Western Australia - May 2019

A message from your Western Australian Regional Committee Chair

Welcome to the first Western Australian Newsletter for 2019.

It is with great sadness that we have been notified of the loss of Dr Sally Bradley FAFPHM in the recent Easter Sunday incident in Sri Lanka. Dr Bradley was the Director of Clinical Services at the Rockingham Peel Group in the South Metropolitan Health Service and was much loved and respected for her passion and commitment.

Our condolences go out to Sally’s family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time and to others who have been affected by the recent tragedies in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

I would encourage any members affected by this incident to contact our Member Support services who can assist in dealing with any issues members may be experiencing.

Dr Helen Rhodes FRACP
Chair Western Australian Regional Committee

Fellow in Focus: Dr Sue Skull
Clinical audit: A key CPD activity for Paediatricians

Member Focus Dr Sue Skull Medical Board of Australia (MBA) changes to how Fellows undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) come into effect over the next few years. The RACP is preparing Fellows for these changes by updating its MyCPD Framework from 2019, to reflect the direction the MBA is heading with its changes.

As the new MyCPD Framework comes into effect, Fellows incorporating the changes into their practice and lifestyles speak to us about their approaches to CPD.

Associate Professor Sue Skull is a consultant paediatrician, Department of Clinical Research and Education Deputy Director and Head of the Research Education Program at Perth Children’s Hospital. She answered our CPD questions

Why is CPD important to you?
As a part-time outpatient clinician who has a major focus in research education, keeping across developments in medical practice is essential to me. The annual CPD review allows me to look at my whole practice in paediatrics – both in my own immediate environment and more widely to focus on my general knowledge and performance.

What are some of the CPD activities you choose to do and why?
I’m a passionate educator. My current focus is on up-skilling busy clinicians on how to conduct their research more effectively, efficiently and safely. 

An absolute priority for me is helping others choose worthwhile and focused research questions and creating comprehensive resources for busy clinical staff through our research skills seminar program and workshops.

I am currently developing a clinical audit handbook, I represent our department in reviewing clinical audit submissions for approval, and in our department we also incorporate evidence-based journal article reviews into weekly meetings and keep a list of resources related to these. These activities provide long-term resources for clinical staff and keep me up-to-date.

How do you meaningfully plan your CPD activities and measure their outcomes?
I like to reflect on my previous year’s report and think about what I could do better the next year. I ask if there are areas where I could do more. I continue to measure a whole range of activities such as training completed, meeting attendance, research activities, development of educational and training tools, supervision activities, committee work and so on.

I also like the behavioural markers embedded in the RACP’s Professionalism and Performance guide, to reflect upon areas outside core medical expertise.

Why is reviewing performance and measuring outcomes important?
The CPD process helps us aim for activity across a range of practice areas, which aids the development of currency, breadth and depth of knowledge to inform best quality clinical practice and general behaviours.  

College Learning Series offers support

College Learning Series offers support

The free College Learning Series (CLS) is an interactive eLearning platform, which provides a range of lectures and resources mapped to the Adult Medicine Division Basic Training curriculum. 
With three lecture topics added to the CLS  every week, basic trainees can access these educational resources on any device at any time, making the CLS a convenient tool for busy trainees.

Since the CLS launched in February, more than 2,300 basic trainees across Australia and New Zealand have enrolled. Check out the CLS and let us know if you have any feedback or if you would like to make any contributions to this e-learning platform by emailing CLS@racp.edu.au

Western Australian Regional Committee

The process for appointment of representatives for Divisions, Faculties and Chapters is ongoing. The Members of the Western Australian regional Committee are:

