Queensland - November 2019

A message from the Queensland Regional Committee Chair

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster

Our College Education Renewal Program will gather pace next year with the introduction of the new basic training curriculum to be introduced in early adopter sites across Australia and New Zealand. Excitingly, Queensland has two of these sites at Townsville Hospital and at the Gold Coast University Hospital. There are going to be challenges in the change to the new curriculum, especially for supervisors and for the hospitals themselves. However, it is likely that the change will better support trainees as they acquire the skills and knowledge to practice as physicians. The early adopter sites will be working closely with the education department of our College so that the transition can occur as smoothly as possible and so that lessons learnt can be used, as the curriculum is more broadly rolled out in coming years to other training sites.

I provided evidence to the Queensland Parliamentary Committee on aged care, palliative care, end-of-life care and voluntary assisted dying on behalf of the Regional Committee. The key message I gave reinforced the importance of governments' responsibility to ensure that appropriate access to palliative care must be provided across Queensland. The College discussion paper on voluntary assisted dying was provided as evidence to the Committee, with information that there are many contentious issues with strong views amongst our members, both for and against such a framework being introduced.

I also recently attended the Queensland Committee of Specialist Colleges meeting. It was interesting to note that the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is proactively surveying trainees to better understand training quality as registrations are renewed. This comes close to release at a high level of our own trainee and supervisors survey results. Although participation in this survey was not as high as we would have hoped, there were strong themes regarding the need for trainee and supervisor support in the workplace. I know our College has corresponded with several facilities including some in Queensland, where the comments suggested particular difficulties in the training environment. It will be important that the survey is used to improve the ability of our training sites over time through strong participation by our members and by a constructive approach to the feedback from each site.

Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster FRACP, FACEM
Chair, Queensland Regional Committee  
 

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My Work Profile

Many Government decisions on workforce are based on anecdotal data. As a response to this we are updating our records to assist our future decision making for physician education programs.

Did you know the hours you work, the professional activities you are engaged in and where you work impact the paediatrics and adult medicine workforce?

You’ll find My Work Profile on the payment confirmation page that will take you to your own work profile, or you can access it in MyRACP.

MyRACP supported internet browsers are Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

How does My Work Profile benefit you?

Workforce data will be made available to you and will help:

  • New Fellows decide which geographic area to work in Australia and New Zealand
  • New Fellows choose between private or public practice
  • you understand how your work hours compare with your peers
  • the RACP and stakeholders including government policy-makers make better workforce decisions, based on current data
  • Fellows understand activities they are undertaking; research, administration or clinical.

For more information, please read the My Work Profile FAQs. For details on what data will be collected and how it will be stored, please read the Privacy Statement.

Complete today

Hear what others have to say about My Work Profile

 

A message from your Queensland Trainees' Committee Co-Chairs

Hi all

My name is Hash, and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Co-Chair (Adult Medicine) for the Queensland Trainees’ Committee. I have been a member of the committee for the past three years and am a member of multiple other committees, including AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training and the Junior Medical Officers Forum Queensland.

My main goal for the term is to engage with you — the trainees — to be involved with the College and contribute in some way, shape or form to your training as physicians. The College is partaking in many new activities and we want you all to be involved in everything from Basic and Advanced Trainee curricula renewal, selection into training and physician health and wellbeing. Your Trainees' Committee is one of the many ways the College provides a process of feedback and we hope that you will keep letting us know the ways we can advocate on your behalf. Please keep an eye out for open positions and call outs for trainees for various committees and working groups within the College.

Another great way to contribute to the College is through the RACP Physician Training Survey. I would like to thank everyone for their participation in last year’s training survey for us to advocate and make real change.

On behalf of the Committee we wish you all the best for the remainder of the 2019 training year.

Kind regards,

Photo - Hash Abdeen                   Dr Lucy Morgan

Dr Hash Abdeen                                          Dr Lucy Morgan
Co-Chair QLD Trainees’ Committee        Co-Chair QLD Trainees’ Committee
Adult Medicine                                            Paediatrics & Child Health Medicine

Register now for RACP Congress 2020 
4 to 6 May  l  Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Dr Catherine Crock Headshot

Balancing medical science with humanity

We are excited to announce the keynote speaker for RACP Congress 2020, Professor Catherine Crock AM.

