Victoria - August 2019

A message from your Victorian Regional Committee Chair

The first half of 2019 has been busy for our committee. On top of a lot of internal and external advocacy work, we have also overseen events for our members. One of the highlights has been the Opportunities in Retirement Workshop which was attended by over 80 members. Some of the presentations are available for you to view.

Other events to watch out for are the Victorian New Fellows Forum on Saturday, 26 October and a practical demonstration of My Health Record webinar on Saturday, 21 September.

This year, the Victorian Trainee Research Awards will be held on Wednesday, 13 November. Applications are open and I encourage all trainees to submit an abstract for the awards.  It is a great experience and the winner has the opportunity to present their research at RACP Congress 2020.

As most will be aware, laws were recently passed in Victoria to allow voluntary assisted dying, an issue which has been on the agenda of our committee for some time.  This historic law was passed in November 2017 after a state parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life choices. A ministerial advisory panel on voluntary assisted dying came into effect on 19 June.  More information and online training is available. This includes videos within the broader collection of Health Practitioner Information.

This edition’s Fellow in Focus features an article on one of our committee members, Dr Jolene Fraser. She is a developmental paediatrician who works predominantly in the northern suburbs in Melbourne.

If you would like to nominate yourself or a member to be the next Fellow in Focus, please let us know. We are always on the lookout for interesting content and your input on how we can better support you through local activities. Please send us your feedback and suggestions.

Professor Judy Savige FRCP FRACP FRCPA PhD MSc Dip Mgmt
Chair, Victorian Regional Committee

Fellow in focus: Dr Jolene Fraser

Dr Jolene Fraser - InterviewDr Jolene Fraser is a developmental paediatrician who works predominantly in the northern suburbs in Melbourne. Originally from New Zealand, she came to Melbourne to work at the Royal Children's Hospital and then decided to stay and complete her RACP Fellowship. Dr Fraser mainly works with children who have developmental and behavioural issues. She has a secondary interest in allergy and nutrition. Dr Fraser is also a member of the Victorian Regional Committee.

The RACP Victorian team caught up with Dr Fraser to learn more about her work.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?

I am lucky to be able to see children grow and develop, and I enjoy being part of their journey. I have a few patients I've known for over 10 years. I'm often humbled by the challenges that some children and families deal with daily. I see many children and families who overcome immense personal and social disadvantage to just function in areas that many of us take for granted. I like the fact that many of the children and families are excited to share their successes with me. I feel privileged that I am held in a position of trust for my patients, who share their stories with me and ask for my help and advice. I have always liked a challenge and even when I think I have seen it all, I meet a new child with a whole raft of issues for me to sort out and to make sense of. I certainly can never complain of getting bored.

What is it about your work that makes you want to get out of bed each morning?

I hope that I am not the only doctor who has days when only the promise of caffeine is what gets me out of bed. I work in a few multi-disciplinary settings and I find those days rewarding. It allows me the time to reflect on the child and what is happening for them. I enjoy the collaborative aspect of a team and learning about other allied health perspectives. I also particularly enjoy my work in allergy. I like developmental paediatrics, but the progress is slow. I also enjoy working in allergy as there can be immediate successes e.g. better asthma control can happen quickly.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

I still have school aged children, so mornings are usually spent yelling at them to hurry up and get ready. I often reassure my families that all parents find mornings hard and that no child is an angel and no parent a saint. I work in a few settings, including Bendigo and consult every day. I have technically two days a week which are half days, but these often end up being whole days done on rapid. I do far too much paperwork in the evenings, but I think most physicians would complain of that. I tend to work until 6pm on my full days and am lucky to have family support to do all the after-school activities.

How do you manage work/life balance?

Probably not as well as I could. Emails and remote access are not always a blessing. The older I get, the better I get at switching my brain off when I get home. Either that or I am just getting senile! I sometimes see families who have been through horrendous things and those stories can haunt me. Again, I am lucky that peer supervision is becoming more and more recognised in paediatrics and that I have friends and colleagues to help me debrief. I have three children and they keep me busy when I am not at work. When they were younger I was involved a lot with their kindergarten and school, I found it useful to help me understand children better, as part of my CPD. Now I make sure I attend regular conferences as I like the social aspect as well as the educational material. I also like to travel with my family and spend time with friends.

Are there any patient success stories that you can share?

No specific stories, but I am often amazed by how parents can overcome their own horrible upbringing to be a good parent themselves. Often when working with parents to help them with their child's behaviour, I need them to reflect on their own experiences of being a child. I work in areas with lots of struggling families and many of them have had difficult childhoods and are determined to do better for their child. Helping them understand their child and giving them tools to deal with difficult behaviour can be very rewarding when the child comes back happier and more settled and the parent feels more in control. I see children who have struggled in school and are miserable, who then make friends and learn to do their schoolwork and their confidence soars.

