Pot-pourri eBulletin 11 March 2022

A message from your President

2022 continues to remind us of the adverse effects of climate change on our environment. With the devastating floods across the east coast of Australia, and now in the Sydney basin, as well as the bushfires in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, we must continue to ask ourselves what more we can do to mitigate and arrest this current trajectory.

Commissioned by the College, together with the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, the Climate and Health Alliance Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, a research report has been produced – Climate Change and Australia’s Healthcare Systems: A Review of Literature, Policy and Practice – on the risks of climate change to Australian healthcare systems and how best to manage these risks. The report comprises four research projects: a rapid literature review, policy and institutional analysis, economic analysis, and a series of case studies which illustrate the breadth and complexity of climate impacts to health systems.

The development of the report was guided by an Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from 10 medical colleges who shared knowledge and expertise from a diverse range of specialties:

  • Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
  • College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM)
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

This collaboration is believed to be the first of its kind to unite medical colleges in a joint research project on the impact of climate change to the health system.

In the lead up to the 2022 Australian Federal election, the College is calling on the Australian Government to urgently transition to zero emission renewable energy across all economic sectors. Additionally, the College calls for support of affected communities, and to implement and fund a national climate change and health strategy to build climate resilience and an environmentally sustainable healthcare sector.

The College is providing the following recommendations:

  • Implement and fund a co-ordinated national strategy on climate change and health
  • Commit to delivering net zero healthcare by 2040
  • Invest in climate health vulnerability and capacity assessments with a focus on locally-led planning
  • Establish a dedicated climate health resilience research fund to support innovation and evidence-based action
  • Develop climate health capacity in the healthcare workforce and the wider health system
  • Embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and leadership in all climate health policy and action
  • Invest in prevention and early intervention as a key element of climate health action.

A number of things have been happening within the College over the past month. Last month, approximately 100 candidates were not able to complete the recent Divisional Written Examinations (DWE). For those of you who were affected, I empathise and am sorry that this occurred. The College is undertaking a review to establish what happened on the day and continues to provide support to trainees who were affected. If you have questions, I encourage you to visit the FAQs 2022 Divisional Written Examination. You can also email examinations@racp.edu.au with any questions that have not been addressed.

We are excitedly awaiting RACP Congress 2022. For those of you attending, presentations for the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) will include topics such as Children and Covid, Cerebral Palsy and Growth Disorders. The PCHD Dinner will be on 11 May at Pure South Dining on Melbourne’s scenic Southbank - this will be a wonderful opportunity to meet up again with your colleagues in person. I look forward to seeing you there.

In the meantime, we will soon receive information about a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for several positions on PCHD committees. I encourage you to consider submitting an EOI and to take the opportunity to get involved in our College’s ongoing evolution and development of physician training.

I wanted to share  a recent publication in the MJA by Suter et al, entitled Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in Australia: the first three years of the Australian Sports Brain Bank, which raises the issue of clinically-relevant injuries in sport. I have attended footy matches and seen my sons and their friends sustain head injuries during these amateur school competitions. At other times, as a clinician I have observed promising children and adolescents sustain injuries which cause adverse effects on their puberty and growth. This is in addition to the injuries affecting the development of joints, tendons, and muscles – often due to over-training and inadequate preparation for athletics and other sporting codes.

For some of these young individuals the distress and impact on their mental health and schooling is immediate and very significant. I agree with the view that guidance regarding concussion and sports-related injury remains underdeveloped in some sporting codes, and is inadequate in others. Do we, as paediatricians and parents, have a duty to do more about preventing these injuries in children and adolescents? Not only to ensure that they are able to enjoy their sport into adulthood, but more importantly to prevent injuries that have adverse lifelong consequences.

Although COVID-19 restrictions are being rolled back in eastern Australia, the spread of the Omicron variant continues to increase in Aotearoa New Zealand and Western Australia. It remains of interest to observe the conditions in highly vaccinated cohorts – such as Western Australia – compared to events in other states.  There should remain a strong focus on how limited supplies of effective antiviral agents will be appropriately deployed and targeted to those most at risk of severe consequences of COVID-19 infections, in particular vulnerable and immunosuppressed children.