  • Dr Helen Rhodes (chair)
  • Dr Angela Graves
  • Dr Anthony Mylius
  • Dr Murali Nayaranan
  • Dr Venkat Kodali
  • Dr P.K. Loh (AMD)
  • Dr Sarah Trinder (Trainee rep)
  • Dr Lee Fairhead (Trainee rep)
  • Dr Mike Lucas AFOEM
  • Dr Tina Bertiloni AFPHM
Expression of Interest:
A vacancy exists on the Western Australian Regional Committee for an appointed member to represent AFRM or any of the Chapters or Societies. For more information on the EOI or on the WA regional Committee please contact RACPWA@racp.edu.au

Introducing your New Regional Committee Member

Dr Sarah Trinder Dr Sarah Trinder 

Dr Sarah Trinder is a General Paediatrics Advanced Trainee at Perth Children’s Hospital. She is the incoming Paediatric Co-Chair of the RACP WA College Training Committee after serving for two years as a general committee member. Dr Trinder is passionate about medical education with a special interest in clinical supervision, peer-to-peer teaching and educational opportunities for trainees in the after hours setting. She is currently enrolled in a Masters of Health Professions Education at UWA.

When not working or studying, Sarah looks after her delightful 15-month old daughter, playing nursery rhymes on the piano, reading every brightly coloured book in the house and exploring the nearby parks and playgrounds in search of “ducks!”.

Members in the News

Dr Maharaj Kishore Tandon

Dr Maharaj Kishore TandonDr Maharaj Kishore Tandon, Respiratory Medicine Specialist, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2019 Honours.

Dr Tandon completed his MBBS (1961) and MD in Agra, India, followed by specialist training (MRCP) in the UK. Coming to Perth, via Melbourne, in 1969 where he worked in the Repatriation Hospital until 1994. Dr Tandon has been recognised for his services to the Community through a number of roles.

His professional associations cover a wide range of institutions and humanitarian causes including Red Cross Australia, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Caritas, Wheelchairs for Kids, World Vision, St Vincent De Paul, Doctors Without Borders and Australasian Palliative Link International. Dr Tandon was central to Equal Health Medical Camps conducted in Tamil Nadu India, between 2002-2009, following which he turned his attention to Remote and Rural Indigenous health issues in Australia.

Dr Tandon was a Founding member of the Indian Society of Western Australia (ISWA) in 1972 and has been a patron since 2008. He is President of the Catholic Doctors' Association.

Professor David Alan Forbes

Professor David Alan ForbesProfessor David Alan Forbes, Paediatric Gastroenterologist, was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2019 Honours for significant services to medicine in the field of Paediatric Gastroenterology.

After completing training in Australia and in Canada in paediatrics and gastroenterology, Professor Forbes spent most of his time working at the interfaces of medicine and education, policy development and service delivery, physical and mental health, as well as medicine and socio-environmental influences.

Professor Forbes research interests include enteric infections and functional gastrointestinal disorders. He has been involved extensively in working with disadvantaged children and led the establishment of a highly successful eating disorders program while working as an educator and health service administrator. Professor Forbes enjoys working in teams, particularly to facilitate the development of services and child health policies that focus on improving outcomes for children and adolescents.

Upcoming Events

The Western Australian Regional Committee will be hosting a series of talks on topics of interest to members.

Topics include:

  • My Health Records: Training is available from the Australian Digital Health Authority.
  • Supervisor Responsibilities/Barwa Gawa Case Update.
  • Office of the Public Advocate: Enduring Power of Attorney/Guardianship. Advanced Health Directives.
  • Continuing Professional Development: Changes to MBA requirements.

The preliminary schedule for these talks is the third Thursday of the month, starting on 23, May, from 6pm to 8pm at the Regional Office in Nedlands. With drinks, nibbles and networking to follow. Members are encouraged to suggest topics they think would be of interest to their colleagues at RACPWA@racp.edu.au

The Western Australian Regional Committee will host an evening to welcome new and recent Fellows to the College. The venue will be the University Club of Western Australia on Wednesday, 19 June.