My experience as Chair of the Victorian Tasmanian Trainees' Committee  

Louise SeganI am proud to be the Chair of the Victorian and Tasmanian Trainees’ Committee (VTTC), a position I have been entrusted with over the past 18 months. When I first joined this committee over two years ago, I was in the throes of basic training and facing the prospect of the hardest exams of my career.

I remember distinctly receiving the email with an expression of interest to join the VTTC. I reflected that this would be a productive way to explore and address issues facing trainees and provide a means of communication with our College to foster better relationships and facilitate positive changes to enhance the trainee experience.

I considered whether I would manage the commitments required in addition to my clinical work. However, I have found the meetings to be a great time away from my clinical work to network with like-minded people. They have also allowed me to explore the evolving landscape of the trainee journey and provide feedback to the College regarding our experiences.

I am inspired by my fellow committee members, who come from a range of specialties and backgrounds, with a common ambition to advocate for trainee wellbeing and explore innovative ways in which to improve learning, education and training.

During my time on the VTTC, we have run an inaugural trainee wellbeing event, participated in trainees’ days, the AMA careers expo and contributed to the delivery of the trainee orientation day. We are continuing to explore ways in which we can promote trainee wellbeing through community initiatives such as fundraising events.

Our recent focus has been on advocating for greater transparency and communication from the College executive. We highlighted the issues with the Advanced Training Selection and Matching (ATSM) process which resulted in the College exploring its responsibilities and releasing aggregate data relating to application and recruitment statistics to ensure that gender disparities and unconscious bias are minimised.

We are determined to continue to address issues of gender inequities in some of the medical specialties and the role we and the College can play in facilitating meaningful change. We are exploring both barriers and solutions to achieving gender parity within advanced training.

The changes within our College, having welcomed a new President and Executive Board last year, herald new opportunities to revolutionise our College. The vast improvements in communication, transparency, compassion and accountability have been well recognised. We feel the contemporary approach of the new board will further strengthen its credibility and rebuild trust and relationships with trainees.

We welcome trainees to provide feedback on what matters most to you and how we can best represent you. If you are interested in joining the VTTC, please let us know. You can get in touch with us via email or via the RACP trainees’ Facebook page.

If you wish to share interesting content via our trainees’ newsletter, please contact us via email

Dr Louise Segan

Update on AFPHM National Training Days

AFPHM NTD 1On 15 and 16 June 2019, the AFPHM National Training Days were held at the RACP Melbourne Office. This annual event is a great opportunity for Advanced Trainees in Public Health from all jurisdictions to expand their knowledge and meet with colleagues.

The weekend was well attended with forty AFPHM trainees.  Speakers shared their experiences, expertise and insights on a broad range of topics.  It was a great opportunity for public health trainees to connect and build their networks.

Saturday was a busy day for the attendees; starting with an insightful presentation on the science and reality of hepatitis C elimination, followed by an interesting discussion on public health policy development, the corporate determinants of health, and the use of whole genome sequencing in communicable diseases. The public health careers panel discussion showcased the broad range of career paths available in public health.

Sunday started with the impact of climate change on health, reviews of the epidemiological approaches to public health problems and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, followed by an interactive discussion about pill testing at music festivals. The last session of the weekend was an exam preparation workshop, in which trainees were given tips on how to best prepare for the AFPHM oral examination.

A casual dinner was also held at Southgate on Saturday for trainees to catch up in a more informal setting and enjoy some of Melbourne’s nightlife.

All sessions were well received by trainees and generated much discussion.

Many thanks to the presenters for sharing their wisdom, the AFPHM National Training Days Organising Committee (most of whom are also members of the AFPHM Victorian Regional Committee) for putting together the program and RACP staff who supported the event, especially Rachel Smith, AFPHM Executive Officer. And last, but not least, thank you to the AFPHM trainees who attended the National Training Days.

Dr Michelle Gooey

Upcoming events

New Fellows’ and Advanced Trainee Workshop

Are you a New Fellow or Advanced Trainee approaching Fellowship?

You're invited to a free workshop that will assist you during the transition from being a trainee to becoming a Fellow. The workshop will be held on Saturday, 26 October at the RACP Victorian Office.

Topics are still being finalised, however in the past, the workshop has covered topics such as:

  • Hospital practice/private practice 
  • Becoming a supervisor
  • MyCPD 
  • Should I do a PhD?
  • Medico-legal aspects 
  • How to attain Fellowship. 

Participants will also be provided with materials to support their journey into Fellowship. This is a morning session with the day expected to begin at 9am and finish at 1pm. The confirmed program will be released at a later date.

To register your interest or for further information please email the RACP Victoria team.

Supervisors Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops

On 30 May 2019 we hosted two Supervisors Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops in conjunction with the Victorian Geriatric Medicine Training Program (VGMTP), which ran simultaneously across Caulfield and Sunshine for Advance Trainees.

