Queensland - April 2020

A message from the Queensland Regional Committee Chair

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster

I am writing this as we face the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic. By the time you read this it is very likely that there will have already been profound changes to the healthcare system in response to the outbreak. Already the economy is in strife and healthcare spending is providing an ever-increasing load on government resources.

Our trainees have seen the cancellation of clinical exams, with corresponding uncertainty on hospital appointments as we get closer to next year’s recruitment. Supervisors are increasingly having to modify clinical duties and priorities. Our College has cancelled many meetings including the Congress in May. Face-to-face supervisor training is also on hold. This is clearly a very uncertain time for all members, our College staff and for our community.

It is critical that during this time, we hold to our values which led so many of us to becoming doctors. We may well be asked to make changes to our work patterns, and to make personal sacrifices in our decisions in caring for our community. We also need to look after each other, and especially our more vulnerable team members and our trainees.

On another sad note I want to acknowledge the passing of Dr Michael Perera. Over recent years Michael had taken a very active role in supporting college training in this state. His sudden death in a swimming accident is a devastating loss to his family, colleagues and to the trainees who had contact with him. On behalf of the Regional Committee, I would like to pass on our condolences to all those affected by his death.

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster FRACP, FACEM
Queensland Regional Committee Chair

A message from your Queensland Trainees' Committee Chair

Photo - Hash Abdeen

In these uncertain times trainees are experiencing a health event that no other training group in the history of Australia has ever experienced. As the Co-Chair of the Queensland Trainees’ Committee, I would like to encourage you all to prioritise your wellbeing so you are able to help your patients and colleagues. RACP resources can help support you during this time as well as resources from Queensland Health, your local health sites and the Queensland Doctors' Health Program.

Thank you to Dr Lucy Morgan for her service as Co-Chair of the Queensland Regional Trainees’ Committee since February 2019 and as a member of the Committee since July 2018. Lucy has decided to step down from the Committee, and we would like to wish her well and thank her for her hard work.  During her time on the Committee, Lucy has helped support several Basic Training Orientations for new trainees joining the College as well as advocating for trainees across Queensland at a national level.

I would like to acknowledge our newest member of the Trainees' Committee, Dr Sanjana Dang, who is a Basic Adult Medicine Trainee in Metro South. I would also like to encourage paediatric trainees training in Queensland to consider submitting an expression of interest to join our enthusiastic and productive Queensland Trainees’ Committee.

We will continue with our regular meetings, and other activities where possible, via video-conference. Our most recent discussions have included flexibility in training including part-time and job-sharing opportunities in Queensland, Advanced Trainee research project support and guidelines, and further I attended the National College Trainees’ Committee meeting by video-conference on 27 March.

Prior to the lockdown and social distancing laws, we were also able to support Griffith University’s physician society evening, We spoke with first and second year medical students who are considering a career in internal medicine.

The Queensland Trainees' Committee continues to work on your behalf to raise your priorities at a national level. We also disseminate information provided by the College out into training sites across Queensland. We represent trainee issues to the College on how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the education and training for Queensland trainees. We understand this is a stressful time for many trainees and we are here to support you through this. Together we can get through this.

Take care of yourselves,

Dr Hash Abdeen                                       
Chair QLD Trainees’ Committee       
Adult Medicine       

College Bodies expressions of interest open

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open across all of our College Bodies for various positions on councils and committees. View listings for more information on the positions on offer.

You are invited to express your interest in the below categories:

Queensland Trainee Research Awards and Jameson Investigator Award recipients

On Wednesday, 13 November 2019, the Queensland Regional Committee hosted the 2019 Trainee Research Awards and Jameson Investigator Award for research related to Indigenous health issues, in a combined event at the Queensland Regional Office.

Judging Panel Chair, Associate Professor Nitin Kapur, (Deputy Chair of the QLD Regional Committee) hosted the event. The evening was opened with a Welcome to Country by Uncle Terry Williams, an Aboriginal Community Elder who is connected with the Goreng Goreng, Yiman and Gangalu tribes, as well as an RACP Consumer Advisory Group Representative.

There were twenty abstracts submitted for 2019. The candidates, guests and judges heard from finalists in each category before the judges (made up of Queensland Regional Committee members) announced the winners at the end of the evening.

The RACP Queensland Regional Committee would like to congratulate the following Trainees on their winning research projects.

  • The Queensland RACP Trainee Research Award for Adult Medicine was awarded to Dr Adam Stewart for his abstract: molecular epidemiology and hospital spread of ceftriaxone no susceptible Enterobacteriales in the Sunshine Coast region, Australia
  • The Queensland RACP Trainee Research Award for Paediatrics was awarded to Dr Robyn Silcock for her abstract: peri-bone marrow transplant Viraemia in Queensland Children 2000-2018.
  • The Jameson Investigator award for research related to Indigenous health issues was awarded to Dr Joseph Mohan for his abstract: Acute kidney injury in Indigenous Australians in the Kimberley: age distribution and associated diagnoses

QLD TRA and Jameson Judges and Winners

Winners pictured above with the Queensland Regional Committee judges and RACP Consumer Advisory Committee Representative. Left to right: Uncle Terry Williams Consumer Advisory Committee Representative, Associate Professor Nitin Kapur (Chair Judging Panel), Dr Joseph Mohan, Dr Joseph Lee, Dr Adam Stewart, Professor Brian Wood, Dr Robyn Silcock, Dr Sunday Pam  and Associate Professor Gail Robinson. 

