Trainee News September 2019

Message from the Chair of the College Trainees' Committee

This message will highlight three important issues for trainees and how RACP is addressing them: Gender equity, approval and certification of training, and Physician mental health. 

The majority of RACP new Fellows in 2018 were female (54 per cent) – a trend which has continued since 2015. With this changing demographic, a recent survey of our Fellows and trainees showed there was a desire for RACP to be more active in advocacy around issues of gender equity.

In response, RACP held its first gender equity meeting on Tuesday, August 20 2019 which brought together leaders from different fields of medicine and surgery. Some of the themes that emerged were the need to support ongoing data collection to inform policy change, the need for gender diversity in selection panels as well as ensuring fair recruiting practices, making flexible working arrangements the ‘norm’, and the need to support equity in leadership and management positions. Importantly, this is not just a discussion around females in the workplace, but rather, equity for all genders and flexibility that allows for physicians to be as present to their own families as they are for their patients.  

Delays in approval and certification of training is a recent issue which has caused significant stress and has impacted on trainees applying for jobs and recognition of Fellowship. We raised this with our College who were quick to respond in allocating staff to assist with the processing of applications. This attention to staffing will continue for the second half of this year and it’s promising to see that approvals have already started to be received by trainees for their current rotations. If you have had any difficulties with submitting your application we’ve been assured that these will be considered on a case by case basis. 

International Mental Health week takes place from Sunday 6 to Saturday 12 October 2019, with Thursday, 10 October  being International Mental Health Day. We’ll use this opportunity to highlight some of the great initiatives being undertaken by our members and the RACP to address physician health and wellbeing. A physician wellbeing working group has been consulting key member areas within RACP to develop a plan for future work in this vital area. I encourage you to use this opportunity to promote wellness within your own workplace during Mental Health Week.

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

2021-22 PREP Advanced Training Program Requirements Consultation 

You are invited to submit your feedback on the proposed 2021-22 PREP Advanced Training Program Requirements. Consultation is open to everyone and the short survey should only take 5-10 minutes to complete.

Your input will help shape future training pathways. Please have your say and complete the survey by Thursday, 26 September 2019.


College Learning Series - 1st and 3rd Year Adult Medicine Basic Trainee Representatives

We have recently appointed first and third year Adult Medicine Basic Trainee Representatives to provide the College Learning Series (CLS) committee with a user’s perspective on the CLS.  

Dr Lucy Haggstrom has recently joined the CLS Committee as our first year Basic Trainee Representative. She has strong networks with trainees across Australia, which will be valuable in gaining a broad perspective on the CLS. As the President of the Wollongong Hospital Resident Medical Officers’ Association, Dr Haggstrom has strong experience in assisting with the development and improvement of various medical education systems. Her experience will be most valuable in aiding the ongoing development of the CLS. 

Dr Tom Wilkinson has joined the Committee as a third year Basic Trainee Representative. He has a strong history of involvement in representative positions in medical education. As a member of the New Zealand Trainees’ Committee, he has developed strong links with trainees in New Zealand. Dr Wilkinson will provide ongoing feedback to the CLS committee on behalf of trainees and help identify gaps in the CLS to ensure that the desired outcomes are met within the program. 

If you have any feedback regarding the CLS program or issues which you would like our trainee representatives to discuss on your behalf, please email


Research projects and research supervision: online courses for trainees and supervisors

Each trainee is responsible for completing their own research project. Trainees can learn about conducting a research project by enrolling in our Research Projects online course. It’s designed to support trainees through a detailed walk-through of the research process.

A trainee’s experience can be greatly enhanced by a supportive and informed supervisor. The Research Supervision online course helps supervisors who want an update on research project requirements and the research process in general.

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

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Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day

The RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day will be held on Saturday, 4 April 2020 at the Heritage Hotel Queenstown. Whether you’re a Basic or Advanced Trainee, the RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day will be an inspiring day for wherever you are in your training journey.

Register today

Western Australian Trainees' Day 2020

The RACP Western Australian Trainees' Day is a new, full day event for trainees ranging from prospective to New Fellows. Held on Saturday, 9 November at the University Club of Western Australia, this free event provides better support and networking opportunities for you to connect with the wider trainee community.

Topics include:

  • what your consultant career will look like
  • education renewal and curricular updates
  • training in the 21st Century
  • written exam 101
  • thinking beyond Advanced Training
  • consultancy: private vs public

Register today

South Australian Annual Scientific Meeting

Save the date for the 2019 South Australian Annual Scientific Meeting. Held under the theme ‘Specialists.Together’ the ASM will be on Saturday, 30 November 2019 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

This is the perfect opportunity to update yourself on recent developments in many fields of practice.

Educational highlights include:

  • silicosis: update on this emerging epidemic (keynote)
  • advances in pain management, palliative care and the treatment of addictions
  • development of living guidelines for rheumatoid arthritis
  • developments in the treatment of lymphoma, and of stroke
  • the Trainee Research Awards.

College Learning Series - Paediatrics & Child Health content update

Over the past 12 months, the College has been working closely with Directors of Paediatric Education to identify and source Paediatrics & Child Health content for the College Learning Series (CLS).

Multiple Paediatrics & Child Health teaching hospitals across Australia are now contributing to the program. All content undergoes a digital and clinical quality assurance process before going live.

We now have the following five paediatrics lectures live on the CLS website:

More lectures are scheduled for upload over the next few weeks.

Trainee Representative needed on the PCHD Basic Training Committee 

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Basic Training Committee seeks expressions of interest for a trainee representative. 

The PCHD trainee representative will be required to attend three face-to-face meetings and three teleconferences per year.

Expressions of interest close Friday, 20 September 2019.

Expressions of Interest for the RACP Advocacy or Regulation Ethics Committee Working Group 

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought for three members including two trainee members to join the new Advocacy or Regulation Ethics Committee Working Group.

The Working Group will be established for a period of 12 months from the date of its first video/teleconference meeting.

Expressions of interest close Friday, 4 October 2019.

SA/NT dinner in honour of Associate Professor Mitra Guha

You are invited to a dinner to thank and honour Associate Professor Guha for her outstanding service. Organised by the Adelaide Medical Students' Foundation, the dinner will be on Saturday, 26 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Not only will this be an excellent opportunity to say thank you, but it will also be a fantastic chance to catch-up with colleagues and indulge in a great night out.

For further details please contact Dr Liza Phillips or Dr Thomas Crowhurst

Upcoming events




SA/NT Advanced Trainees’ Forum

Tuesday, 17 September

Adelaide and Darwin

My Health Record – NSW session

Wednesday, 16 October

RACP Sydney Office

Victorian New Fellows’ and Advanced Trainees’ Workshop


Saturday, 26 October

RACP Melbourne Office

Preparing for your PhD or research project

Saturday, 26 October

RACP Sydney Office

New Basic Training email

The Basic Training unit have a new email address. Please make sure you update your email contacts to

Please ensure you send all further emails to the new address as any vital information to your training may not be received at the old address.

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