New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory - August 2019

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As we welcome the second half of 2019, I am happy to report we are working hard to deliver relevant and interesting events for all members. Last year we received feedback you want to learn more about financial management, medico-legal, leadership and supervisor training. We are implementing your ideas by hosting topical and practical events in 2019 and beyond.

Since I last wrote to you, we hosted the extremely successful ‘robodoctors? The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Technology in Medicine’ talk. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Ron Granot, our fellow committee member, for bringing it all together. We also held the highly requested ‘medico-legal: a physician's update’ event which was kindly sponsored by Avant Mutual. Both sessions gave us useful insights for members and provoked interesting discussions.

The Annual Trainee Research Awards applications are now open. I thoroughly encourage all trainees to submit an abstract for the awards. This is a great opportunity to showcase all of the fantastic research you have done, and the winner will be given the opportunity to present their research at RACP Congress 2020. Applications close Saturday, 31 August.

Some great events are scheduled for the rest of the year, including:

Find out more about College events or email us with your questions and ideas.

July saw the celebration of NAIDOC week throughout the College and in our communities. Dr Naru Pal from RACP’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC), provided updates of the Medical Specialist Access Framework at our May meeting. Members are encouraged to promote the framework by raising their own and others awareness. It’s as straightforward as auditing your own cultural awareness.  Our roles are to discuss the framework with colleagues, registrars, other department staff, it can then be considered and implemented when you treat or take care of patient diseases. We should strive to train the new generation of doctors and students to be aware of the framework. Advocacy is important in all specialties. Advocacy for funding, advocacy for integration and the intention of following the Framework, providing a quality care plan, reviewing and working with your primary health care community. Growing Indigenous Leadership is a constant challenge but a goal which we should strive to fulfill one day in the near future. 

The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) presented to the committee recently, titled ‘Leading Clinicians to Improvement in Patient Safety and Quality: a challenge to RACP and its members. The presentation included an insight of what the CEC is doing with trigger tools and healthcare associated complications reporting. Dr James Mackie covered a simple view of patient safety including physical harm, psychological harm and waste.

The Committee continues to facilitate strong connections with NSW and ACT Governments and advocates on your behalf for locally based issues. We have contributed to several policy and position statements in the last six months.

Recently the Committee welcomed two new members, Dr Li-zsa Tan, a Newcastle Paediatrician and Dr Sayontonee Ghosh, a Respiratory Advanced Trainee at Liverpool Hospital. Both are strong and passionate advocates proving to be wonderful additions to the Committee.

If you have any ideas, issues or questions to the committee to address we would love to hear from you. Please write to us via email. Learn more about your Regional Committee and members via our webpage.

Dr Adrian Lee BSc (Med), MBBS, FRACP, AM
Chair, NSW/ACT Regional Committee

NSW Trainees' Committee Co-Chairs message

The NSW/ACT Trainees’ Committee continues to advocate for quality training opportunities, fair assessment processes and transparency regarding membership fees for all trainees across NSW.

Following our successful Basic Training Orientation event in March, we have been planning some exciting events for the next trimester. This includes Advanced Training Orientation, as well as the Exams and Wellbeing event. We aim to provide trainees with a networking opportunity, and a chance to hear from senior clinicians and College representatives regarding expectations for trainees. It also helps trainees learn how to get through the exam and post-exam training periods successfully. Trainees’ health and wellbeing has been a key focus, and we are conscious to ensure all trainees feel supported and advocated for at a state-level.

Our focus for the next few months is to obtain reliable feedback from trainees, and to be an accessible network of representatives for all trainees across NSW and ACT. We welcome feedback by email to help improve all trainees' experience.

For further details regarding upcoming events, please see the RACP events webpage, the Facebook page, as well as newsletters and posters across NSW and ACT hospitals.

To learn more about your Trainee Committee please see our webpage for a list of members and information.

Dr Aimee Wiseman
Paediatrics and Child Health Medicine 
Co-Chair – NSW/ACT Trainees’ Committee

Dr David Martens
Adult Medicine
Co-Chair – NSW/ACT Trainees’ Committee

Fellow in focus: Dr Li-Zsa Tan

Dr Li-Zsa TanOriginally from Malaysia, Dr Li-Zsa Tan moved to Sydney in 2010 with the original intention of completing a year of neonatal training at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney. She decided to stay on and enter physician training with the RACP and passed her College exams in 2012. She embarked on her Fellowship in Paediatric Gastroenterology first with the Sydney Children’s Hospital, then the Queensland Children’s Hospital. She is now staff specialist Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in New South Wales. Li-Zsa is also a member of the RACP NSW/ACT regional committee and serves on the editorial board of Pomegranate Health, the RACP’s educational podcast for physicians.

The RACP NSW/ACT team caught up with Dr Li-Zsa Tan to learn more about her work.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
I have been so fortunate and privileged to have learnt from some of the best doctors. The most rewarding aspect of my role is that now I can pay that forward by giving regional families the best up-to-date, evidence-based care that children in big cities receive on a daily basis.