These workshops are aimed at up-skilling Advanced Trainees and preparing them for a supervisory role following completion of their training. The workshops are an excellent opportunity for trainees to learn from and exchange experiences with other trainees.

The Supervisors Professional Development Program is a three-part program either face-to-face or online, designed and developed specifically for Supervisors. It is free of charge to all RACP members.

Topics include:

  • practical skills for supervisors
  • teaching and learning in healthcare settings
  • work-based learning and assessment.
For more information or to register for an upcoming workshop visit the events page.

Host a SPDP face-to-face workshop
Contact your Member Support Officer or the Supervisor Learning Support Unit for assistance in organising a workshop at your local site or upcoming specialty Annual Scientific Meeting.

Become a SPDP workshop facilitator
SPDP workshop facilitators are RACP Fellows who are interested in medical education and facilitating skill-based workshops with their peers. Contact Supervisor Learning Support if you are interested in becoming a Facilitator.

Facilitators plan, manage and provide guidance for SPDP workshops to ensure each workshop is:

  • credible - physicians are best placed to facilitate training for their peers
  • focused on supervisor needs - ensure relevancy to supervisors from all training programs
  • accessible and flexible - adaptable workshop design which can be held at ASM and in local settings.

Trainee Research Awards

Applications for this year’s Trainee Research Awards are open until Saturday, 31 August 2019

The Trainee Research Awards provide a wonderful opportunity for 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 in Melbourne.

For more information please visit the Foundation webpage.
Submissions close Saturday, 31 August at 5pm AEST.

Participate in the new ethics online learning course

Ethics lies at the very heart of what it is to be a physician and is as relevant now as it was when first discussed two and a half thousand years ago. The ethics online learning course focuses on the sorts of ethical issues that are a constant feature of health care, and it also addresses some of the ideas that underpin ethics, such as the relationship between ethics and the law and the difference between ethics and rights. 

The aims of this course are to:

  • encourage discussion and broaden thinking about the main ethical issues facing physicians
  • encourage reflection on appropriate courses of action in situations that may be ethically challenging
  • challenge participants’ understanding of, and attitudes towards, ethics
  • model ethical practice
  • help participants reflect on their own and their profession’s ethical commitments. 

Register today

Medical students are invited to apply for the John Snow scholarships for 2019

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) is celebrating the 10th year of the John Snow scholarships. Applications are open until Monday, 30 September.These Scholarships provide opportunities for medical students to increase their appreciation of public health medicine as a medical speciality and potential career path.

Nine Scholarships are available each year, representing each State/Territory of Australia and New Zealand. All medical students currently enrolled in Australian or New Zealand medical schools are encouraged to apply.

The selected representatives are invited to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Trainee registration and travel assistance of up to $400 are included. An overall winner will be presented with a certificate in recognition of their achievement.

Full details about this scholarship are available on the website. Please contact RACP Foundation if you have any questions.


2019 MyCPD Framework: have you planned your CPD to meet the new requirements?

The new 2019 MyCPD Framework came into effect in January 2019. It changes the CPD activities you need to record to meet CPD requirements.

The framework is designed to help you prepare for future regulatory requirements to be introduced with the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework (PPF). The Medical Board launched the PPF in response to the final report from the Expert Advisory Group on re-validation.

The RACP’s simplified framework strengthens CPD by engaging Fellows in a range of CPD activities from three categories. CPD activities are required in at least two of the following categories:

  • educational activities
  • reviewing performance
  • measuring outcomes.

Activities in the educational activities category are worth one credit per hour. Activities under the reviewing performance and measuring outcomes categories are worth three credits per hour.

Your annual CPD requirement is still a minimum of 100 credits. Each category is capped at 60 credits. You do not need to record credits in all three categories.

You can continue to choose which CPD activities to complete as long as you can record a minimum of 14 hours of activities that review performance and/or measure outcomes.

Further details are available on the CPD webpage.

Resources are available to assist you with meeting the new requirements including:

The CPD Team are happy to answer your questions. If you need further information or advice, please contact them on 1300 697 227 or via email.


Pomegranate Health podcasts

Training in the Bush Podcast PicPomegranate Health is RACP’s award-winning podcast that explores compelling questions about the culture of medicine. Listen to the interesting discussions between clinicians, researchers and advocates on pertinent and thought-provoking topics. Each episode is developed with the guidance of RACP members, to inspire excellence in practice.

One of our newest episodes Training in the bush sees the podcast team visiting physicians at the Dubbo Base Hospital. The hospital services a catchment of 130,000 people spread across an area the size of Great Britain. Whilst the need in the area is high, Dubbo presents an example of strong clinical leadership and training across numerous specialties.

Past podcasts include:

Subscribe today to be among the first to find out about new episodes. Podcasts are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and any Android podcasting app.

Do you have an idea you want to discuss, or just want to give some feedback? Email us

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