The Presidents Message - 11 March 2015

11 March, 2015

The President's Message - 11 March 2015


Last week, was an exciting week for the College, with members, specialty societies and industry stakeholders coming together to participate in the RACP led EVOLVE Forum, held on Wednesday, 4 March 2015. EVOLVE aims to create a sustainable healthcare system by identifying and eliminating where appropriate low-value interventions.

I was pleased to see attendees from over 41 specialties. EVOLVE is encouraging each specialty to identify ineffective, overused or inappropriate interventions, and to find ways to reduce their use. A key first step for EVOLVE is developing lists of ‘top five' low-value interventions for each of our specialties.

At the forum, we heard from a range of experts about the Australian, New Zealand and international context of this work before getting involved in a broader discussion about how to take this work forward in our own specialties. Fellows from Bone and Mineral, Endocrinology and Geriatrics told us about their experiences to date in coming up with their initial lists that are now being refined further, before being disseminated across the profession.

The feedback from the attendees reflected the enthusiasm we all felt. Close to 97% respondents said they wanted contribute to the EVOLVE initiative and promote it amongst their specialty.

If you weren't at the Forum, but would like to know more, join our EVOLVE Community of Fellows and trainees by emailing

I am also pleased to announce applications are now open for the RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize.

This prize is for medical students, junior medical officers or physician trainees of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Maori descent and includes registration fees, flights and accommodation for the prize recipient to attend RACP Congress 2015. This is an important initiative designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for the recipient and supports the College's commitments under the Australian Government's Close the Gap Campaign on health inequality. Please encourage eligible colleagues to apply for this opportunity before Tuesday, 31 March.

The RACP Board will meet on Thursday and Friday the 19 and 20 March 2015. I look forward to updating members on the outcomes of this meeting in the May issue of RACP News.

Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley
President, RACP


The EVOLVE Forum was a resounding success and I would like to thank the active participation of Fellows and trainees.

There were attendees from 41 specialties, with participants highly engaged throughout the day. We heard from a range of experts about the Australian, New Zealand and international context of this work to reduce low-value interventions, before getting involved in a broader discussion about how to take this work forward in our own specialties.

A key first step for EVOLVE is developing lists of ‘top five' low-value interventions for each of our specialties. The room agreed a set of principles for the EVOLVE initiative, highlighting up front that at its heart, EVOLVE is a partnership between the College and specialty societies to achieve best practice patient care which is firmly founded in efficacy and safety.

It was great to hear so much enthusiasm from around the room, and the feedback forms from the day demonstrated the eagerness to get started. We're now all set to move forward with the development of lists across the specialties - to get involved, please contact Senior Policy Officer Jason Soon on

If you weren't at the Forum, but would like to know more, join our EVOLVE Community of Fellows and Trainees by emailing


There has been recent media focus on sexual harassment in the medical profession.

I would like to assure you, our Fellow and trainee members, that educating physicians to provide a caring and supportive workplace is of the upmost importance to the College. That is why our Professional Qualities Curriculum explicitly outlines the common behaviours and attitudes expected of consultant physicians and paediatricians including “zero tolerance in the workplace of sexual harassment and discrimination”. 

The College is, and will continue to, demonstrate support for women in the workplace through our Flexible Training Policy, which includes provision for interrupted training to facilitate parental leave arrangements at no disadvantage to the trainee. 

A safe work environment underpins our capacity to provide the highest possible care to our patients, and maintains and sustains the highest level of professional practice when working  with our colleagues, and allied medical and administrative personnel.  


A significant milestone for the OSCAR project was achieved on Thursday, 26 February 2015 with the signing of the contract between Aptify and the College. This follows completion of the Discovery phase in December 2014 and enables us to proceed with an agreed scope of work, timeframe and the mobilisation of the project team to deliver Phase 1.


Are you of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Maori descent?

Studying, researching or working in a field of medicine, medical science or medical education at an undergraduate, postgraduate or trainee level?

Supporting an understanding of the health of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori peoples?

Interested in networking with peers and meeting influential healthcare professionals?

Then apply now for the RACP President’s Indigenous Congress Prize. 

The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 31 March 2015.

The Prize will support attendance at this year’s RACP Congress ’Breaking Boundaries Creating Connections’ being held in Cairns from 24 to 27 May 2015.


EOI: Development Working Group Academic Honesty & Plagiarism - ​now closed

The College Education Committee (CEC) is seeking to appoint 10 members (Fellows and trainees) to join its Development Working Group on the Academic Honesty & Plagiarism Policy revision through an expression of interest process.

