Queensland - December 2022
A message from your Regional Committee Deputy Chair
It is an honour and privilege to write my first bulletin as the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Regional Committee.
For those of you who I have not met, I am the Director of Gastroenterology at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. I trained in the UK and was a Consultant ICU Physician and Gastroenterologist at St George's Hospital in London. During my ten years at St George's, I had several local and national roles, including, Director of the Foundation Program (F1 and F2s), Champion for Organ Donation, Regional Advisor for South West London (Royal College of Physicians in the UK), Director of Critical Care, and the most rewarding role as a London Deanery Mentor for doctors in difficulty.
I am sure that you are aware that we have been very fortunate to have new talented additions to the Regional Committee, increasing diversity and representation - welcome! The first couple of meetings have been excellent. The Committee has focused on open, thoughtful, respectful, reflective, and productive dialogue, all expertly choreographed by Professor Brian Wood, our Regional Committee Chair.
This is an unsettling time for all concerning worldwide geopolitical shifts; weather and environmental disasters, flu, and COVID-19 have led to a sense of fatigue. Many workforces, including our own, are challenged with shortages. The widely reported great attrition has led to the greatest minds scrambling to understand the needs and requirements of their workforces to assist in staff retainment. Although I suspect that healthcare is yet to examine these challenges, reactive measures may not be enough.
At our last two meetings, our considerations included:
- discussion and management of the annual workplan.
- concerns raised by the Trainees' Committee about research projects undertaken during COVID-19 and the associated approval and sign-off processes.
- discussions around incarceration of young adults.
- mental health and services in the wider community.
- wellbeing amongst medical staff and problems accentuated by COVID-19.
- RACP strategy with regards to workforce planning, education and sustainability.
- SPDP and RACP requirements for all those providing supervision of registrars.
- views sought on the controversial current pharmacy trials taking place in Queensland.
I hope to update you on these topics on the ROC.
We are supported by an exceptional team of College staff in the Queensland regional office. They keep us honest and bring all of this work together. Thank you.
I would like to finish by echoing the words of our Chair, Professor Brian Wood, our "virtual" door is always open if any of you want to contact us via email@example.com.
Professor Tony Rahman FRACP
Queensland Regional Committee Deputy Chair
An update from your Regional Trainees' Committee
As another year draws to an end, we reflect on the challenges we have and continue to face as trainees. We know the recent announcement by the College to waive the Advanced Training research requirements has had mixed feedback, though we appreciate the ultimate priority of not delaying Fellowship for all our trainees who have worked so hard to achieve this great accomplishment.
In Queensland, we continue to face workforce pressures, and we are working with the Queensland Regional Committee to advocate to the government for positive solutions. We also appreciate the impacts these pressures have had on trainees and Fellows, and we have further been discussing with our Minister of Health to ensure the wellbeing of all healthcare staff is protected.
As part of this work, the Queensland Trainees' Committee (QTC) and the College Trainees' Committee (CTC) have been actively advocating for changes within our own College policies that can and do affect trainee wellbeing. The first policy we shall be reviewing as a priority, alongside the College Education Committee (CEC), is our Flexible Training Policy (FTP). We have listened to stories from across Queensland, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, and realise we need to expediently review this policy to ensure we continue to support flexible and part-time training. As part of this, we shall also be supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the RACP Gender Equity in Medicine Report and the Gender Equity in Training Taskforce (GETT) recommendations.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank all our College Trainee Representatives, Chief Medical Registrars, local exam organisers, and all supervisors, for the hard work you do to support the highest quality education and training we have here in Queensland.
We also want to thank all of you for your support and for providing feedback to the QTC. Please continue to let us know about the issues affecting you and your training so we can best support you via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Hash Abdeen and Dr Pallavi Thite
Queensland Trainees' Committee Co-Chairs
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