As a committee member, what changes or initiatives do you want to see in the medical community?
I would like to see our membership get more involved with issues they care about, be it climate change, workforce distribution, gender equality, or awareness about physician mental health and wellbeing. The College is a tremendous platform for advocacy and provides many opportunities to give voice to various causes. I hope to see more Fellows and trainees step up and get involved at every level from grassroots through to national.

How do you manage work-life-balance?
I read an interesting article recently about how work-life balance is a myth. The phrase implies that work and life are two separate things and that to have an excess of one must only result in the detriment of the other. Being a doctor means my work is a vital part of my life. So is being a mother, a wife, a student and a teacher. I would not be complete without each of these roles, even if the priority I give to each is in a constant state of flux. Many rural GPs and physicians work constantly but find it immensely rewarding as a service to their community. Perhaps we would be more forgiving of ourselves if we thought less about work-life balance, and more about if we like the life we already have. If we don’t, then maybe we should have an honest think about what is making us unhappy. The answer may not always be to work less.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.”

Artificial intelligence - friend or foe?

Robodoctors - All PresentersHave you ever questioned how effective Artificial Intelligence (AI) really is? What are other countries doing with AI? What is this ‘cloud’ everyone keeps referring to?

We recently held the 'Robodoctors? The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and Technology in Medicine' talk in Sydney. Committee member Dr Ron Granot hosted the event with industry experts; Rami Weiss, CEO of Healthshare Digital, James Scollay, CEO of Genie Solutions, and Professor Enrico Coiera, Director for the Centre of Health Informatics at Macquarie University.

The significance of AI and technology and how it affects the future of medicine was discussed. Attendees enjoyed the interactive session demonstrating how medical practices are impacted and how advanced AI really is.

If you missed out on the talk but would like to learn more, you can watch a recording of the session on our YouTube channel. If you have any questions, please email us. Thank you to our fantastic speakers for an informative evening.

Trainee profiles

Introducing your new NSW/ACT Trainee Committee Members

Trainee Committee Member Nicholas Holt PhotoDr Nic Holt
Dr Nic Holt is a final year Basic Physician Trainee at The Canberra Hospital, about to undertake his clinical examination. Nic is a big believer in the principles that underpin the RACP and its training. He has been extensively involved in teaching medical students at the Australian National University, as well as his junior colleagues at the hospital.

When he’s not at work, Nic likes to spend time with his wife, Olivia, and his dachshund, Bernie. He’s a passionate ACT Brumbies fan and is equally passionate about advocating for both doctors and patients from the ACT. 

Trainee Committee Member Richard Arnold photoDr Richard Arnold
Dr Richard Arnold is a Basic Physician Trainee at St George and Sutherland Hospitals. He started physician training after a few years as a surgical registrar and before that as a human rights lawyer. He has previously held positions with the Federal AMA, AMSA and the HETI JMO Forum. His research interests include medico-legal matters and near-peer teaching.

In his spare time, Richard enjoys working with graphic design and typography, cooking, going to the gym, and listening to Aussie hip-hop of varying quality.

Upcoming events


Think before you post: protecting yourself on social media

On Saturday, 29 June Avant Mutual spoke on the hot topic of obligations physicians now face with the rise of social media and technology.

Social media has been ingrained to play a huge part in our daily lives and it has also seeped into the professional world with the increasing use of sites such as LinkedIn. For physicians, there is a rise in the number of patients using online tools such as Google and Rate MDs to research their doctors.

So, how do you navigate the intangible online world?

As a physician, you have an obligation to adhere to the standard of professional behaviour set out in the Good Medical Practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia. Your traditional professional obligations in communicating and dealing with patients carry over to social media too.

The advice given during this event was:

Read the small print
Although oftentimes it can be extremely lengthy and tedious, it is important to read the Terms and Conditions before signing up to websites and posting any content. Some websites may ‘own’ the content that you upload by virtue of the policies that you agree to. Always read the small print.

Your privacy is the priority
Some social media platforms are completely public, therefore, even if you do alter your privacy settings, some of your information may still be available for public consumption. Ensure that you consistently review your privacy settings and are clear with what the website allows others to see.

Keep it professional
As a physician, you have legal, professional and contractual obligations to follow. You are still required to maintain patient confidentiality and uphold standards of professional behaviour. Never post any patient information or photography on social media without specific consent from the patient. It is important to be aware that there may be restrictions on what you can do online due to hospital or practice policies. This may lead to a breach of your contract, so always check and comply with your obligations.

If in doubt, leave it out
In short, what goes online can potentially stay online forever. Once you upload or post something, you cannot guarantee it has been removed even if you delete it, as others may have saved or shared the content. Assume that whatever you post will be out there forever. If you wouldn’t be happy with your comments going viral and being the first thing someone sees when they search for you, don’t post it.

Keep your cool, your reputation is on the line 
It’s never easy when you receive negative comments online, but it is important not to react rashly when you encounter these situations. You can take active steps towards removing these comments such as requesting the website or poster to delete the comment and in some extreme cases, you could even file a defamation claim. For more information see the Avant reacting to online feedback factsheet.