Professor Crock is not only a doctor at the Royal Children's Hospital; Melbourne, she is a music and theatrical producer, a humanitarian, a mother and a strong advocate for culture change in healthcare.

After identifying the direct correlation between organisational negativity and staff wellbeing and effectiveness Professor Crock founded the Hush Foundation and the Gathering of Kindness events. She is dedicated to building, nurturing and instilling a culture of kindness throughout the healthcare system.

Her two plays “Hear Me” and “Do You Know Me” have been performed in hospitals and aged care settings across Australia raising awareness of patient centred care, communication and patient safety issues and encouraging a shift in the culture and behaviour in healthcare.

Her keynote address Balancing science with humanity: how kindness restores the whole in medicine will be a not-to-be-missed highlight of RACP Congress 2020.

Join your colleagues at RACP Congress 2020, from Monday, 4 to Wednesday, 6 May 2020 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Visit the Congress website to find out more about the program and to register.

Register now
 

Prosperous physician future in North Queensland

Over 60 Physicians and trainees gathered for the North Queensland Physician's Conference (NQPC) on 14 to 15 September at Rydges in Townsville. Supported by the RACP Queensland Regional Office with a Supervisor Professional Development Workshop held the evening before the conference.

The NQPC has continued to grow and is now in its third year since recommencing in 2017. The NQPC dates back to the late 1970s, however, with the increasing specialisation of medicine had a few years of hiatus prior to 2017.

This year’s program looked at the history of physician medicine in North Queensland, presented by Dr Yong Tan who has been a trainee and long term endocrinologist in Townsville. The program focuses to compliment the training programs available in North Queensland with updates on topics across neurology, respiratory and gastroenterology.

RACP President-Elect Professor John Wilson provided insights into the future of training, emphasising the importance of regional training programs. We were grateful for both his and Professor Ian Scott’s attendance as guest speakers.

The North Queensland Physicians' Conference will return to Cairns in September 2020. More details will be released in the new year, and we hope you can escape the cold and join us for a not-to-be-missed conference.

Dr Craig Costello FRACP
Townsville Deputy Director Physician Training
Network Rotation Coordinator Far North Townsville 

 Dr Craig Costello and Dr Ben Vogler NQPC Prof John Wilson NQPC

Benefits of the Supervisor Professional Development Workshops

When I first applied for the Director of Physician Education over two years ago, I was a newly minted consultant. Throughout my Advanced Training I had great mentors that focused not only on the clinical aspect of training, but on the non-clinical skills that are the hallmark of a well-rounded physician.  Despite this, I still felt under-prepared within my new role. Through participation in the Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops I have been able to facilitate positive changes within my own practice, allowing me to grow as both a supervisor and mentor. I attended a combination of online and face-to-face sessions, finding the content so valuable that when the RACP offered the opportunity to become a facilitator I jumped at the chance. I was able to spend a day in Sydney, surrounded by colleagues drawing on the wealth of experience in the room. Since then, I have been able to put my skills to use facilitating sessions at my own Hospital and at other sites.The RACP offer a range of resources to support clinicians and trainees and the SPDP workshops are one of them.

I strongly encourage Advanced Trainees and Fellows to attend the SPDP workshops either in person or online. They are eligible for CPD points in Category two.

Register for a SPDP course

Dr Dayna Law FRACP
Director Physician Education Logan Hospital
 

Focus on RACP Representative on Medical Workforce Advisory Group

The Medical Practitioner Workforce Plan for Queensland (MPWP4Q) was released in 2017 and the committee monitoring its implementation is the Medical Workforce Advisory Group.  I have the honour of representing the RACP on this body and report back regularly to the Queensland Regional Committee on its activities.

In principle the Group meets twice yearly but this year we had a full-day meeting on 23 August. That was a good thing, because the meeting was able to bring others into the tent.

The Group heard on state progress on several initiatives, including:

  1. the Rural Doctor Upskilling program, which to the delight of organisers, is currently over-subscribed by Queensland rural GPs and rural generalists,
  2. the successful launch of the Medi-Nav program which provides doctors-in-training timely guidance on career planning and links to Quick Reference Guides produced by the Commonwealth Regional Training Hubs
  3. progress on state-wide programs aimed at medical workforce re-distribution (successful in pathology but not quite there yet in psychiatry)
  4. an unequivocal statement of support for the proposed Wide Bay and Central Queensland regional medical school programs.

