Western Australia — November 2020

A message from your Western Australian Regional Committee Chair


Dear members

It is with much sadness that I acknowledge the passing of Professor Michael Quinlan AO, the founder of the department of nuclear medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Professor Quinlan also had a long association with the St John of God organisation in numerous capacities. The St John of God Healthcare Scholarship at Notre Dame University bears his name and is a fitting legacy for him, since he contributed so much to improving health services for the people of Western Australia.

The Western Australian Regional Committee for the term 2020-22 convened (virtually), in August and will start planning for local policy and advocacy priorities. 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.

The Divisional Clinical Exams in 2020 will be held using a virtual format. The College Education Committee and Examination Committee have been working closely with Fellows and trainees to balance the stress of the current global pandemic with the desire to minimise delays in training progression.

Important information about the plans for a two module Clinical Exam with Long Cases to be held in November 2020 to January 2021 and Short Cases in February to March 2021 is on this College webpage. You can also read more in the item we've prepared in this ebulletin.

We wish our trainees the best of luck with their exams.

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 Australia Regional Committee 2020-2022:

  • Dr Helen Rhodes (Chair)
  • Associate Professor Murali Narayanan, PCHD
  • Dr PK Loh, AMD
  • Dr Revle Bangor-Jones, AFPHM
  • Dr Sarah Trinder, Trainee Rep PCHD
  • Dr Zarrin Allam, Trainee Rep AMD
  • Dr David Blythe, Elected Member, CPAC Representative.

Western Australian Trainees' Committee

The Western Australian Trainees' Committee’s portfolio includes providing a forum for the trainee members of the College in WA 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 Zarrin Allam (Adult Medicine) and Dr Sarah Trinder (Paediatrics & Child Health).

Trainees who have concerns about the disruption of progress through training should contact the WA Regional office and the local team will contact you with any information available.

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RACP Congress 2021, coming to you, wherever you are

The location for RACP Congress 2021 has been unveiled and it is… everywhere. Spread over six cities, two countries and streaming live, it has never been easier to attend.

Under the theme of Transformation: Adapting for the future, RACP Congress 2021 will explore diverse topics that address ideas of transforming the way we deliver healthcare, how we look after ourselves in a connected age and what we need to know to prepare ourselves and our practice to remain relevant.

Register now

Members in the news

Dr Elissa Campbell – Churchill Fellowship

Dr Campbell

Dr Elissa Campbell is a geriatrician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. She has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to explore models of care in the delivery of palliative care services to people with dementia. People living with dementia can benefit greatly from palliative care services, yet rarely access them in Western Australia, as the model of service delivery is not a good fit for the symptoms and trajectory of the disease.

Dr Campbell hopes to learn from clinical and research centres in Aotearoa New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and Singapore. She is using the time afforded by the current travel restrictions to establish networks at these sites. The Churchill Trust is providing an extended period to undertake projects due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Professor Peter Connaughton
AFOEM President’s Award – Policy & Advocacy

Prof Connaughton

Professor Connaughton is the past AFOEM President and has served on the Faculty's Policy & Advocacy Committee and on the Health Benefits of Good Work executive for the past six years.

He represents AFOEM nationally on the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and internationally as the Secretary/Treasurer of the International Occupational Medicine Society Collaborative. He is a member of the RACP Physician Health and Wellbeing Reference Group and was previously on the Employment, Poverty and Health Reference Group.

Professor Connaughton is a member of the National Organising Committee for the International Congress on Occupational Health 2021. In Perth, he is the Occupational Physician to Rio Tinto Iron Ore and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame and at Curtin University. He has recently been awarded Fellowship to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr Amy Bright
AFOEM President’s Award – Trainee Commitment Award

Dr Bright

Dr Amy Bright was a physiotherapist prior to commencing medicine. She has trained in multiple hospitals across the United Kingdom and Australia and has experience in sports injury management.

Dr Bright started work in occupational medicine in 2015. She is a passionate advocate for trainees and enjoys helping with training and development requirements. She is the trainee tepresentative on the AFOEM WA Regional Committee, ANZSOM WA Committee and nationally sits on AFOEM Council. 

She has organised regional training meetings, worked with Dr David Goddard to establish a national peer support group for trainees sitting exams and advocated for and made a contribution to the Stage B mock examinations for WA trainees. Dr Bright enjoyed the recent collaboration through communication networks across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand trainees. She is an advocate for health and safety and endeavours to promote our voice. She is described by her colleagues as having a passion for inclusiveness and opportunity.

