College Trainees' Committee communiqué April 2017

Read about the latest key highlights from the 02-2017 College Trainees' Committee meeting, held on 28 April 2017.

Trainee wellbeing

The Committee received an update following the College Council’s March 2017 discussion of the College’s response to supporting doctor wellbeing and decision to recommend that the College develop a cross-College customised wellbeing strategy (“the Strategy”), including a framework and an implementation plan. The Board will consider ways forward at its June Strategy Meeting.

The Committee discussed how it can contribute to the development of the Strategy including how to identify trainees who are struggling and how to influence the structural and environmental determinants of wellbeing. 

The Committee also discussed ways of highlighting the benefits of mentoring and encouraging trainees to seek a mentor.

Trainee Communication and Engagement

The Committee discussed the role of the Regional Trainees’ Committees (TCs), their interaction with the College Trainees’ Committee and ways to raise the profile of the TCs amongst trainees. 

The Committee noted the statistics for the Trainee News e-bulletin and discussed the need to make articles more appealing and memorable by varying the style and length of articles.  The Committee considered potential content for upcoming editions and agreed that the new research guidelines, the Physician Wellbeing eLearning resource and profiling Committee members would be suitable topics. 

The Committee discussed the monthly medical podcast Pomegranate produced by the RACPs Learning Support Unit and considered alternative podcast formats such as podcasts recorded by individual trainees/groups. The Committee noted that only podcasts developed by the College could be RACP branded and promoted. The Committee agreed that it was more beneficial to encourage trainee input into Pomegranate and improve promotion of Pomegranate and other relevant podcasts to trainees.

Financial Matters

The Committee received an update from the RACP Finance Director following the Finance & Risk Management Committee’s February discussion of the CTC request for a review joint training fees for RACP trainees. The Committee discussed the fee setting principles adopted by the FRMC and the issues inherent in a fee for service model. It was agreed that information explaining joint training fees should be provided to impacted trainees.

The Committee also discussed the frequent requests received from trainees asking for information and clarity about how their training fees are used by the RACP. The Committee noted that in recognition of member desire to see where their fees go, the College published a breakdown of investment in the September / October 2016 edition of the RACP Quarterly, “Finances in Focus”. The Committee discussed the development of a similar resource specific to trainee fees, including more detailed examples of expenditure beyond, e.g. “governance”. It was agreed that an initial version of this resource would be prepared for the Committee’s October 2017 meeting for consideration.

Educational Updates

The Committee was updated on work underway to introduce computer-based testing for the delivery of the written examinations in Adult Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health from February 2018 as part to the College’s educational renewal and business transformation, adopting a system-based and system-wide approach to educational change and enhancement of broader core functions of the College. The need for trainee input in testing user experience and for resources that detail the experience on the day as well as the structure and format of the Examination were highlighted. The Committee suggested the development of a set of Frequently Asked Questions to alleviate trainee anxiety with the changing format for the examinations. 

The Committee also received an update on progress of an annual survey pilot to collect trainee and supervisor feedback to support monitoring of workplace training, continuous improvement of training, and patient safety. The Committee discussed how the annual survey for trainees could be delivered to maximise the completion rate and agreed that the best time to release the survey would be as part of the submission of final supervisor reports at the end of the clinical year in November. 

Recognition and Awards

Following a recent Victorian & Tasmanian Trainees’ Committee discussion, the Committee considered the merits of a formal recognition for completion of Basic Physician Training, with a suggestion that a formal qualification should be provided which would enable others within and external to the profession to distinguish between postgraduate doctors who have completed basic training from those who have not. The Committee agreed that it would recommend that the College Education Committee consider the development of a formal recognition of completion of Basic Physician Training. 

As requested by the Fellowship Committee, the College Trainees’ Committee reviewed the selection criteria for the RACP Trainee and Mentor of the Year Awards and considered a suggestion for a name change from “Mentor of the Year” to “Supervisor of the Year”.

The Committee determined to recommend to the Fellowship Committee that the Mentor of the Year Award retain its current name and that the selection criteria be updated to:

  • indicate that the nominee is not required to be a College Supervisor
  • remove a requirement that the nominee must not “have been a previous recipient of another major award of the RACP”

The Committee recommend that no changes were made to the selection criteria for the Trainee of the Year Award.

Evolve Initiative

The Committee received a presentation on the Evolve initiative, the College’s contribution, in partnership with speciality societies, to a worldwide movement to drive high-quality, bestpractice patient care by identifying and reducing those medical practices and interventions that don’t add value to particular patients. To increase trainee engagement in the Evolve initiative, the Committee recommended:

  • involving hospital Junior Medical Officers, Directors of Physician Training, etc. as Evolve champions and encouraging them to share with their networks
  • promoting Evolve on local hospital webpages
  • appealing posts on the Trainee Facebook page, such as a quiz for trainees on the top five low value practices for each specialty
Dr Tina Marinelli, Chair
College Trainees’ Committee
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