State-wide system planning was covered comprehensively, with population growth projections driving significant developments in bed numbers, repair and replacement of health infrastructure and enhancing digital capacity.

The Commonwealth was represented and gave the group insight into several initiatives:

  • The National Medical Training Survey is being conducted through the Medical Board of Australia. The survey has been offered to all doctors in training at renewal of their registration. We were encouraged to promote the survey to those whose renewal did not fall within the survey period. It hopes to gain broad insights into aspirations and the practicalities of medical specialist training from the point of view of the junior doctor. Perhaps it will lead to a re-aligning of goals and opportunities for junior doctors.

  • The National Medical Workforce Strategy was not what we were expecting, as it was focused on consumers rather than doctors. The Commonwealth has developed a planning tool which allows consumers as well as health planners to see the real-time distribution of medical practitioners across the country. While this is good for planning purposes, this writer is concerned that it may have the perverse effect of discouraging non-medical professionals from moving to rural areas which have low or inadequate doctor numbers.

Highlights for Consultant Physicians

Workforce issues:

  • Geographical maldistribution
  • Balance of generalists vs. sub-specialists
  • Doctor work-readiness
  • Over-supply and under-supply in some specialties
  • Service delivery and changing models of care
  • Lack of diversity in the workforce

Contributing factors:

  • Lack of coordination in planning
  • Management of the training and career pathway
  • Reliance on registrars to meet health service needs (hospitals are 24/7 operations)

Plan already approved by COAG’s Health Services Priorities Committee

Selected quotes

The number of doctors in Australia has been growing at roughly twice the rate of the general population since 2005 (3.9 per cent, compared to 1.7 per cent), the largest proportion of whom are non-GP specialists (36 per cent). The supply of doctors in Australia is explored later in this report, but the statistics below provide an overview of the workforce.

  • The number of doctors per thousand people in Australia has increased from 2.5 in 2000 to 3.6 in 2016, slightly higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 3.4.
  • Approximately 79 per cent of doctors are located in major cities or areas classified as category 1 in the Modified Monash Model (MM 1). A further 9 per cent are located in areas classified as MM 2, 6 per cent are located in areas classified as MM 3 and a total of 6 per cent are located in areas classified as MM 4–7.
  • The largest proportion of doctors are non-GP specialists (36 per cent), followed by GPs (31 per cent), doctors in training (21 per cent) and hospital non-specialists (9 per cent).
  • Australia’s universities produced 3,475 new medical graduates in 2017. Of these, 87 per cent were domestic graduates. The gender balance is slightly in favour of women, who account for 52 per cent of all medical graduates.
  • In 2017, GP and non-GP specialist medical colleges accredited 3,883 new Fellows—more than double the number accredited a decade previously and had over 21,300 doctors participating in training programs.
  • In 2017, approximately 60 per cent of doctors are over the age of 40, and 41 per cent of all doctors are women (although the proportion of female doctors is growing).

Much of the afternoon was spent on doctor wellbeing. It is very reassuring to see that the Department of Health acknowledges how important this is to the health care of its citizens. It signals a focus on corporate culture within Queensland Health, and perhaps across the nation.

About the author

Associate Professor Steve Flecknoe-Brown has worked in rural and regional Australia since 1999, after an epiphany about how much medical specialists were needed in the regions.

After 15 years in rural Broken Hill, he has been in Bundaberg since 2016, where he serves as Director of Clinical Training at the hospital and Senior Academic Clinician in the Regional Training Hub. He is married with two children and two grandchildren, who get to visit him from Sydney as often as possible

AProf Flecknoe-Brown's Granddaughter Sachia Flecknoe-Brown  AProf Flecknoe-Brown with wife Jane Corcoran

Whilst in Broken Hill he made what seemed an obvious conclusion: that the water-soluble lead salts contaminating local soils would not partition into pure extra virgin olive oil. This led to the formation of Broken Hill Gourmet Products, whose olive oil has won many international awards. And, yes, it is totally free of any heavy metals.

