Trainee News March 2019

Message from the Chair of the College Trainees' Committee

Diversity makes us better doctors.

Following the recent tragic events in Christchurch my thoughts have been with our trainees in New Zealand, many of whom have been personally affected and working on the front lines. Throughout my training I’ve been privileged to work alongside inspiring doctors from varied backgrounds, races and religions who have displayed exceptional humanity and compassion. We are better together. As the CTC we hope to be reflective of this diversity and both affirm and celebrate it within our College. We will continue working alongside RACP to ensure this is felt as a reality by all our members.

Divisional Written Exam

In response to the Ferrier-Hodgson Exam Report, the College Trainees’ Committee wrote an open letter (available on the trainee Facebook page) requesting that our College announce the planned format for the 2020 Divisional Written Examination (DWE). Our college has since confirmed that the 2020 DWE will again be paper based in format. A working group is currently being established which will include trainee representation to evaluate computer-based testing (CBT) options and appropriate timeframes for any introduction of CBT. At least 12 months notice will be given to trainees before CBT is re-implemented.

Paediatric College Learning Series (CLS)

This is currently being established with plans to create a combined lecture series using content from major Paediatric Hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.  We are expecting that content will start to be uploaded this year and will keep you updated on its progress. 

Recruitment and Selection

I continue to receive emails from trainees who have experienced unfair hiring practices from health services when applying for advanced training positions. RACP has released its position statement on this, and is finalising production of a Guide to Selection which will include RACP guidelines for recruitment and case studies for embracing a diverse workforce.

New Zealand Trainees’ Day

Trainees’ Day will be held on 6 April in Queenstown (NZ) and is gearing up to be an inspiring event full of practical wisdom from experienced physicians. Register now on the RACP website.

We’ve had some new additions to our Trainees’ Committee and welcome Dr Laksmi Govindasamy (AFPHM), Dr Alan Huynh (AFOEM), Dr Sarah Trinder (WA), Dr Ben Watson (NT) and Dr Aritra Ray (NZ). We thank our outgoing members Dr Nick Fancourt (NT), Dr Rihan Shahab (NSW), Dr Kristen Lindsey (WA) and Dr George Bax (NZ) for their invaluable contribution to CTC and their regional committees over many years. As always, you can get in touch with us via with any issues, ideas or concerns related to your training.

Dr Davina Buntsma
College Trainees’ Committee

2020 Divisional Written Examination

The 2020 Divisional Written Examination will be a paper-based examination held on Monday, 17 February 2020. The exam will be based on the Knowledge Guides which are available on the RACP website.

Applications will open Friday, 1 November 2019.

If you have any questions regarding the 2020 Divisional Written Examination contact

Changes to the AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination

The number of stations for the AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination (General and Paediatric) will reduce from twelve to ten stations. This will take effect as of the 2019 examination.

The decision to reduce the number of stations has been based on previous examinations and has been designed to improve the flow, time and experience for candidates as well as examiners. While the number of stations has been reduced, all relevant content will still be sampled as a part of the examination process.

A higher number of candidates is also anticipated for this year’s AFRM Fellowship Clinical Examination (General). To ensure that all candidates are examined fairly and thoroughly, the 2019 Fellowship Clinical Examination (General) may run across two days. Confirmation will be provided closer to the date.

RACP Congress 2019

Join trainees, colleagues and Fellows from Monday, 6 to Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, for RACP Congress 2019. As the premier annual event on the RACP calendar, Congress has a diverse program with topics that span the breadth of the medical industry.

Congress is an excellent opportunity to network with other trainees and prospective managers as well as keep up to date with the latest in medical trends.

With just over six weeks to go, register now to attend the following sessions plus more:

  • The key to unlocking optimal health – The life course paradigm 
    Featuring Associate Professor Susan Morton, Sir Mason Durie, Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Ms Susie Ferguson.
    Chair: Dr Jonathan Christiansen
  • Obesity: Rising to the Challenge 
    Featuring Dr Robyn Toomath, Ms Leonie Matoe, Mr David Letele and Dr Isabelle Lomax‐ Sawyers. 
    Chair: Professor Boyd Swinburn
  • The first 1000 days – the window of opportunity for long term health 
    Featuring Professor Richie Poulton, Dr Matire Harwood and Dr Johan Morreau.
    Chair: Dr Patrick Tuohy
  • Medically unexplained symptoms – master class 
    Featuring Dr Chris Kenedi, Ms Megan McEwen and Ms Kristy Bolter.
    Chair: Dr David Beaumont
  • The opioid epidemic – Iatrogenesis on a worldwide scale
    Featuring Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds, Dr Mat Brick, Dr Chris Rumball and Dr Chris Hayes.
    Chair: Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds
  • Integrated care – the future must be about partnerships 
    Featuring Dr Peter Jones, Professor Eugene Nelson, Dr Andrew Knight, Ms Leanne Wells and Ms Deborah Letica. 
    Chair: Dr Robert McLean
  • Closing plenary - Physician heal thyself 
    Featuring Dr Matt Beaumont, Dr Katie Thorne, Ms Lynne Urquhart, Dr Johanne Egan, Mr Pat Alley and Dr Sam Hazledine. 
    Chair: Dr Alexandra Muthu

Visit the Congress website to register and view the entire program.

Basic Training Applications

Thank you to all Basic Trainees who have submitted their applications for 2019. The Basic Training team have received a few enquiries from trainees requesting their application be expediated through the administration process.

Unfortunately processing applications can be a lengthy process due to the number of applications (over 3, 500). Please be assured though that the team are trying to do this as swiftly as possible.

As long as you submitted your application by the deadline (28 February 2019), you will not incur any late fees. To check the status of your application, please login to the online registration system.

Late applications are still being accepted, however there will be a late submission fee applied. The deadline for all late applications is Sunday, 31 March 2019.

Thank you for your patience during this process.

Cessation of the Advanced Training and Matching Selection system

Advanced Training and Selection Matching (ATSM) is a preference system that electronically matches eligible applicants to Advanced Training positions at RACP accredited training sites based on the respective numerical preferences entered by the applicant and employer. ATSM has been used by some specialty groups as part of their recruitment process for advanced training positions in previous years.

The Board has considered feedback from trainees and other system users, and has resolved to further investigate potential options for future matching of Advanced Trainees to training opportunities. As part of this process, the decision has been taken to cease operating the ATSM program and provide an alternative solution to assist with Advanced Trainee matching in 2019. Further details are available on the ATSM webpage on the RACP website.

Applying for Advanced Trainee positions in 2019

While we investigate a long-term solution, we will provide Advanced Trainee Matching Panels with free advertisements on the positions vacant page on the RACP website for the usual ATSM period of 1 July to 4 October 2019.

Some specialty groups and health settings may alternatively choose to advertise positions on their own website or other recruitment sites. You should check both the RACP website and any other recruitment sites of relevance to your desired training post.

We are consulting with specialty groups and trainees and will be providing an RACP toolkit to support good recruitment practices for this year’s advanced trainee matching activity. This will include a matching tool for use by interested selection panels.

More details will be provided closer to the ATSM period. If you have any questions or feedback about this change, please contact Member Services at

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