And finally, we cannot ignore the war that is escalating in Ukraine. It is at times such as these we should stop and reflect on what is important to us, both as physicians and as citizens of the global community. Our thoughts are with all those impacted, and our hopes are for a quick resolution and peace to be restored in our world. 

Professor Catherine Choong
PCHD President

College Bodies – Expressions of Interest are now open

Following the RACP call for nominations earlier this year, various positions are available on College Councils and Committees. You are invited to express your interest.

The College Council and Committees respond to and raise issues to the Board for consideration. The composition of the College Council enables a variety of member and non-member perspectives to be heard in a single forum.

The full list of available positions are on the Expressions of Interest webpage and are listed in this email communication. Please submit your EOI before the closing date, Wednesday, 6 April 2022.

Calling all General Paediatric Fellows

The Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in General Paediatrics seeks Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from General Paediatrics Fellows to join as a member. Two positions are vacant and seeking EOIs.

The Committee holds one face-to-face meeting in Sydney, and nine videoconferences a year. The Committee appoints members for an initial term of three years with the option to renew for a maximum term of six years.

Please read the terms of reference (PDF) before applying. To apply, please submit your expression of interest form (DOC) and your CV to Bethany Ziomek at GeneralPaedsAdvanced@racp.edu.au.

The closing date for submissions is Monday, 14 March 2022 at 6pm.

Important update from Services Australia

Services Australia is aware that there is a high level of nervousness around the upcoming 13 March 2022 date when Medicare and PBS PKI site certificates are due to expire.

In recognition of the pressures facing industry, the agency has renewed all Medicare and PBS PKI site certificates. All renewed PKI site certificates must be installed before 13 March 2022 to ensure ongoing access to the agency’s digital claiming channels.

Please read this message for more information.

RACP Paediatric Small Study Grants – soon available for 2022

Applications for the 2022 RACP Educational Development (Study) Grants open soon – Monday, 4 April 2022.

The RACP Paediatric Small Study Grants were first offered in 2021 to encourage Fellows and Advanced Trainees in the Paediatrics & Child Health Division to undertake paediatric research. The grant is for those who have not previously received a competitive research grant, and they are among the awards offered in this funding round.

Other grants available include:

  • Skilled Medical Scholarship for Advancement of Indigenous Health – NEW
  • Eric Burnard Fellowship
  • Richard Kemp Memorial Fellowship
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Educational Development Grant
  • Queensland Regional Committee Educational Development Grant.

Visit the RACP Foundation webpage to see the eligibility criteria for each award and to access the online application form.

Research Awards recipients

Our award recipients, and their work, have contributed to the improvement of healthcare and the quality of life across various fields of medicine. Complete lists of 2022 Research Award recipients and previous recipients are available on the RACP Foundation Award Recipients webpages.

8 March 2022 backup Divisional Written Examination (DWE) successfully completed

We would like to inform you that the 8 March 2022 backup Divisional Written Examination (DWE) was successfully delivered. There were 307 candidates who sat the paper-based exam across 18 locations in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

We thank our Directors of Physician/Paediatric Education (DPEs) and RACP supervisors for their ongoing support to trainees in the lead up to the exam. We also want to thank all our staff who were involved throughout the examination preparation process.

Exam results will be released on Tuesday, 12 April 2022. If you have any questions or need further information, please email examinations@racp.edu.au.

Kind regards,

RACP Assessment and Selection Team

KCCC

Your Supporter Pack: The Kids COVID Catch Up Campaign

The launch of the Kids COVID Catch Up campaign generated national media coverage and saw hundreds of members and community representatives getting involved in the launch events.

The campaign is calling on leaders from across the political spectrum to commit to a package of policy measures to help children and young people catch up from the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all members to help make a difference by joining the campaign.

To help you get started, we’ve created a Supporter Pack that sets out five clear steps you can take to help the campaign succeed. Take all of the steps or just pick a few. The steps you take will help us keep the momentum going after the success of the campaign launch. Find out more.

