Western Australia — August 2019

A message from your Regional Committee Chair

Welcome to the second Western Australian eBulletin for 2019.

I am pleased to announce the Western Australia Trainees' Day 2019 will be held on Saturday, 9 November at the University Club of Western Australia. We are currently organising this free event, but I encourage you to register today to keep informed.

The second quarter of 2019 has been extremely busy for the Western Australian Regional Committee and Trainees’ Committee members who have hosted a number of events for members at all stages of their careers.

The annual New Fellows' Welcome was again a full house attended by those recently attaining Fellowship, Overseas Trained Physicians and those approaching Fellowship.

Our Hot Topics sessions kicked off with  two events, My Health Record and the New CPD Framework for 2019. Both sessions were well attended and lively.

The Hot Topics session on Thursday, 15 August is a review of the Bawa-Garba case. It includes a workshop on implications for practice and lessons learned, and how they apply in a Western Australian context. Registrations are full, but I welcome you to access via teleconference or register your interest for a second event.

We are trialing a new format for Basic and Advanced Trainee information sessions. It combines the programs into one whole day with time for networking, wellness and work-life balance activities. Any interested trainees with ideas for the information session are encouraged to contact the Trainees’ Committee

Congratulations to the members included in the Queen's Birthday Honours, who are featured in this eBulletin. It was both humbling and inspiring to read about member's contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community. 

As always, the Regional Committee is here to advocate for members. If you feel there is an issue that as a profession, we should address please contact us.

Dr Helen Rhodes
Chair, Western Australian Regional Committee

Member in focus: Dr Lee Fairhead

Lee Fairhead Pic 3Rural specialist practice is a challenging and diverse area to work in – but what better way to push yourself as an Advanced Trainee.

I am based in the Kimberley region in northern Western Australia as part of the locally based regional physician team. We provide specialist medical services across a region covering 423,517 km² (four times the size of England) with a population of under 35,000 comprising 50 per cent Indigenous people.

As a travelling service of two registrars and two consultants working at any one time, we provide high quality specialist care to some of the most remote communities in Australia. We work from Broome to Balgo, Kupungarri to Kalumburu, Kununurra, Halls Creek and everywhere in between. The ability to see patients in their community has shown me how specialist medicine can be delivered collaboratively, expertly and in a culturally appropriate manner.

As a first-year general medicine trainee, it is a privilege and a challenge to be placed in the same location for one year. I reap the rewards of continuity in a setting where trust and relationships with communities are essential to health outcomes. I was nervous about leaving the 'bubble' of my training in hospital in the south, unsure how to navigate a new training landscape. But in just six months I've been exposed to a wide variety of medical conditions, been given expert supervision and support, received many professional development opportunities and fostered relationships with tertiary specialists, primary care providers and remote area staff that will continue to benefit my understanding of healthcare even when I leave the region.

As part of the only specialist physician service in the region, I get to practice truly general medicine – consulting on diabetes in pregnancy one minute, Graves’ disease, leprosy, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatic heart disease the next. It is a steep but rewarding learning curve and when I am traveling across this beautiful land and spending time with her people, I cannot help but reflect on what a privilege it is for trainees to get out and experience new places and ways of practicing their craft. 

It has taught me the vital role specialists outside of the major centres can and should play in bringing world-class specialist care to communities. It strengthens my will to ensure the College and employing health services continue to promote and support training outside of tertiary centres. If this continues to happen, more and more trainees like myself will be drawn to the unique learning experience that rural practice offers. In my opinion there is no better way for all stakeholders to continue to expand services and our rural physician workforce in the long term.

Upcoming Events

The Western Australia Regional Committee will be hosting a series of talks on topical issues.

Bawa-Garba case update: Supervisor responsibilities

The session will take the format of a presentation followed by an interactive workshop. The session will be presented by Dr Jane Deacon and Ms Janet Harry of MDA National.

Registrations are full, but you can access the session via teleconference. Please contact us to register your interest for a second event.

When: Thursday, 15 August 2019
Where: University Club of Western Australia or via teleconference
Address: Seminar room 2, 1 Hackett Drive, Crawley
Time: 6pm - 8:30pm

RACP Western Australian Trainees' Day

Register today for the Western Australian Trainees' Day, which will be held on Saturday, 9 November 2019. The free event will consist of plenary sessions of interest to all junior doctors, followed by concurrent streams for Basic and Advanced Trainees. There will be various activities related to wellness, self-care and work-life balance. If you would like to suggest a topic, please email us.

