Western Australia — April 2020

A message from your Western Australian Regional Committee Chair

helenDear members,

We are in a brave new world of COVID-19, surrounded by frightening media reports with occasional good news. We are all struggling with a new online way of doing things. We're experiencing virtual meetings and clinics, home isolation and for many, online offices and schooling. We're doing this while trying to remain calm, and keep our families, colleagues and patients safe, stay connected - and ration the hand sanitiser and toilet paper.

Social media is both a blessing and a burden in times like these, but I urge you to stay in touch with your loved ones by talking as well as messaging. Sometimes a telephone call, a Skype chat, a FaceTime session or an online social gathering with friends is worth a hundred text messages. Now, more than ever it's important to share our experiences, anxieties and funny stories with one another.

I would urge you to read the most recent message from Kerri Brown, the RACP Director, Professional Practice, which has important news in relation to CPD and we have included the two main paragraphs with this bulletin below.

Please stay safe and well and remember that our College motto hominum servire saluti (to serve the health of the people) includes looking after yourself as well.

Dr Helen Rhodes
Western Australian Regional Committee Chair 

A message from your Trainees’ Committee

The Western Australian Trainees’ Committee portfolio includes providing a forum for trainee members of the College in Western Australia to contribute to the functioning of the College. The Co-Chairs of the Trainees' Committee are Dr Zarin Allam (Adult Medicine Co-Chair) and Dr Sarah Trinder (Paediatric medicine Co-Chair).

The Committee is the principal advocate for trainees in Western Australia and are the principal organisers of the annual Basic Training Orientation and the Advanced Trainees Forum.

If you have questions regarding the disruption of progress through training please email the Western Australia Regional Office.

College Bodies expressions of interest open

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open across all of our College Bodies for various positions on councils and committees. View listings for more information on the positions on offer.

You are invited to express your interest in the below categories:

Member focus throughout COVID-19

The response by members to the current situation, stepping up to deliver front line services, providing expert advice to government and leading by example in the wider social context has been outstanding.

We would like in particular to thank our Faculty colleagues in public health who are at the forefront of managing the COVID-19 crisis in Western Australia.

In response to the increased workload on the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, trainees in the Western Australian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine program have reached out to their colleagues to offer assistance. This is a perfect example of the ethos that drives the College which makes it not simply a training or regulatory body but a real community that cares not only for their patients but also for each other.

An important Continuing Professional Development (CPD) update

A series of workshops were held on the recent changes to CPD requirements introduced by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA). As noted in the Chair’s message, the MBA is currently reviewing the CPD requirements for 2019/2020 and we will keep you appraised of any updates. Please contact us if you have any concerns related to CPD.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis the MBA has advised (current at 31 March 2020):

Your 2019 CPD record

If you have not yet completed your 2019 CPD record, you have until 31 July 2020 to do so. The College will continue to monitor the situation and consider further extensions if required. The CPD Team will be in contact with you shortly to provide support if you have not yet completed your 2019 CPD record.

What this means for your 2020 CPD record

Although the MBA encourages you to continue to do CPD that is relevant to your scope/s of practice, they will not take action if you are unable to meet CPD requirements and neither will the College. We acknowledge that many of you will complete a multitude of CPD activities this year, whether upskilling in the use of telehealth for virtual consultations, reviewing online mental health resources, or of course vaccine development for those who are involved in immunology and infectious diseases research. The types of innovation we are seeing from our medical profession at present is perhaps the ultimate CPD. If you wish to record CPD throughout 2020, your record will remain open as usual, but the College will not be monitoring or auditing your 2020 CPD record.


Telehealth and Medicare

The Western Australian regional team are working to deliver an information session on the recent changes to telehealth eligibility for Specialists.

Financial Stimulus Packages

An information session on the new financial stimulus packages and eligibility for specialists isalso being organised. An invitation will be sent to you shortly.

A full summary of these virtual events will be available to any members unable to attend.

Virtual meetings

The Western Australian Regional Office remains fully functional for all except face to face meetings. If you would like to set up virtual meetings with colleagues, we will happily facilitate these. Please contact us to organise this.