Upcoming deadline to record your MyCPD credits for 2021

This is a friendly reminder that 2021 MyCPD records are due by Thursday, 31 March 2022.

Additionally, CPD records are now open for 2022. 2022 CPD requirements remain the same as 2021, please see the 2022 MyCPD Framework for details. Please note that the Medical Council of New Zealand has additional mandatory requirements for Aotearoa New Zealand practitioners.

Helpful links:

Please don’t hesitate to contact the CPD Team for further assistance:

Australia: 1300 697 227 (option 3 for CPD), MyCPD@racp.edu.au

Aotearoa New Zealand: 04 460 8122, MyCPD@racp.org.nz

RACP FiF

Celebrating International Women’s Day

When you close your eyes and think of a doctor, what do they look like? To help #BreakTheBias and dive a little deeper, we launched our Fellows in Focus campaign.

International Women’s Day was held on Tuesday, 8 March and to celebrate, we spotlighted some of the incredible women who chose to take part in the campaign. You may have seen some of their inspirational stories on social media, but if not, you can find out more on the Fellows in Focus webpage. Read the profiles.

Professor Cassandra Szoeke featured for International Women’s Day

Congratulations to RACP member, Professor Cassandra Szoeke, for having her work featured as part of the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) International Women’s Day celebration.

Professor Szoeke is a Consultant Neurologist, General Physician Clinical Academic and AMAV Councillor, and provided AMA with insights into the diverse ways doctors can contribute to their communities. Read more.

RACP: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health: February 2022 edition

JPCHThe Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health publishes original research articles of scientific excellence in paediatrics and child health. The February 2022 edition is now live and available to view online.

Articles in this edition include:

  • Clinical and psychological effects of excessive screen time on children
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Correlates of specific childhood feeding problems
  • The social determinant of early child development: An overview

Read the journal by clicking here.

Congress Banner

Clinical updates and so much more

Join us at RACP Congress 2022 for a PCHD clinical update on anaphylaxis management and an in-depth panel discussion on the effects COVID has had on children led by PCHD President Professor Choong Also hear Professor Allen Cheng’s session on COVID-19 - the latest scientific development of the virus and the vaccine.

Take some time to catch up at the PCHD Dinner

Along with the welcome reception and gala dinner, the PCHD Dinner is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues. It’s been a while since we’ve had this opportunity so why not join us at the Pure South Dining, Southbank on 11 May 2022. Bookings are essential so register now.

Time poor? Purchase a one-day ticket and enjoy the rest of Congress virtually

It can be hard to find time to attend every day at Congress. With a range of ticket options, you can attend one full day and enjoy the rest of Congress online at your leisure. RACP Congress has a range of ticket options available for both Melbourne and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

NDIS Strategic Advisor Health role – open to applications

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is seeking a Strategy Health Advisor to provide high-level policy and technical advice, expertise and outcomes relating to the strategic and operational management of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This position informs the intersection of health and disability. Read more (PDF).

SRSA

Support for Rural Specialists in Australia: Funding round six

You're invited to apply for a Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) grant of up to $10,000 to support your continuing professional development (CPD). SRSA grants cover CPD costs such as registration, travel, accommodation, and meals. Applications for interactive CPD like clinical attachments, peer review and workshops are encouraged.

You are eligible if you:

  • are a Fellow, or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander trainee of a (non-GP) specialist
    medical college
  • work in a regional, rural or remote area (view your classification here).

The application deadline for funding round six is Friday, 15 April 2022. CPD activities must be completed between 1 July 2022 and 30 September 2023.

Find out more and access the online application.

The SRSA Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and
managed by the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges.

AHPRA pandemic response sub-register coming to a close

A huge thank you to Fellows who joined the AHPRA sub-register and returned to practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your sacrificial care for our community through these challenging times.

The pandemic response sub-register will expire on 5 April 2022. If you have been in touch with AHPRA and renewed your specialist registration past this date, you will have a CPD requirement for 2022. Please see the 2022 MyCPD Framework for details and contact the CPD Team at MyCPD@racp.edu.au if you have any questions.

