Councils and Chapter Committees are closing at 5pm Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time this Friday, 2 February.

Learn more

Fiji partnership underway

Building postgraduate teaching capability in the South West Pacific region is the key focus of a new relationship between the College and Fiji National University (FNU).

To mark the start of the relationship, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FNU representatives in Suva on Monday, 22 January.

Read more

Earlybird Registration closing soon

With the RACP Congress 2018 early bird closing in just over two weeks, now is the time to confirm your attendance to the pre-eminent event for physicians in Australia and New Zealand. View the full program and details at www.racpcongress.com.au.

On the ​second day of Congress join us as we explore the significant proportion of presentations to every discipline of medicine that are for medically unexplained symptoms. Does the training of doctors equip them to understand and manage these conditions? Are any pathophysiological changes identified as cause or effect? Are they all in the head, and if so how should we tell our patients? (or should we just refer them to someone else?).

This session will challenge us to review how we see such conditions and ask if we should develop new models of practice so that we can truly help our patients.


RACP Trainees’ Day will take place on Sunday, 13 May 2018. Trainees experience unique training journeys and share a common goal of completing specialist training and providing patients with the best care possible. Trainees’ Day is an opportunity to learn and discuss your journey with fellow peers.

Register via the Congress website and view the program

Submission highlights priorities

The RACP has released its 2018-19 Pre-Budget Submission, which highlights key areas where specialists believe new initiatives or sustained investment are needed. Our priority areas include child health, end-of-life care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, obesity prevention and treatment, and a greater investment in telehealth and drug and alcohol services.

Learn more

​Latest Podcast released 

Errors in diagnostic reasoning are the topics of discussion in a special two part series of Pomegranate Health podcasts.

Listen to part one

Submit CPD activities by 31 March 

Complete your 2017 CPD report by logging into MyCPD.

A late submission fee applies if you miss this deadline.

Online Professionalism Program

Registrations are now open for the Modern Workplace Challenges Qstream course.

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 workplace challenges will provide ​members with an eLearning opportunity designed to boost professional skills in these areas. The program will run from February to March and will only take five minutes a day, two or three times a week via email.

Members participating in the 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.

Places are limited. Visit this website to register for the Modern Workplace Challenges course.

Registrations close Friday, 2 March 2018.

If you have questions about the course email sppp@racp.edu.au   

P​rogram released

The 2018 International Medical Symposium, Mauri ora: connecting health professionals’ wellbeing and quality care, program has been released.

The event ​is on in Sydney on Friday, 9 March 2018.

Read more

Funding opportunity

Fellows who live and work in rural and remote Australia are invited to apply for grants of up to AUD 10,000 to support their participation in CPD activities.

Find out more

Online Supervisor Professional Development Program

Registration is now open for the successful online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP).

​Read more

Evolve and Choosing Wisely Australia

We are inviting abstracts to support the Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting to be held on Wednesday, 30 May 2018. Contributions should highlight advances and learning in clinical practice and may include presentations, vignettes, pitch presentations or posters based on the following areas:

  • Spreading the Choosing Wisely message and engaging consumers and health professionals
  • Changing culture through health professional education and training
  • Evidence of practice change: achievements and lessons learned from primary to tertiary care
  • Innovative ideas to reduce low value care.

The conference is an opportunity for health professionals, consumers, researchers, funders and policy makers to come together to discuss, engage and network on topics related to reducing unnecessary care.  As a founding member of Choosing Wisely, the RACP will focus on how our Evolve initiative continues to contribute to this important campaign.

The 2018 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting will be held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.

To submit an abstract or register for the conference visit the event website. Abstracts can be provided by Wednesday, 28 February.

Feedback sought

We are seeking feedback from New Zealand Fellows and trainees on the RACP’s draft submission to New Zealand Parliament on draft legislation that would legalise medical assistance in dying.

If passed by Parliament, the bill would give people with a terminal illness or a grievous and irremediable medical condition the option of requesting assisted dying.  The submission addresses practical issues that may directly affect physicians’ practice in New Zealand. The submission will make clear that the RACP’s feedback should not be taken as support for the intent of the bill.

To request a copy of the draft submission and submit your comments, please email policy@racp.org.nz. Feedback can be provided by 9am NZDT Wednesday, 7 February 2018.

For further information on the RACP’s policy work on medical assistance in dying, visit our website.

Indigenous Congress opportunity

Applications are now open for the RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize. The Prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and physician trainees who identify as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori or descent. The prize includes:

  • return airfares to the RACP Congress in Sydney
  • up to three nights’ accommodation
  • full trainee or medical ​student registration.

Applications close on 19 February 2018. To apply, visit the RACP website.

Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service

Queensland Health are piloting a Alcohol and Drug Clinical Advisory Service (ADCAS) for the next 12 months. 

ADCAS is a specialist telephone support service for medical practitioners in Queensland, providing clinical advice by on-call addiction medical specialists regarding the management of patients with codeine dependency or other alcohol and drug concerns.

This free service is available from 8am to 11pm, seven days a week. Call 1800 177 833 for advice relating to:

  • ​codeine related issues including options for treatment of dependency
  • ​management of withdrawal symptoms, intoxication and toxicity
  • ​management of complications associated with alcohol and drug use
  • ​drug interaction information.

Calls will be answered by a counsellor who will connect you to the on-call specialist or notify the specialist of your call if they are already with a patient or on another call. 

Patients seeking information should be directed to the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 177 833 for counselling, information and referral to treatment services.

Read the latest journals

Internal Medicine Journal – ​January 2018 edition

The January issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now available. 

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health – ​January 201​8 edition

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

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