Western Australia - May 2021

A message from your Western Australian Regional Committee Chair


Dear members

Welcome to the first Western Australian Regional eBulletin for 2021.

Congratulations to our trainees who have recently completed their Clinical Exams following on from the 2020 Divisional Written Exam. I would like to recognise the outstanding effort by all involved, to make the exams happen, thus allowing the successful candidates to progress through their training, after the delays of last year.

In March, the Western Australian Regional Committee delivered an Election Statement to the parties contesting the 2021 Western Australian State Election outlining the local policy and advocacy issues which align with RACP board priorities.

This year’s RACP Congress was held in multiple locations with a combined, in person and online format. Unfortunately, the Perth in-person session was changed to a virtual format due to COVID-19 issues. Registration includes virtual access to the Congress with access to more than 130hrs of on-line content, available to you to enjoy over the next six months. There's still time to register if you haven't already.

The Western Australian Regional Office has developed a program of SPDP Workshops to run throughout the year to assist in meeting the newly introduced requirements for College Supervisors. The SPDP Workshop 1 will be run at the Perth Congress and there will be another opportunity to complete SPDP Workshop 3 at the AMA-sponsored MEDCON21.

If there is a particular professional issue that you are passionate about and would like the College to consider as a priority, please contact us. There are also several vacancies available on the Committee, so please contact us if you are interested.

We welcome two new members to the Western Australian Regional Committee – Dr Shannon King and Dr Phillipa Edmiston, who have taken over as co-chairs of the WA Trainees' Committee. I would like to thank Dr Sarah Trinder and Dr Zarrin Allam for their time on the Trainees Committee.

Dr Helen Rhodes
Chair Western Australian Regional Committee

The Western Australian Regional Committee

The process for appointment of representatives for Divisions, Faculties and Chapters to the Western Australian Regional Committee for the period 2020-2022 is ongoing. There are several vacancies for elected positions. These will be filled via the casual vacancy process. If you are interested in the activities of the Regional Committee and the various opportunities to participate in local and national initiatives, please contact the WA Regional Office.

Western Australian Regional Committee 2020-2022:

  • Dr Helen Rhodes (Chair)
  • Associate Professor Murali Narayanan, PCHD
  • Dr PK Loh, AMD
  • Dr Revle Bangor-Jones, AFPHM
  • Dr Kevin Tan, AFOEM
  • Dr Phillipa Edmiston, Trainee Rep PCHD
  • Dr Shannon King, Trainee Rep AMD
  • Dr David Blythe, Elected Member, CPAC Representative.

Welcome the newest members of the WA Regional Committee

Dr Shannon King: Western Australian Regional Trainees' Committee Co-Chair (AMD)

shannonDr Shannon King is a final year advanced trainee in geriatric medicine, undertaking two years of advanced training in Queensland before moving back to Western Australia. She represented the Queensland geriatric medicine advanced trainees on state and national committees in 2020 whilst working at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Western Australia and completed basic physician training at Fiona Stanley Hospital. She has a master’s degree in International Public Health and is currently undertaking a Master of Health Leadership and Management. 

Dr King has previously worked as a registrar at Geraldton Regional Hospital, as well as in regional Queensland. Her training across tertiary, regional and private hospitals has allowed her to appreciate the benefits and challenges for trainees and patients alike within these settings. 

She is passionate about provision of appropriate, quality and person-centred health care for the older patient, as well as health systems improvement and trainee wellbeing.  

Dr Phillipa Edmiston: Western Australian Regional Trainees' Committee Co-Chair (PCHD)

PhillipaDr Phillipa Edmiston is an Advanced General Paediatric Trainee at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH), intending to train in General Paediatrics, Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. She graduated from The University of Western Australia with a MBBS in 2014, and has since attained a Diploma in Child Health from the University of Sydney in 2015 and a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University in 2019. She has been accepted to study a Postgraduate Diploma of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Oxford University. 

Dr Edmiston is currently working as the Refugee Health Fellow at PCH and has previously worked and trained in multiple towns throughout rural Western Australia. She is passionate about the delivery of safe, equitable and culturally appropriate care to all members of our community and is committed to improving healthcare outcomes for our society's most vulnerable members.

Dr Edmiston is also passionate about doctor health and wellbeing and represents trainees both on the RACP trainees committee and within PCH. She is the 2021 President of the PCH Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Society, and sits on the PCH JMO Leadership Group, and is involved in hospital wellbeing initiatives including coordinating a free weekly yoga class for junior doctors. 

Western Australian Trainees' Committee

The Western Australian Trainees' Committee’s portfolio includes providing a forum for trainees to contribute to the functioning of the College. They are the principal organisers of the Basic Training Orientation and the Advanced Trainees' Forum, which are held annually. They are also the principal advocate for trainees in Western Australia and can be contacted for any queries or concerns. The Co-Chairs of the Western Australian Trainees Committee are Dr Shannon King (Adult Medicine) and Dr Phillipa Edmiston (Paediatrics & Child Health). Trainees who have concerns about the disruption of progress through training should contact the Western Australian Regional Office and the local team will contact you with any information available.