The key responsibilities of the Working Group are to:
• consider findings of the policy research undertaken
• draft a policy based upon the research findings
• develop implementation and communications plans
• draft documentation for consultation

The CEC-approved scoping paper on this policy can be viewed on our website.

Interested Fellows and Trainees must complete and submit the attached form, provide their CV and a supporting statement outlining how their knowledge, qualifications, experience and interest in policy development will contribute to the objectives of this Working Group. Please email the expression of interest form and CV must to

Successful applicants must be available to attend two full days of face-to-face meetings in Sydney. The first meeting is scheduled to take place in May 2015.

For further information, please contact Nathasha Kugenthiran on

EOI: NSW/ACT State Committee Representatives - ​now closed

Seeking two NSW based Fellows to become members of the NSW/ACT State Committee. 

The NSW/ACT State Committee works with the NSW/ACT State Office to identify ways to increase the engagement of members across the region.

The successful candidates will collaborate with other Committee members on important issues that affect NSW/ACT members of the College. The key responsibilities of the NSW/ACT State Committee include:

  • act in the interest of the College in NSW/ACT
  • work with NSW State Office staff to support and progress College endorsed initiatives and activities
  • facilitate the engagement of Fellows in NSW/ACT in the activities of the College
  • in conjunction with other College Bodies and College staff, support the professional careers of Fellows and Trainees of the College in NSW/ACT
  • work with appropriate College Bodies and College staff in connection with:
    • education, training and assessment of trainees
    • training and continual professional development
    • identifying local policy and advocacy issues and supporting College policy and advocacy directions.



I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the following winners of the 2015 Jaquot Awards.

Award recipient




Dr Michael Burke

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship
(valued at $45,000)

Immunosuppression and non-melanoma skin cancer in renal transplant recipients (2nd year of funding)

Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dr Keren Grynberg

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship
(valued at $45,000)

The tubular response to injury is an important determinant in the progression of kidney disease.

Monash Medical Centre

Dr Karen Keung

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship
(valued at $45,000)

Identification of predictive urinary markers of chronic allograft injury

University of Sydney

Dr Andrew Mallett

Jacquot Research Entry Scholarship
(valued at $45,000)

Genetic diagnostics in genetic renal disease - methods, applications and therapeutics

University of Queensland Centre for Kidney Disease Research and Centre for Chronic Disease, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

Dr Paul Lawton

Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship (valued at $90,000)

How the care and outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with end-stage kidney disease on renal replacement therapy vary by treatment centre

Menzies School of Health Research

Dr Mark Marshall

Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship
(valued at $90,000)

Health care delivery in dialysis (3rd year of funding)

The Centre for Research and Effective Practice (NZ)

Associate Professor Nigel Toussaint

Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship
(valued at $90,000)

Klotho, FGF-23 and urinary phosphate handling in normal kidney function and in chronic kidney disease

Royal Melbourne Hospital

Dr Germaine Wong

Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship
(valued at $90,000)

Understanding the social determinants and health disparities in children with chronic kidney disease (K-CAD) study

University of Sydney


The March issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now available. Key articles include:

  • Pulmonary hypertension in scleroderma
  • Doping in sport: effects, harm and misconceptions
  • Specialised clinics for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Thrombolysis by stroke physician vs by stroke neurologist
  • Treatment of transplant-ineligible patients with multiple myeloma
  • Herpes zoster risk associated with TNF-α 


Cancer Australia has partnered with Menzies School of Health Research to develop a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework, to define evidence based priorities that can be used to inform the national cancer control agenda and ultimately contribute to improved health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

You can provide your input via a national survey available at:

There is also an online yarning place hosted at the National Indigenous Cancer Network (NICaN):

If you have any questions about the Framework please contact


Fellows and trainees are invited to apply for the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowship and Postgraduate scholarships. A number of Awards are now available and include:

  • Career Development Fellowships (applications close Wednesday, 1 April 2015)
  • Early Career Fellowships (applications close Wednesday, 1 April 2015
  • Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowships (applications close Wednesday, 15 April 2015)
  • Postgraduate Scholarships (applications close Wednesday, 24 June 2015).

For any enquiries, please content the NHMRC Research Help Centre between 9.00am and 5.00pm AEDT/AEST Monday to Friday on 1800 500 983 or +61 2 6217 9451 or by email at


An alternative ophthalmic (eye) treatment is now available for the treatment of keratitis of the eye caused by herpes simplex virus. This is to address the shortage of Zovirax Opthalmic ointment (3% aciclovir) resulting from the October 2014 safety recall by GSK due to a low risk of metal particles being present in the ointment.

AciVision 30 mg/g Aciclovir ointment has been granted TGA authorisation to be supplied temporarily in lieu of Zovirax.

Further information can be found at


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