The forum will include presentations on:

  • Life as a New Consultant
  • What you need to know as a new specialist
  • Financial/Practice Management for new Specialists
  • Medico-legal issues for new Specialists

The event is a great opportunity to network with colleagues starting out on their journey as a specialist. For further information on this event please contact; RACPWA@racpwa.edu.au

Recent Events

 Post Graduate Medical Council of Western Australia: Careers Expo.

Post Graduate Medical Council of Western AustraliaThe Annual Post Graduate Medical Council of Western Australia Careers Evening was held at the University Club of Western Australia on Wednesday, 13 March.

The event was well attended with several hundred attendees at various stages in their careers. Presentations on physician training were delivered by the Directors of Physician Training at Royal Perth and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospitals.

Information was provided on a variety of training pathways for all Division, Faculties and Chapters of the College.

Request for Input

survey-opportunityThe Autism Association of Western Australia is partnering with the WA Health Sector to develop training packages and resources to increase Autism awareness within the health sector.

The ultimate aim of this initiative is to improve access to health care and the health outcomes for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

To ensure the training and resources we develop are relevant, we want to hear from GPs, hospital staff, regional health workers, Aboriginal health service providers, dentists, nurses, paramedics, medical specialists (including gynaecologists, anaesthetists, neurologists, etc.)  and other allied health professionals toget an understanding of the types of training health professionals need to support their patients on the Autism spectrum.

We're running a survey and we would love your input. Please feel free to share this information to colleagues and other staff members.

Please provide feedback by completing this quick and easy survey.

If you would like more information, please contact Aristea Kazantzidou Project Officer  Autism WA.
+61 8 9489 8900, or aristea.k@autism.org.au

Physician Wellness

The RACP Support Program, Converge International, is a professional and confidential counselling service, available to all RACP Fellows and trainees, 24 hours, seven days per week.

The program provides members with access to confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues.

You can arrange to speak directly with a Senior Converge International Consultant face-to-face, over the phone or via the internet.

To make an appointment, or to speak with a RACP Support Program consultant, call 1300 687 327 (Aust) or 0800 666 367 (NZ).

Western Australian Trainees Committee

The Western Australian Trainee Committee’s portfolio includes providing a forum for the trainee members of the College in WA to contribute to the functioning of the College. The Trainee Committee is the principal advocate for Trainees in Western Australia and can be contacted at RACPWA@racp.edu.au for any queries or concerns.

The Trainee's Committee is the principal organisers of the Basic Training Orientation and the Advanced Trainees Forum which are held annually.

The Members of the Western Australian Trainees Committee are:

  • Dr Lee Fairhead (Adult Medicine Co-Chair)
  • Dr Sarah Trinder (Paediatric Medicine Co-Chair)
  • Dr Kristen Lindsay
  • Dr Adrian Tarca
  • Dr Bradley MacDonald
  • Dr Oliver Venettacci
  • Dr Kimberley Minas
  • Dr Portia Smallbone
  • Dr Robert Hand
  • Dr Maeve O’Connor
  • Dr Momoko Combs
  • Dr Amali Samarasinghe

The Western Australian Trainee'a Committee also has a number of Associate Members

  • Dr Brandon Wong
  • Dr Vanessa Verissimo
  • Dr Elizabeth Woolard
  • Dr Isra Iftiker
  • Dr Melanie Yeoh
  • Dr Kistyn Langworthy

Associate members of the Trainee'a Committee are involved in a range of projects involving trainees in Western Australia.

Introducing your Western Australian Trainee Committee members

Dr Momoko Combs

Dr Momoko CombsDr Combs is a paediatric emergency and general paediatrics Advanced Trainee at Perth Children's Hospital. She has had a long interest in the activities of the College and was Chair of the Physician Special Interest Group at Notre Dame in 2013. Dr Combs is completing an Masters of Public Healthand has taken on a teaching role at Notre Dame. With the exams over Dr Combs is looking to get back to her passions including her two dogs, cooking/baking and getting back into a fit fun and healthy lifestyle. She is looking forward to working with the Trainees' Committee in Western Australia.