Vale Professor Michael Quinlan AO

Prof Quinlan

Professor Quinlan was WA’s first nuclear medicine physician who, after working in the Department of Medical Physics at Royal Perth Hospital, set up the nuclear medicine department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

He trained at Johns Hopkins University in the US, Professor Quinlan was a foundation member of Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine, formed in 1969 and established the first nuclear medicine registrar training program in WA.

Professor Quinlan was a member of St John of God Health Care’s first Governing Board and went on to become Board Chair and the inaugural St John of God Foundation Board Chair. He then served as a St John of God Trustee from 2004 until his retirement in 2011. The St John of God Health Care Scholarship that bears his name enables University of Notre Dame medical students to benefit from exceptional learning experiences

He was an RACP Fellow, Professor of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame, Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia, Emeritus Consultant Physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and the Director of the Medical Teaching Unit at St John of God Hospital.

Divisional Clinical Exams

2020 changes

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still uncertain, we’ve reviewed the current delivery format to reduce public health risks associated with the exam. This includes reducing face-to-face contact with patients and reducing interstate travel for examiners and candidates.

New exam format

A new modular format will be used for the Adult Medicine Divisional Clinical Exam (DCE) in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and the Paediatrics & Child Health DCE in Australia.

The Paediatrics & Child Health DCE in Aotearoa New Zealand will continue with the existing format.

The modular format will:

  • retain two Long Cases and four Short Cases
  • separate the Long Cases and Short Cases so they’re not held on the same day
  • hold Long Cases locally with virtual patient interaction, where the patient is in a different room/location to the candidate and examiners
  • hold Short Cases at least three weeks after the Long Cases in face-to-face exam settings within your state, territory or region, where possible.

Note: You must score above a Band 0 in the Long Cases to be eligible to sit the Short Cases. The 2021 exam will use the same modular approach, subject to evaluation of the model and COVID-19. For any other enquiries please contact Member Services.

Find out more

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RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships 2021

The RACP appreciates the value and experience Aboriginal and Torrest Strait Islander and Māori doctors can provide to the health sector and communities in treating Aboriginal and Torrest Strait Islander and Māori health issues. The RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program provides funded pathways through physician training. Applications are now invited for 2021 Indigenous Health Scholarships. Hurry, applications close Monday, 30 November 2020.

RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize

The RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori. The selected applicant will receive support to attend the 2021 RACP Congress to gain educational and networking opportunities and exposure to career pathways within the College.

Applications for 2021 are open. Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before the deadline on Friday, 31 January 2021.

Upcoming events

Rural Physicians' Workshop

Planning for the sixth annual Rural Physicians' Workshop is underway, with a diverse lineup of speakers already confirmed. The workshop will be held from Saturday, 21 to Sunday, 22 November and due to ongoing uncertainty regarding COVID-19 restrictions, the forum will be online. 

Since the event is no longer restricted to remote and rural practitioners, anyone with an interest in the challenges of practicing in non-metropolitan settings is encouraged to attend.

Register now

Virtual meetings

The WA Regional Office remains fully functional for all except face-to-face meetings. Should members wish to set up virtual meetings with colleagues, we will happily facilitate these. 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.

My Health Record: On-demand training classes

You are invited to free one-hour sessions aimed at specialists, practice managers and practice nurses who are interested in learning more about My Health Record and how to use it most effectively in routine practice. Run via GoTo webinar platform, these sessions will afford an opportunity for participants to raise questions directly with the instructor and, if time permits, discuss other issues encountered in using My Health Record. These demonstrations will be run on a weekly basis at varying times throughout the day. 

Using a software simulation platform, the instructor will demonstrate how to:

  • access a patient’s My Health Records via conformant software
  • use filters to find documents
  • view documents and overviews
  • enter access codes for patients with protected documents/records
  • upload documents to My Health Record
  • ensure appropriate security and access governance mechanisms are in place.
Clinical Information System Session  Register
Best Practice 36 sessions from
20 October to
10 December
Medical Director
38 sessions from
21 October to
11 December
20 sessions from
19 October to
11 December
19 Sessions from
19 October to 8 December
14 Sessions from
27 October to
10 December

For more information on other session times or for follow-up My Health Record support for your practice, please email the Digital Health Agency.

