Victoria — April 2018

A message from the Victorian State Committee Chair

The RACP Victorian Regional Committee plays a vital role as part of the College. It is an important point of contact for Victorian Fellows and trainees to engage with and receive support from the College. The Committee has a number of different responsibilities, including the state based delivery of RACP policy, events, awards and programs to Fellows and trainees in Victoria.

The Committee via its roles in education, policy and advocacy, specialist society groups and research also provides input on issues of national health relevance through the national College body. The Committee offers a voice to the local members in the advocacy to government, health departments, and other stakeholders on issues affecting our members. 2018 is a State election year in Victoria and the Committee will be active in advocating ahead of the election on issues relevant to our members.

With 2018 well underway, this newsletter is a welcome opportunity to keep you up to date on the activities taking place in Victoria. The information provided in the newsletter is tailored especially for you, the members of Victoria, covering our issues and our events.

I welcome any advice on how we can better support the Victorian members through local activities. Please send us your feedback and suggestions at

The next edition of our newsletter is due for publication in August and we are always looking for relevant content. If you have something you would like to contribute, or a service or member you would like to nominate to be the feature for the Victorian spotlight section, please let us know.

Professor Judy Savige
Chair, Victorian State Committee

Victorian spotlight — focus on members and services Dr Van Diemen

Dr Annaliese Van Diemen is a Public Health Physician at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. She was this year’s winner of the Sue Morey Medal for outstanding achievement in the AFPHM oral examination. Dr Van Diemen​ tells us about her background and current work below.

I grew up in Melbourne and did my undergraduate training at Monash University. I first became interested in public health after my elective with a refugee health service and TB clinic in Perth and started my Masters in​ Public Health after that.  After changing directions a few times, paediatrics, obstetrics, general practice, I entered the advanced public health training scheme after finishing general practice. 

I've spent the last two years working in the Communicable Disease Prevention ​and Control team at the Department of Health and Human Services while I completed my ​Advanced Training. What I love about this area is that it has variety and is fast paced, whilst giving me the opportunity to make a bigger scale impact than I felt like I was having in general practice. I also love that I get to work with a truly multi-disciplinary team of professionals — public health physicians, nurses, environmental health officers, epidemiologists, scientists and many others.

In any given day I might be dealing with outbreaks of measles, legionella, hepatitis A or influenza, participating in working groups on climate change, dealing with the impact of immigration policy on public health, briefing the minister on anti-microbial resistance or writing media releases. I manage a team of almost 30 people who do all the public health follow up for notifiable conditions and outbreaks in Victoria, in addition to managing our arbovirus disease control program, managing the departments contracts and relationships with the public health laboratories and the Victorian tuberculosis program and various other infection prevention activities.

I sat my FAFPHM fellowship exam last year, and was extremely lucky to be awarded the Sue Morey medal for outstanding achievement in the AFPHM ​oral examination which I will receive at RACP Congress this year. I think, whilst busy, the job that I have been doing contributed significantly to this as I had regular and practical exposure to a very wide range of the FAFPHM competency areas, particularly things like policy development and implementation.

Your Trainees' Committee — Victorian Tasmanian Trainees’ Committee

The 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 advocat​es 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

Save the date

Please set aside the morning of Saturday, 13 October 2018 for the inaugural Trainee Wellbeing Event. This is a new event instituted by the Committee to focus on trainee wellbeing, and a great opportunity for you to come along and network with other trainees. Email us to pre-register your interest for this event online.

Victorian Tasmanian Education Committee (VTEC) seeking membership

If you are passionate about education and interested in getting involved with the Committee, please visit the expression of interest page on the RACP website.

Recent events

Basic Training Orientation session 

On Saturday, 17 March 2018, the Victorian Regional Committee and Victorian Tasmania Trainees Committee offered the Basic Training Orientation aimed at New Basic Trainees.

The event was well received with 17 enthusiastic attendees coming to the event at our RACP Melbourne office.

The meeting program was developed around capabilities and skills that are essential for new trainees, and included discussions on what to expect as a trainee, study tips and tricks, trainee wellbeing and many more.

We would like to thank all those who attended, and a special mention to Lisa Mitchell, Judy Savige, Rahul Barmanray and Davina Buntsma for presenting the useful topics.

Upcoming events 

Victorian Career Expo

The AMA Victoria Medical Career Expo happening on Saturday, 28 April at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, brings together hospitals and medical students ahead of the hectic and intensive intern application process for 2018.

Interested medical trainees can speak directly with RACP members and staff at the event, to learn more about RACP Training Pathways and have their questions answered. They can also access valuable information on what it is like to be a physician and what will be required of them if they join physician training.

It is always useful to have members from across the various RACP Divisions, Faculties and Chapters available to answer the questions of prospective physician trainees and provide them with resources. We are always looking for Fellows and trainees to help with operating our booth on the day. If you are interested in representing the College and speaking to the next generation of physicians at this event, even if just for an hour or so, please let us know.

Workshops and events scheduled for Victoria

The RACP Victorian Regional Committee has a long history of supporting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events and workshops to assist Victorian members to meet their CPD requirements and continually increase their personal development.

Below are just some of the events overseen by the Committee and the wider College that can be attended at the RACP Victorian State Office. Please contact for information on dates or attending any of the below events in person. Or visit the College events webpage to see a list of events.

​New way to report suspected abuse or neglect

The Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) now has a dedicated phone number and web page to assist people to report abuse, neglect or quality of care issues of people with a disability.

The specialist report line, email address and web page have been launched to encourage any person to report suspected instances where a TAC client may be being subjected to abuse or neglect or poor quality of care by a TAC funded service provider.

​Full details are on the TAC website.

SafeScript for Victorian Medical Practitioners

The implementation of SafeScript, Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system, is scheduled to start later in 2018.

SafeScript is computer software that will provide prescribers and pharmacists with access to their patients’ prescription records for certain high-risk medicines during a consultation, to enable safer clinical decisions. Medicines that will be captured in the system include all Schedule 8 medicines and Schedule 4 benzodiazepines, z-drugs (zolpidem and zopiclone), and quetiapine.

To ensure that complete and accurate patient data is available in SafeScript, medical practitioners will be required to enter a patient’s date of birth on prescriptions for medicines in scope from 1 July 2018.

Medical practitioners should also ensure that their registration details with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) are up-to-date, especially primary place of practice and email address. This will support an easy and automated registration for access to SafeScript which will open later this year.

More information is available on the SafeScript web page​.

Health and wellbeing resources

The RACP recognise​s the importance of supporting the health and wellbeing of medical practitioners. Maintaining healthy mental, physical and social wellbeing ensures specialists can practice effectively throughout their careers, including during training.

In collaboration with partners across the sector, the RACP developed a range of resources to support the health and wellbeing of Physicians. You can view the health and wellbeing resources on the RACP website

Have your say on optimal cancer care pathways

Draft optimal care pathways for people with unknown cancer and women with cervical cancer are available for viewing.

Your feedback and comments are welcome and should be made by 5pm AEST on Friday, 20 April.

Find out more

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