Dr Kristen Lindsay

Dr Kristen LindsayDr Lindsay has been involved in the WA College Trainees' Committee since 2017 and also represented WA trainees on the National College Trainees' Committee, RACP International Strategy Reference Group and College Policy and Advocacy Council.  She is currently working as the Medical Education Registrar and General Paediatrics Fellow at Perth Children's Hospital. She is training to be a General Paediatrician, with particular interest in vulnerable children such as refugees, and intends to work in rural Australia when finished with her training.  She commenced paediatric training in 2012 at PMH and has had some leave from training to work with Médecins Sans Frontières in Afghanistan, complete the Diploma of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK and recently, for maternity leave with her first child. She is passionate about medical education and cultural change in medicine.  Dr Lindsay has experienced and been part of advocating for improvements to workforce and training at CAHS over the past few years and feels very positive about the current momentum.  

Dr Kimberley Minas

Dr Kimberley MinasDr Kimberley Minas is a Service Medical Registrar at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, currently in her third year of Basic Physician Training. She has a passion for medical education and medical service improvement. She has been a member of the WA RACP College Trainees' Committee since 2018. The highlight of her career was her volunteer work, as a medical student, in a small refugee hospital on the Thai-Burmese border. During this time she learnt much more about refugee health, rural medicine and interpersonal skills than a textbook could ever have taught. In her free time, albeit minimal, you'll find her setting up a board game and pestering her friends to join her or reading a book by her tent in the South West of WA.

Dr Oliver Venettacci
Dr Oliver VenettacciDr Venettacci is doing dual advanced training in PICU and general paediatrics. Currently working in the new PICU at Perth Children's Hospital.  Originally from Tasmania, Dr Venettacci moved to WA for internship and loved it, even got married here, so is probably here for the long haul. He is passionate about teaching, travelling, and keeping fit. Major achievements in life have been climbing to Everest Base Camp and getting to the Brazil World Cup.

Dr Maeve O’Connor
Dr. Maeve O’Connor is a first year Advanced Trainee in Geriatric Medicine, at Rockingham General Hospital.  Maeve obtained her medical degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2013. She moved to Perth in 2014 after completing her intern year in Dublin. Maeve worked as a Resident Medical Officer, in both Royal Perth Hospital and St. John of God Hospital, Subiaco. Maeve then underwent Basic Physician Training at SCGH.

In her spare time, Maeve enjoys eating good food, spending time at the beach, and catching up with friends. 

Dr Bradley MacDonald

Dr Bradley MacDonaldDr MacDonald is a paediatric registrar with the Perth Children’s Hospital currently completing his third year of Basic Training. He has keen interests in General Paediatrics and Cardiology. He has previously worked in many roles advocating for junior doctors including with the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria, Deakin Medical Student Association and as a mentor and tutor with the University of Western Australia. He believes that the clinical training committee is crucial in representing both local trainees and the college around important issues influencing training in Western Australia. Beyond this, Bradley has two young children and when there is spare time spends it swimming or chasing down that perfect cup of coffee.

 Dr Robert Hand

Dr Robert HandDr Hand is a basic physician trainee - currently at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  He has been on the CTC since 2018 and has interests in improving access to part time training.  Rob is also a Telethon Kids Institute honorary research associate, his research focus is on improving tolerability of long acting penicillin, used in the prevention of recurrent acute rheumatic fever.

Rob is a proud new father to Edison. When Rob isn’t at work, he’ll be spending time with his young family, pursing the perfect cup of coffee, cooking a feast, or much to his wife’s delight, starting a new project around the house. Feel free to come and chat about training issues, interesting BBQ recipes or your current DIY project over coffee.


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 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.

Last year’s selected Western Australian representative, Dr Cathryn Poulton, will present on ‘The Babyface project’ at the Research and Innovation Showcase at the recent RACP Congress 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand.

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 e-learning 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

Close overlay