ROC snapshot

How to login to the ROC - for first time users

The ROC (RACP Online Community) is a private, secure place for you to network, engage and connect in real time. It's available exclusively to RACP members and Overseas Trained Physicians (OTPs).

The ROC is yours to:

  • find other members and connect with them
  • ask questions and start discussions with other members, in a secure, easy to use online forum
  • expand your professional networks across the membership, or within your specialty, Division, Faculty or Chapter
  • keep up-to-date with College announcements, events, updates and resources
  • be informed via a weekly digest email - or opt out if you prefer.

To access the Roc, simply download the app from the App Store or Google Play, or login via MyRACP.

Watch this short video to see how easy it is to login to the ROC and be part of the conversation.

Pomegranate Health Podcast: The Advocate's Journey (ep. 78)

Podcast ep78

Ep78: The Advocate’s Journey

The core work of being a physician is demanding enough, but if you’re seeing patients come in day after day with ailments that have social determinants behind them, you may start to feel like Sisyphus (heaving that boulder up the hill only to have to start from the bottom every time it slips your grasp).

Surely it would be better to change those socioeconomic drivers – but where do you even begin?

The three-word mission statement of the RACP is Educate – Advocate – Innovate, and there is a team of College staff dedicated to helping physicians with strategies to present a case to those in power.

This podcast explains how the College supports policy development and advocacy. The interviews are drawn from an RACP-produced documentary called The Advocate's Journey that was hosted by Dr Robert Lethbridge. It’s the perfect time to revisit this story considering how politicised public health has become in recent times.

Guests

  • Dr Rob Lethbridge FRACP (Perth Children’s Hospital)
  • Dr Helen Young FRACP (Royal North Shore Hospital; The Children’s Hospital at Westmead)
  • Patrick Tobin (former Executive General Manager of Policy & Advocacy)
  • Dr Jin Russell FRACP (Starship Children's Hospital; University of Auckland)

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox, or any podcasting app. RACP Fellows can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our webpage

Child Protection Course in Aotearoa New Zealand for 2022

Te Puaruruhau, the multi-disciplinary child protection team, is offering two comprehensive training courses for health professionals. These training courses are now available online as part of the team’s mission to support continuous quality improvement in the front-line response to abuse, neglect and family violence.

  • Assessment of Suspected Sexual Abuse in Children and Adolescents (ASAC) – previously known as MEDSAC. This course is taking place on 17 to 18 March 2022.
  • Assessment of Suspected Physical Abuse in Children and Adolescents (APAC). This course is taking place on 11 to 12 August 2022.

Find out more.

Neonatal Conversations Podcast

Kath Carmo is a neonatologist and retrieval consultant in Sydney Australia. In this podcast she interviews clinical experts in neonatal and subspecialist care to promote thoughtful practice, conversation and sharing of knowledge.

New Evolve Case Studies

Evolve is a flagship initiative led by physicians at the RACP to drive high-value and high-quality care in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

To support the implementation of Evolve recommendations in clinical practice, the College has launched a series of case studies which considers clinical scenarios based on low-value care. This series explores interesting topics related to reducing low-value practices and improving the quality and safety of healthcare. As part of this series, Dr Chris Cameron has led the development of a new case study about medication related harm. View the case studies on the Evolve website.

Evolve is seeking enthusiastic Fellows and trainees to partner with us in developing case studies for more specialties. The aim of the case studies is to support Fellows and trainees to build an understanding of low-value care within their specialty and act as a tool for clinical educators and supervisors. Email Evolve to get involved.

Choosing Wisely: improving the quality of healthcare

RACP is a founding member of Choosing Wisely in Australia and New Zealand. All Evolve recommendations are made available through Choosing Wisely. By bringing together recommendations from multiple medical colleges and healthcare organisations, with expertise in consumer and patient care, Choosing Wisely helps healthcare providers and consumers start important conversations about improving the quality of healthcare. 

The RACP is encouraging physicians to implement the Evolve Top 5 Recommendations in their work and health services. All RACP specialty societies are invited to develop their Top 5 List of low-value practices

Don’t forget you may be able to claim some of your Evolve activities as CPD credits.

