Tasmania - May 2019

A message from your Tasmanian Regional Committee Chair

The Tasmanian Regional Committee is instrumental in delivering College policy, events, awards and programs to Fellows and trainees based in Tasmania. The Committee plays a vital role as part of the College. It is also an important contact point for local Fellows and trainees to engage with and receive support from the College. As a committee we offer a voice to local members in the advocacy to government, health departments, and other stakeholders on issues affecting our members.

This edition’s Tasmanian spotlight section features an article by Professor Katie Flanagan who is an infectious diseases physician. If you have a service or member you would like to nominate to be a feature for the Tasmanian spotlight section, please let us know.

The next edition of our newsletter is due to be published in August and we are always keen to publish interesting content and support our Tasmanian members. If you have anything you would like to contribute, or a member you would like to nominate to be the feature for the Tasmanian spotlight section, please contact us.

Doctor Rajesh Raj
Chair, Tasmanian Regional Committee

Tasmanian spotlight: focus on members and services

A career journey by Professor Katie Flanagan

Katie FlanaganBy the age of 12 I decided that I wanted to study medicine and work in Africa on malaria. I therefore went on to study medicine at Oxford University followed by clinical studies at the Royal London Hospital in the East End of London.

My PhD project involved studying immunity to malaria in naturally exposed (and therefore partially protected) Africans with a view to understanding host-parasite interactions in order to improve malaria vaccine design. It involved field studies at the MRC research unit in The Gambia and the Wellcome Trust research unit in Kilifi, Kenya. Thereafter I was awarded a Royal Society Postdoctoral Fellowship for further malaria immunity studies in Melbourne and Vanuatu giving me my first taste of life in Australia. At that time, I decided that I would come back to live in Australia someday.

I took off to head up the Infant Immunology Research Group at the MRC Unit in The Gambia. This unit is the British Government’s greatest investment in overseas research and offers state-of-the-art research facilities in a very resource poor African setting.

I led a big laboratory group and field site conducting trials into immune development in babies, and responses to novel and existing vaccines. A lot of my work also involved local capacity building and mentorship of bright Africans including the direct supervision of a series of PhD, Masters and Honours students. 

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Pictured: Working at the MRC unit in The Gambia

After an exciting and productive time in The Gambia, I had the challenge of setting up an infectious disease clinical service for Northern Tasmania including a comprehensive antimicrobial stewardship program, while familiarising myself with how clinical ID is practised in Australia.

So here I am just over seven years since I arrived in Australia.  I am now a Clinical Professor at the University of Tasmania School of Medicine with a highly active teaching and mentoring role. I am an Adjunct Professor in the School of Health and Biomedical Science at RMIT and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology and Pathology at Monash University.

I’ve started 2019 feeling inspired and ready to expand my research program based in Tasmania. I have been forging links with some incredible scientists and there is amazing research happening in Australia. The clinical work is satisfying and fun. I work with a great bunch of colleagues at the hospital and in the state. Every day I don’t know what clinical challenge is going to be thrown at me. I’m lucky because I have an inspiring and exciting job in a beautiful part of the world with plenty of support and opportunity to grow and collaborate worldwide.  

Your Trainees' Committee: Victorian and Tasmanian Trainees’ Committee

doctor-iconThe Victorian Tasmanian Trainees Committee (VTTC) is a forum for Victorian and Tasmanian Basic and Advanced Trainees. The VTTC advocates for Victorian and Tasmanian trainees at the state and national levels in a number of domains including training, assessment, education, promoting research, professional development and workforce. It also advocates for trainee wellbeing and provides an unbiased forum for trainees to raise their issues and concerns.

The VTTC has nominated Dr Louise Segan and Dr Davina Buntsma as the new Co-Chairs of the Committee. The Committee encourages trainees to contact us with any issues or suggestions about improvements to the training experience.

If you would like to speak to one of our committee members directly please view the current membership list and contact details. Alternatively, you can bring anything to the attention of the committee by emailing us.

Support for supervisors

Did you know the RACP runs Fellow facilitated Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) Workshops? These workshops are an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas with peers and colleagues. RACP members serving as a supervisor, new to supervision and those who have not previously attended a supervisor workshop are encouraged to attend.

If you are interested in attending a SPDP workshop in Tasmania please email us for further information.


Applications for RACP Foundation Research Awards 2020

Applications for Research funding for 2020 offered through the RACP Foundation opened Wednesday, 1 May 2019. Upwards of 50 awards with a total value of $2.5M are available across the different categories: 

Most awards are open to Fellows and trainees across Australia and New Zealand. Please refer to the RACP Foundation website for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Do you want to be kept updated about awards? Email the RACP Foundation to sign up for updates.

Trainee Research Awards

The Trainee Research Awards provide a wonderful opportunity to 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.

Last year’s selected Tasmanian representative, Dr Michael Thompson, will present on untreated parental multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 increases offspring childhood mortality, but does not adversely impact fertility in a multigenerational cohortat the research and innovation showcase at the 2019 RACP Congress in Auckland, New Zealand (6 to 8 May 2019).

Applications for this year’s Trainee Research Awards are open from Monday 1 July to Friday 30 August 2019. Please send your abstract submissions or inquiries by email to tas@racp.edu.au

RACP ethics eLearning resources

The RACP has developed a suite of eLearning resources available to members covering a range of topics related to ethical behaviour and decision making in a professional context.

Topics covered include:

The learning package is structured to provide a comprehensive overview of both conceptual and applied ethics in a real-world context which will assist members in their daily practice both in the public and private sectors.

The modules include:

  • Introduction to ethics
  • Ethics in professional practice
  • Ethical Issues in healthcare: Decision making capacity and consent. Legalities of consent.
  • Continuous engagement with ethics

Additional resources related to both professional and clinical ethics are provided throughout the learning package and are available through the RACP Curated Collection. In addition to being a valuable reference resource the eLearning module is eligible for CPD points, with a certificate of completion available.

For any queries on ethics related issues please contact: ethics@racp.edu.au

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