For more information please refer to the Avant social media factsheet. If you need Medicolegal advice, please contact your MDO. Thank you to our fantastic speakers and Avant Mutual for sponsoring this event.

Medico Legal - Presenters
Mr Michael Swan and Ms Ruanne Brell from Avant Mutual.

Introducing your new NSW/ACT Member Support Officer (MSO)

 We are delighted to welcome Judy Rangi as our new MSO for NSW/ACT

Judy Rangi August 2019As your new Member Support Officer, I act as a liaison between the College, hospitals and members. My main role is to provide support and guidance to trainees, supervisors and Fellows. Based in the RACP Sydney office, I run locally-based workshops and one-on-one consultations for trainees and supervisors in NSW and ACT. My aim is to raise awareness and engagement with your local committees and create positive member experiences.

If you have any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to email me. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Trainee Research Awards

Applications for this year’s Trainee Research Awards for Excellence are open until Saturday, 31 August 2019

The Trainee Research Awards provide a wonderful opportunity for trainees to present their research at a regional event. Trainees selected at each regional event will have the opportunity to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne.

For more information please visit the Foundation webpage.
Submissions close Saturday, 31 August at 5pm AEST.

Medical students are invited to apply for the John Snow Scholarships for 2019

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) is celebrating the 10th year of the John Snow Scholarships. Applications are open until Monday, 30 SeptemberThese scholarships provide opportunities for medical students to increase their appreciation of public health medicine as a medical speciality and potential career path.

Nine scholarships are available each year, representing each State/Territory of Australia and New Zealand. All medical students currently enrolled in Australian or New Zealand medical schools are encouraged to apply.

The selected representatives are invited to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Trainee registration and travel assistance of up to $400 are included. 

An overall winner will be presented with a certificate in recognition of their achievement.

Full details about this scholarship are available on the website. Please contact RACP Foundation if you have any questions.

Participate in the new ethics online learning course

Ethics lies at the very heart of what it is to be a physician and is as relevant now as it was when first discussed two and a half thousand years ago. The ethics online learning course focuses on the sorts of ethical issues that are a constant feature of health care, and it also addresses some of the ideas that underpin ethics, such as the relationship between ethics and the law and the difference between ethics and rights. 

The aims of this course are to:

  • encourage discussion and broaden thinking about the main ethical issues facing physicians
  • encourage reflection on appropriate courses of action in situations that may be ethically challenging
  • challenge participants’ understanding of, and attitudes towards, ethics
  • model ethical practice
  • help participants reflect on their own and their profession’s ethical commitments. 

Register today

2019 MyCPD Framework: have you planned your CPD to meet the new requirements?

The new 2019 MyCPD Framework came into effect in January 2019. It changes the CPD activities you need to record to meet CPD requirements.

The framework is designed to help you prepare for future regulatory requirements to be introduced with the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework (PPF). The Medical Board launched the PPF in response to the final report from the Expert Advisory Group on re-validation.

The RACP’s simplified framework strengthens CPD by engaging Fellows in a range of CPD activities from three categories. CPD activities are required in at least two of the following categories:

  • educational activities
  • reviewing performance
  • measuring outcomes.

Activities in the educational activities category are worth one credit per hour. Activities under the reviewing performance and measuring outcomes categories are worth three credits per hour.

Your annual CPD requirement is still a minimum of 100 credits. Each category is capped at 60 credits. You do not need to record credits in all three categories.

You can continue to choose which CPD activities to complete as long as you can record a minimum of 14 hours of activities that review performance and/or measure outcomes.

Further details are available on the CPD webpage.

Resources are available to assist you with meeting the new requirements including:

The CPD Team are happy to answer your questions. If you need further information or advice, please contact them on 1300 697 227 or via email.


Pomegranate Health podcasts

Pomegranate Health is RACP’s award-winning podcast that explores compelling questions about the culture of medicine. Listen to the interesting discussions between clinicians, researchers and advocates on pertinent and thought-provoking topics. Each episode is developed with the guidance of RACP members, to inspire excellence in practice.

One of our newest episodes Training in the bush sees the podcast team visiting physicians at the Dubbo Base Hospital. The hospital services a catchment of 130,000 people spread across an area the size of Great Britain. Whilst the need in the area is high, Dubbo presents an example of strong clinical leadership and training across numerous specialties.

Past topics include:

Subscribe today to be among the first to find out about new episodes. Podcasts are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and any Android podcasting app.

Do you have an idea you want to discuss, or just want to give some feedback? Email us

Participate in the Hospital Health Check Survey

The Hospital Health Check Survey is open to all doctors in training, from interns to Fellows. Focusing on five key domains including;

  • overtime and rostering
  • access to leave
  • wellbeing
  • education and training
  • morale and culture

All participants have the chance to win one of four $250 Visa card vouchers.  Last year saw 1351 Doctors-in-Training complete the survey. We are keen to see even more participants this year.

Participate in the survey today.

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To access this offer and learn more please go to your RACP Member Advantage website.

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