Recent events

The Western Australian Trainees Committee, in collaboration with Avant Mutual, recently hosted a webinar which looked at the use of social media and apps. Ms Morag Smith, the Senior Legal Advisor at Avant, delivered a very informative and somewhat alarming, overview of the current regulatory and legal framework pertaining to the use and transmission of patient information via social media and communication apps. Ms Smith demonstrated through case studies the pitfalls of not clearly separating approved means of communication and the, often easier and quicker, communication channels which are ubiquitous in the social media age.

A clinical specialist perspective was added by Dr Sinha from Royal Perth Hospital, who provided an excellent update on the Department of Health’s approved apps for clinical purposes. While Dr Trinder and Dr Allam provided a trainee’s lived experience of the practicalities of clinical communication in the digital era.

Trainee Research Awards

The Western Australian Trainee Research Awards was held on 14 October. The event was held online in order to minimise disruption and ensure no presenters are disadvantaged. We were impressed by the high standard and diversity of presentations, which bodes well for the profession.

The winners of the event were:

Paediatric Medicine – Dr Sathyakala Vijayanand: Are continuous glucose monitors useful in monitoring of children with persistent Hypoglycaemia.

Adult Medicine – 
Dr Oleksandra Voloshyn: Accessing of Dose administrative aids and standard medication delivery devices by older people.

The winners are invited to be part of the Research and Innovation stream at RACP Congress 2021. Their abstracts will be published in the Congress supplement of the Internal Medicine Journal or the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

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Have your say in the 2020 Physician Training Survey

The 2020 Physician Training Survey is your chance to help strengthen RACP training programs and the workplace experiences in the settings in which you work and train. Open until Wednesday, 2 December, with the impacts of COVID-19 on training throughout this year, it’s even more important for us to understand your experience. By completing the survey, you can also enter the prize draw with a chance of winning one of two iPad Pros (256GB, cellular).

The survey is open to all trainees and educators across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. It's run by ENGINE, an independent research provider to ensure that responses are completely anonymous. Look out for an email and SMS from them with your unique survey link. Please check your junk folder if you don’t think you’ve received this link, or email them if you would like it resent.

The more responses we get, the more representative data we have to help inform changes and improvements to physician training programs. This includes improvements for trainee and educator wellbeing. For information about the survey, including confidentiality and the prize draw, please visit the Physician Training Survey webpage

The Physician Training Survey has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) – Concord Repatriation General Hospital of the Sydney Local Health District 2019/ETH12472. If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of the research study, you may contact the Executive Officer of the Ethics Committee, at SLHD-concordethics@health.nsw.gov.au or on +61 2 9767 5622. 

Online learning resources

Seeking expressions of interest for the development of an Indigenous genomic healthcare resource

Join a working group to contribute to the development of the Genomic Healthcare for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people online learning resource. This resource will cover genetic and genomic healthcare provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It will address key clinical aspects as well as historical and cultural contexts.

Find out more

New online course on thalidomide

The new thalidomide online course aims to introduce Australasian medical specialists to thalidomide and thalidomide embryopathy (TE), and their implications for thalidomide survivors today.

By completing this course, you will:

  • develop a background knowledge of thalidomide and TE, the history attached to these and a basic knowledge of the range of birth defects, mechanism of action and current uses
  • understand the range of secondary health problems from age-related deterioration and special considerations for medical investigation and management
  • understand the implications of TE for other health conditions and for healthy living
  • know where to locate further resources and support on TE for patients, healthcare professionals and researchers.

RACP Online Learning resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Pomegranate Podcast: The WHO's biggest test

Ep63: the WHO’s biggest test

During the COVID-19 crisis, there has been some criticism of the World Health Organization (WHO) about not declaring a pandemic soon enough, or if it covered up for China’s failings. But few commentators have explained the role and responsibilities the WHO shares with its member states when dealing with a pandemic. A prototype of the International Health Regulations (IHR) was conceived during the cholera epidemics of the mid 1800s, and the most current version of the IHR was formalised in 2005 in response to SARS. Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott has documented the political and social factors that have accompanied the implementation of the IHR. In this podcast we consider how the unprecedented scale of the current pandemic and the mixed response from member states has challenged the viability of the WHO.

RACP Fellows can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources available on the webpage. To be the first to find out about the latest Pomegranate Health episodes, subscribe today in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, any Android podcasting app. You can also join our email alerts list to remain updated with future podcasts.

Listen now

Western Australian Regional Office

The RACP Western Australian Regional Office has relocated to Stirling Highway in Nedlands. We anticipate occupancy will commence this month and will operate in accordance with the COVID-19 restrictions in place.

We are currently not taking bookings for events or meeting for the remainder of 2020. 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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