Broken Hill Gourmet Products -  Bruce Foulis (Engineer) and AProf Flecknoe-Brown

Associate Professor Steve Flecknoe-Brown FRACP, FRCPA, FRSM, FRCPEdin
 

RACP SA Annual Scientific Meeting 2019 - Email banner 580px

SA Annual Scientific Meeting

When: Saturday, 30 November 2019
Time: 8.30am - 3.30pm
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre
Explore SA: Discover what you can do while in South Australia

Following on from the success of last year’s event, the 2019 ASM promises to be as engaging and stimulating as last year. Held under the theme 'Specialists. Together' at the Adelaide Convention Centre, the program has three parts, with something for everyone.

Session one is titled ‘Pain, addiction and death’ with three speakers who will discuss the opioid crisis, brain immune systems contributing to pain, addiction and death, and palliative care.

Session two is the judging of the Trainee Research Awards by our panel:

  • Professor Paul Komesaroff FRACP, President of the RACP Adult Medicine Division
  • Professor Paul Colditz FRACP, President of the RACP Paediatrics and Child Health Division
  • Professor Steve Wesselingh FRACP, Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Session three is titled ‘Diseases and therapies: old and new’. The four speakers will discuss the history and modern developments of the silicosis epidemic, and latest developments with rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and lymphoma.

Full-day registration is $75 for trainees and $95 for Fellows, with medical students and non-members also welcome. Due to popular demand, half-day registrations are also being offered for the first time this year.

Sponsors
SA ASM Sponsors

Register now

New online course on working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

globe-pexels-photo-893126Learn how to work more sensitively and effectively with migrant, refugee and asylum seeker patients in this new online course.

The course provides relevant facts and practical strategies for objectives such as good cross-cultural communication and facilitating easier navigation of the healthcare system. The course includes the perspectives and stories of a diverse range of individuals to help show the full picture.

Accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning, RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and counts towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.

Fellows can claim CPD credits by listening to Pomegranate Health Podcasts

marrabinyaEp53: Marrabinya — a hand outstretched

Marrabinya is a Wiradjuri word meaning 'hand outstretched.' It’s the name of a service in the Western New South Wales Primary Health Network which financially supports Indigenous Australians to attend specialist consultations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples receive specialist medical care 40 per cent less often than non-Indigenous Australians. It’s easy to imagine communities out in the red desert and blame culture clash or the tyranny of distance, but most Indigenous Australians live in cities or regional communities. The Marrabinya staff explain how socioeconomic factors and institutional biases can accumulate to prevent Aboriginal patients from receiving the care they need.

Marrabinya is an exemplary model of principles that RACP has formalised in the Medical Specialist Access Framework. Indigenous leadership, cultural safety, person and family-centred approach and a context-specific approach can all contribute to great gains in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Guests: Marrabinya Executive Manger Donna Jeffries and chronic care link staff Desley Mason, Kym Lees, Possum Swinton, Sandra Ritchie, Donna Jeffries, Melissa Flannery, Joanne Bugg, Jacob Bloomfield and Gaby Bugg.

Fellows of theRACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources below. Subscribe to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunesSpotify or any Android podcasting app 
 

RACP SA Annual Scientific Meeting 2019 - Email banner 580px

SA Annual Scientific Meeting

When: Saturday, 30 November 2019
Time: 8.30am - 3.30pm
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre
Things to do in SA: Check out the things to do while you're in SA

Following on from the success of last year’s event, the 2019 ASM promises to be as engaging and stimulating as last year. Held under the theme 'Specialists. Together' at the Adelaide Convention Centre, the program has three parts, with something for everyone.

Session one is titled ‘Pain, addiction and death’ with three speakers who will discuss the opioid crisis, brain immune systems contributing to pain, addiction and death, and palliative care.

Session two is the judging of the Trainee Research Awards by our panel:

  • Professor Paul Komesaroff FRACP, President of the RACP Adult Medicine Division
  • Professor Paul Colditz FRACP, President of the RACP Paediatrics and Child Health Division
  • Professor Steve Wesselingh FRACP, Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Session three is titled ‘Diseases and therapies: old and new’. The four speakers will discuss the history and modern developments of the silicosis epidemic, and latest developments with rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and lymphoma.

Full-day registration is $75 for trainees and $95 for Fellows, with medical students and non-members also welcome. Due to popular demand, half-day registrations are also being offered for the first time this year.

Sponsors
SA ASM Sponsors

Register now

Rotary clubs of Australia drought appeal




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