Advanced Training Curricula Renewal update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 consultation on the proposed common learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) programs for Advanced Training. Your feedback was used to refine the programs and ensure they are robust and appropriate. The common LTA programs for Advanced Training have now been finalised.

The common LTA programs will establish a baseline for learning, teaching and assessment across all Advanced Training programs. As each specialty undertakes their program-specific curricula reviews, they will build on the common LTA programs to meet the needs of their specialty.

This year, in collaboration with Curriculum Advisory Group, we will continue to support the first six specialty groups to undertake the development process:

  • Cardiology (Adult Medicine)
  • Cardiology (Paediatrics & Child Health)
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • General Rehabilitation Medicine.

Find out more 

Members in the news

newsaAustralia Day Honours

Consultant endocrinologist, Professor Peter Leedman, has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the General Division for his distinguished service to medicine, health and medical research as a physician-scientist, to professional societies and to tertiary education.

Professor Leedman is the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Head of the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine. He has provided care to Western Australians as an endocrinologist at Royal Perth Hospital since 1994 and held the position of Director of Research from 2002-2014.

A most unusual patient for a Rockhampton general paediatrician

1. Dr Sunday Pam and Primate Keeper Blair Chapman and Gandli

Dr Sunday Pam, a paediatrician based at Rockhampton Hospital, received a call from Rockhampton Zoo for the treatment of an unlikely patient. Below is Dr Pam’s account of treating the chimpanzee patient, Gandali.

I received a call on 1 December 2020 – it was the head of an allied health department, with an explanation that their request was ‘weird’. I was silent. “Are you still there? Pop your seat belt on” he said. “I have been asked by the Zoo Manager to get you to see a 10-month-old infant chimpanzee following possible severe injuries from a fall.” I could not laugh, cry, or even speak. My silence betrayed me. He continued, “Human doctors generally see them instead of veterinarians because they are closer to humans.” Reference was made to a local human subspecialist who sees the adult chimps. In this case, the local vets had been consulted and declined.

My mind went to ‘what about registration regulations?’ I was reassured that this was not an issue for the above reasons. I was asked for my number to give to the lovely zoo manager, a few minutes later she called. I was again reassured and now I was getting interested, but cautiously. I was invited to name my fee and to decide how I would be paid. I quickly declined and told her that it would be my contribution to the local zoo.

Having heard the story and the behaviour of the animal, I suspected an intracranial bleed and recommended a quick CT. This would need to be under general anaesthetic. The vets, doctor and nurse were willing to give the general anaesthetic but not make any decisions on the health of Gandali.

At 7pm, my recipe-style cooking was interrupted to head to the radiology outfit in town for the celebrity CT. On arrival, I had difficulty touching the animal due to fear of zoonoses. The pictures will show me standing far away from Gandali. My physical examination with gloved hands, was similar to what I would do for a child with the same history. It was based on symmetry to rule out lateralising signs. There were none, however, there were bruises on the head, ear, and arm on the same side. This reinforced my suspicion and confirmed my request for the CT.

The CT was preceded by celebrity pictures with the sick animal. Finally, Gandali was under general anaesthetic and the CT completed without further ado. The CT showed as normal, later confirmed by the radiologist. Again, my reading of the image was purely on principles of symmetry and appearance in the human child. I cleared my chimpanzee patient of severe intracranial bleed. Gandali returned to the zoo that night.

By the next morning, I had become a celebrity Chimp Paediatrician, that I had never trained for, with only the very basic principles of medicine delivered by me.

Dr Sunday Pam FRACP

 2. Gandali in MRI 3. Gandali MRI 4. Chimp Gandali Sedated

Image one (at start of article): Dr Sunday Pam and Primate Keeper Blair Chamma and Gandli, Image two: Chimp Gandali in MRI, Image three: Chimp MRI, Image four: Chimp Gandali sedated.

Foundation_EDM headers_2020_F

RACP Foundation

Applications for the 2022 funding round opened on 3 May 2021. Upwards of 50 awards up to a total value of $2.5M are available across the different categories: 

Applications for the following other award categories will open Tuesday, 1 June 2021:

AChPM Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Discipline of Palliative Medicine

Nominate a Fellow for their outstanding contribution to Palliative Medicine. The award includes a cash prize of $500 and a certificate formally presented at the ANZSPM Conference in September 2021. Please see the website for further details. Nominations close 30 June 2021.

Supervisor Professional Development Program

In order to meet the requirements for supervisors to complete one Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshop by the end of 2021, and all three by the end of 2022, the regional office working with the Supervisor Learning Support Unit have made the program available in a variety of flexible formats.

Online: Self-paced sessions. This format consists of individual modules which participants can complete independently at their own pace. Online moderation is provided

Online videoconference sessions (Zoom): These sessions are the same format and content as in-person workshops, conducted via Zoom.

Face-to-face workshops: These are the standard workshops facilitated by Fellows. Where COVID-19 restrictions allow the regional offices are resuming in-person sessions.