Queensland Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register update

The Queensland Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register (the register) has been fully operational since 1 July 2019. Queensland Health is encouraged by the efforts of respiratory and occupational medicine specialists in making notifications of notifiable dust lung disease to the register, as required by the Public Health Act 2005, which enables the register to fulfil its functions.

One of these functions is to provide a report to the Queensland Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services. The first report of the register will be provided to the Minister by 30 September 2020. The Minister will table the report in parliament shortly after receiving it. Among other things, the report must include the number of notifications and types of notifiable dust lung diseases recorded in the Register from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. Register staff will ensure that all notifications received by 30 June 2020 are included in the report.

The approved form to make a notification of a notifiable dust lung disease will be updated on 1 July 2020, so it is important to continue to check the Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register website for updates.

Upcoming RACP Queensland events

The Queensland Regional Office is working on creating virtual solutions to the following workshops as a result of the impact of COVID-19. Although the Queensland Regional Office in Brisbane is now closed to members and the public, the staff continue to support you. We can be contacted by email or phone +61 7 3872 7000.

We encourage you to register for the below financial education webinars we currently have available. They've been developed to support you through all stages of your career, from Basic Training to retirement. Please also register your interest for upcoming financial events. 

We are preparing to deliver Congress 2020 to you online

So you can still learn from each other, engage with experts and your peers and contribute to the conversation we are now preparing to deliver Congress online. RACP Congress 2020 Balancing Medical Science with Humanity online program will explore the theme and deliver shared sessions and selected stream sessions for you to access from your computer or device.

You will be able to watch orations, interact with experts through webinars and listen and contribute to panel discussions via podcasts.

Details about the sessions and how you can access the program will be announced soon.

Pomegranate podcast: The art of telehealth

COVID-19 has left few people around the world unaffected, and health practitioners are among those at the top of the list. Their daily and intimate service to the public inevitably puts them at risk of catching the virus, while social distancing precautions can compromise the work they do. Dreadful as the viral disease is, the bigger consequences of the pandemic may be on the disruption to routine healthcare.

Consulting patients by video or phone can be a way to keep healthcare ticking over, but many doctors are nervous as they adopt it for the first time. In this podcast we go over some of the bureaucratic and tech support questions that clinicians have been asking during the current crisis. We also discuss the art of building trust with new patients, and conducting a physical examination through telehealth.

The guest speakers are oncologist Sabe Sabesan and paediatrician Michael Williams, who’ve been pioneering telehealth outreach to rural and remote Queensland for more than a decade.

Listen now

Discover your online learning options today

We understand you’re busy and on-the go, so discover our quality online education. Access a range of online learning courses, resources, lectures, curated collections and podcasts which have all been developed by members, for members. The interactive nature of our online learning resources enable you to learn from your peers. Accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning, RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and count towards CPD requirements

Access today

End-of-Life Q Stream

Fellows can claim CPD credits by completing the Online Professionalism Program (OPP)

Looking for another effective avenue to claim CPD credits? We recommend considering OPP. OPP is an evidence-based, spaced online learning program. The program has been demonstrated in randomised trials to improve knowledge acquisition, boost retention, change on-the-job behaviours and improve patient outcomes.

OPP delivers short and practical case studies right to your inbox, and feature multiple-choice questions. These case studies are created by a Working Group whose experience is in the relevant field or topic. Each multiple-choice question takes about five minutes to complete, with an opportunity to re-attempt each question if answered incorrectly.

These questions are framed in clinical scenarios and are designed to encourage critical thinking. Each question links to a discussion forum for participants to engage in conversation about each case study. This is in acknowledgement that there is not always a right or wrong answer.

On 16 March 2020, the RACP’s Continuous Learning team launched the End-ofLife Care OPP Course to over 40 participants. The End-of-Life Care Course is designed to enhance physician’s skills with end-of-life and advance care planning.

The End-of-Life Care Course is comprised of 11 multiple-choice questions which will take participants three to four weeks to complete. Participants can claim CPD credits (one credit per hour) in Category 1: Educational Activities, for the time they spend on this resource.

If you are interested in the current End-of-Life Care course or future OPP courses, please register your interest by emailing professionalism@racp.edu.au.

Insurance implications of genetic testing survey

In 2017, Monash University surveyed health professionals regarding their knowledge, experience and views regarding the life insurance implications of genetic testing. In 2019, policy in this area changed, and we are keen to understand whether, and if so how, things have changed. You are eligible if you are a qualified health professional (other than a general practitioner) working in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand who has direct contact (by telephone or in person) with clients who are considering genetic testing.

Please complete this important survey. It should not take longer than 10-15 minutes to complete, and can be anonymous. The findings of this project will contribute to a policy response to the Australian government regarding the current situation, and your participation will assist with gathering critical data in this space. For any queries regarding this research, please contact Jane Tiller

Complete the survey


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