Saturday, 9 November 2019
University Club of Western Australia
Entrance 1, Hackett Drive, Crawley
9am - 5pm
Register: at our event website

RACP Western Australian Rural Physician's Workshop 2019

Saturday, 23 November to Sunday, 24 November 2019
St Catherine's College
2 Park Rd, Crawley
8:30am - 5pm

Join us for our eighth annual RACP WA Rural Physicians' Workshop to talk about issues important to Physicians and Paediatricians working in rural areas in Western Australia. The program will cover topics such as respiratory medicine and diabetes, and provide updates based on important articles from 2019.

Further details are available on the event webpage, or contact us for more information.

Recent Events

Hot Topics: My Health Record

On 23 May we held a Continuing Professional Development event at the Mary Lockett Lecture Theatre to inform members about the roll out of My Health Record.

Dr Christine Pascott and Ms Dee Harding from the Australian Digital Health Authority (ADHA) spoke about My Health Record statistics relating to uptake, patients and provider use, and potential benefits of the system.

Issues related to security, interconnectivity and support for healthcare professionals were discussed. Members had the opportunity to have their real-world issues questions answered in relation to the practical use of the system and the impact on service delivery to patients.

Following on from the success of the evening the RACP and ADHA developed a collaborative program of presentations in all Australian regions.

Please contact us if you would like a copy of the presentation.

Hot Topics: RACP WA New Fellows' Forum

We recently hosted an evening to welcome new and recent Fellows to the College and Overseas Trained Physicians approaching Fellowship.

The University Club of Western Australia was, as always, a wonderful venue and familiar to many Fellows who are Alumni of the University of Western Australia medical program.

The forum included presentations on:

  • Life as a new consultant: Dr Angela Graves
  • What you need to know as a new specialist: Dr Helen Rhodes
  • Continuing Professional Development Framework 2019: RACP CPD Unit
  • Medico-legal issues for new specialists: Ms Gae Nuttall (MDA National).

This annual event had a full house and was a great opportunity to network with colleagues starting out on their journey as a specialist.

Hot Topics Session 2: CPD Framework 2019

On 20 June the Regional Committee hosted a session on the RACP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework applicable to 2019.

The RACP CPD Unit from Sydney presented an outline of the revised Continuing Professional Development Framework introduced in 2019 to comply with MBS mandated changes.

With approximately 50 Fellows in attendance, the session was lively. There were numerous questions answered relating to the new CPD categories and their practical application to the unique practices and circumstances of each member.

The CPD Unit have developed a Curated Collection of resources for members to assist in complying with the New CPD framework. Queries can be directed to the CPD Unit or the Western Australian Regional Office.

Members in the News

Two members were included in this year Queen’s Birthday Honours:

Bill CarrollClinical Professor William Carroll (AM)

Professor Carroll is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Western Australia and a Consultant Neurologist at the Perron Institute and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth. He was made a Member in the General Division (AM).

prue 1Associate Professor Prudence Manners (AM)
Associate Professor Manners is an Emeritus Professor at Perth Children’s Hospital and an Honorary Associate Professor of School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia. She was made a Member in the General Division (AM).

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.


Physician Wellness

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Support Program, Converge International, is a professional and confidential counselling service. It is available to all RACP Fellows and trainees, 24 hours a day, 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 (Australia) or 0800 666 367 (New Zealand).

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

Request for input - electronic prescribing in antibiotic stewardship research study

A quarter of antibiotic prescriptions in Australia have been deemed to be inappropriately prescribed. Electronic prescribing systems are a tool that may help reduce this inappropriate prescribing.

As a part of a research project, an online voluntary survey is being conducted by Mah-laka (student researcher, MPhil) and Professor Tracy Merlin (principal investigator) (HREC approval number: H-2019-094).

Take part in this survey to share your opinion on the feasibility of electronic prescribing systems to manage antibiotic prescribing in healthcare settings. Your participation may help develop recommendations for the integration and implementation of decision support tools into clinical workflow.

This survey has been designed for completion by members of the clinical workforce (aged over 18) who are responsible for prescribing and/or administering antibiotics to patients. The online survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

As an appreciation of your time and participation in the study, you will be given a chance to take part in a draw to win an iPad or help us donate an equivalent monetary amount to the hospital research foundation.

Bank beating exchange rates on your global money transfers

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OFX is a global money transfer specialist dedicated to supporting individuals and businesses stay ahead in today’s fast-moving world. Wherever you are, you can transfer and track payments on the go with the OFX app. 

Why OFX?

  • $0 OFX transaction fees on ALL transfers over $250 AUD*
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To access this offer and learn more please go to your RACP Member Advantage website.

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