Find out more  

Upcoming events

Rural Physicians' Workshop

Planning for the seventh annual Rural Physicians' Workshop is underway. The workshop will be held mid-November and if you would like to suggest a topic or speaker, please contact us. Due to ongoing uncertainty regarding COVID-19 restrictions, the forum will be planned as a face-to-face session with concurrent Zoom broadcast. Remote and rural practitioners will be prioritised for in-person attendance, with all other members welcome to join via Zoom. Event details and registration information will be available in the next eBulletin

Trainees' Research Awards 2021

The Western Australian Trainees' Research Awards will be held in the last quarter of 2021. We encourage all trainees to consider submission of their audit/projects. Additional information on eligibility criteria can be found on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Virtual meetings

The RACP 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 them. Please contact us if you would like us to facilitate virtual meetings.

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

You are encouraged to suggest topics you think would be of interest to your colleagues.

RACP Online Learning

Online course: Physician wellbeing in challenging times

Physicians often fail to put on their own oxygen masks when dealing with the challenges and stresses that come with practising during a pandemic. This online course explores in-depth how to better support your own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of your staff and colleagues through compassionate leadership. The course covers concepts, strategies, and tools to help you mitigate the impact, set healthy boundaries, prevent burnout, and build support networks during a crisis.

Enrol now

Developing effective teaching skills QStream course

Fellows and trainees of all specialties are invited to enrol in this new Qstream course, which has a mid-May start. The course is designed to provide practical strategies to help you enhance your teaching skills and effectively balance teaching with a busy workload.

You'll access in-depth case studies with questions that are sent directly to your inbox at spaced intervals over a three-week period. Each question takes just ten minutes to complete, and participants are encouraged to discuss the case studies and share opinions with others through secure, online discussion forums.

The course is designed to enhance your knowledge in adult learning, provide practical strategies to incorporate effective teaching skills into day-to-day settings, and encourage self-reflection and peer discussion.

Enrol now


Keep up-to-date with RACP events

We’re hosting more online events than ever before, so have introduced a condensed monthly events digest. The May digest was emailed to you, but you can also read it online.

This monthly communication will be sent to you on the first Wednesday of each month, to provide you with an opportunity to virtually attend events from all over Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. We hope this makes your life that little bit easier and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Discover May events

Pomegranate Health Podcast

Ep65: A new script for global public health

In this episode, we present some provocative solutions to problems presented in the previous two stories. We heard about pharmaceutical patents, and how embedded intellectual property law is in global trade relations. There’s this fundamental assumption that innovation occurs thanks only to the vigour of the private sector and the plucky entrepreneur.

The reality is that shiny smartphones and targeted drugs wouldn’t exist without massive government spending on research. It’s public money that funds the riskiest stages of development, before private enterprise takes these products to market with the benefit of monopoly pricing. Dr Owain Williams and Associate Professor Peter Hill argue that states can demand more control over the outputs and pricing of drug and vaccine research, and that the current intellectual property regime is not the only way to stimulate innovation.

In the second part of this episode, Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott talks about the lessons learned and not learned from pandemic modelling in past years. He also makes the case for establishing an Australian Centre for Disease Control with standalone jurisdiction, to cut through some of the conflict we’ve seen in recent months between state and federal leaders. 

Listen now

Don’t miss your chance to become an RACP accreditor

Expressions of Interest are still open for Fellows in the Adult Medicine and Paediatric & Child Health Divisions to join our team of accreditors. As an accreditor, you play a vital role in ensuring the delivery of high-quality workplace training. Your contribution to accreditation can also count towards your annual CPD credits.

Please submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form by Wednesday, 30 June to accreditation@racp.edu.au

Western Australian Regional Office

The RACP Western Australian Regional Office has relocated to 216 Stirling Highway in Nedlands and will operate in accordance with the COVID-19 restrictions in place. We are currently not taking bookings for events or meetings. If you wish to run a Zoom session, we are happy to facilitate/moderate and provide technical assistance.

RACP Support Program

The RACP Support Program is a fully confidential and independent help line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is free for Fellows and trainees.

The RACP places the utmost importance on the wellbeing of its members. It can be difficult to balance the pressures of the workplace, interactions with colleagues and personal relationships. If you are having a hard time, we encourage you to contact Converge to organise a free session.

New member benefit: discounted Microsoft Surface devices and accessories

ASI Solutions has created an exclusive portal for our Australian members to purchase Microsoft Surface devices and accessories at group discount pricing. Log in to MYRACP and click through to the ASI portal. You will need to set up an account with ASI Solutions to access the offer. If you have any questions please contact ASI Solutions.

Why Surface?

The business range of Surface devices is uniquely placed to support you in your everyday work and professional learning. Coupled with your choice of the right software and cloud services to meet your unique needs, the beautifully-engineered Surface devices deliver secure access to information and allow deep communication and collaboration wherever you are. 

Please note the RACP is publishing this offer as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement. 

*Offers only available to current RACP members that are Australian residents. ASI Solutions respects your privacy. Please read their online Privacy Statement

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