In the coming months, many regularly scheduled Fora have transitioned to virtual meetings, including AFOEM trainee presentations, CPD sessions and specialty education meetings. Many of you are finding this format more convenient and conducive to better work-life balance.

We encourage you to suggest topics you think would be of interest to your colleagues.

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 over the phone or via the internet.

To make an appointment, or to speak with a RACP Support Program consultant, call 1300 687 327.

We are preparing to deliver Congress 2020 to you online

So you can still learn from each other, engage with experts and your peers and contribute to the conversation we are now preparing to deliver Congress online. RACP Congress 2020 Balancing Medical Science with Humanity online program will explore the theme and deliver shared sessions and selected stream sessions for you to access from your computer or device.

You will be able to watch orations, interact with experts through webinars and listen and contribute to panel discussions via podcasts.

Details about the sessions and how you can access the program will be announced soon.

Pomegranate podcast: The art of telehealth

COVID-19 has left few people around the world unaffected, and health practitioners are among those at the top of the list. Their daily and intimate service to the public inevitably puts them at risk of catching the virus, while social distancing precautions can compromise the work they do. Dreadful as the viral disease is, the bigger consequences of the pandemic may be on the disruption to routine healthcare.

Consulting patients by video or phone can be a way to keep healthcare ticking over, but many doctors are nervous as they adopt it for the first time. In this podcast we go over some of the bureaucratic and tech support questions that clinicians have been asking during the current crisis. We also discuss the art of building trust with new patients, and conducting a physical examination through telehealth.

The guest speakers are oncologist Sabe Sabesan and paediatrician Michael Williams, who’ve been pioneering telehealth outreach to rural and remote Queensland for more than a decade.

Listen now

Discover your online learning options today

We understand you’re busy and on-the-go, so discover our quality online education. Access a range of online learning courses, resources, lectures, curated collections and podcasts which have all been developed by members, for members. The interactive nature of our online learning resources enable you to learn from your peers. Accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning, RACP Online Learning Resources are free for members and count towards CPD requirements

Access today

End-of-Life Q Stream

Fellows can claim CPD credits by completing the Online Professionalism Program (OPP)

Looking for another effective avenue to claim CPD credits? We recommend considering OPP. OPP is an evidence-based, spaced online learning program. The program has been demonstrated in randomised trials to improve knowledge acquisition, boost retention, change on-the-job behaviours and improve patient outcomes.

OPP delivers short and practical case studies right to your inbox, and feature multiple-choice questions. These case studies are created by a Working Group whose experience is in the relevant field or topic. Each multiple-choice question takes about five minutes to complete, with an opportunity to re-attempt each question if answered incorrectly.

These questions are framed in clinical scenarios and are designed to encourage critical thinking. Each question links to a discussion forum for participants to engage in conversation about each case study. This is in acknowledgement that there is not always a right or wrong answer.

On 16 March 2020, the RACP’s Continuous Learning team launched the End-ofLife Care OPP Course to over 40 participants. The End-of-Life Care Course is designed to enhance physician’s skills with end-of-life and advance care planning.

The End-of-Life Care Course is comprised of 11 multiple-choice questions which will take participants three to four weeks to complete. Participants can claim CPD credits (one credit per hour) in Category 1: Educational Activities, for the time they spend on this resource.

If you are interested in the current End-of-Life Care course or future OPP courses, please register your interest by emailing professionalism@racp.edu.au.

Insurance implications of genetic testing survey

In 2017, Monash University surveyed health professionals regarding their knowledge, experience and views regarding the life insurance implications of genetic testing. In 2019, policy in this area changed, and we are keen to understand whether, and if so how, things have changed. You are eligible if you are a qualified health professional (other than a general practitioner) working in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand who has direct contact (by telephone or in person) with clients who are considering genetic testing.

Please complete this important survey. It should not take longer than 10-15 minutes to complete, and can be anonymous. The findings of this project will contribute to a policy response to the Australian government regarding the current situation, and your participation will assist with gathering critical data in this space. For any queries regarding this research, please contact Jane Tiller

Complete the survey


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