Find out more.

New Cultural Safety Curated Collection

The new Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Cultural Safety Curated Collection has been designed to support physicians in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to provide more impactful, meaningful, culturally safe care for Indigenous patients, their families, whānau and communities.

The Collection presents a detailed library of resources to help you understand and implement culturally safe practices in the workplace. Filter the library by theme, country, resource type and level of experience to find the resources most relevant to you. We encourage you to revisit the Curated Collection as you develop your understanding of cultural safety over time and consider how this can shape your practice.

Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for time spent on RACP Online Learning.

Enrol now in the Quality and Safety Spaced Learning course

Trainees and Fellows of all specialties can be leaders in advocating for and improving quality and safety. To assist with this, members are invited to enrol in the ‘Quality and Safety Spaced Learning course’, delivered via Qstream. The course aims to help participants identify quality and safety concerns, learn practical approaches to overcome these issues, and facilitate self-reflection and peer discussion. 

The course consists of three short case studies with 12 questions. Participants will receive case studies directly into their inbox and can complete them at a time that suits them - over a four-week period.  Members are encouraged to discuss the case studies and share opinions with others through secure, online discussion forums.

At the conclusion of the course, participants will receive a toolkit of useful resources to support their ongoing learning. Furthermore, RACP CPD participants can earn CPD credits for the time they spend on this course.

Spaces are limited, so enrol now for a late April start.

Contribute to the Indigenous Physicians Video Series and help grow the Indigenous medical workforce

The Member Learning & Development team is seeking members to assist them in producing a series of videos which will share the experiences and personal stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees and physicians. The aim of the video series is to build an understanding of the role and value of Indigenous physicians in healthcare, while aiming to inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are considering a career in medicine and physician training.

Trainees and Fellows with a special interest in this area are invited to join the working group to help scope and consult on the project. Submit your expression of interest by Friday, 18 March 2022.

Find out more.

RACP staff member wins digital health award

Carol Pizzuti, a PhD student at Sydney University, has won the Digital Health Week 2022 award for best presentation in the Health Information Seeking and eHealth Education stream titled ‘The role of regulators and professional regulations in fostering the use of electronic health data to strengthen Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for medical practitioners’.

Carol’s PhD is through the College’s partnership with the Digital Health CRC on the Practice Analytics project, which allows the College to be at the forefront of innovation in medical education and digital health. Congratulations, Carol.

Conferences and Events

The RACP publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.

 

The COVID-19 Expert Reference Group series

We invite you to join us online for the following complimentary webinars, brought to you by the COVID-19 Expert Reference Group (ERG). The group formed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ERG has broad representation and expertise in its membership, and meets regularly to discuss advocacy priorities, review government advice on COVID-19 and identify resources to share with members.

Psychological disruptions of COVID-19 and mental health needs of healthcare workers

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 17 March 2022 at 6pm to 7.30pm (AEDT). Find out more and register.

Supporting physician health and wellbeing

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 24 March 2022 at 6pm to 7.30pm (AEDT). Find out more and register.

 

Continued Education 2022 – Update in Gastroenterology, Rheumatology and Haematology Webinar

The RACP Victorian Regional Committee is hosting a webinar as part of the Continued Education program. Enhance your knowledge of gastroenterology, rheumatology, and haematology by listening to expert speakers: Associate Professor Mayur Garg, Dr Andrew Foote and Dr Abbey Willcox. 

All College members are invited to tune in to this educational online webinar on Saturday, 26 March from 9am to 11.30am (AEDT).

Register now to secure your place. Note: this event is eligible for CPD credits.

 

Register for The Digital Physician Webinar: Wednesday, 13 April at 6pm AEST

Find out what physicians need to know about digital health in this interactive webinar on Wednesday, 13 April 2022 at 6pm (AEST). Hear from members of the RACP’s Digital Health Advisory Group (DHAG) as they discuss what’s new in digital health and how the DHAG can support members to improve their understanding in this important area.

Hosted by Association Professor Clair Sullivan FRACP, topics covered will include:

  • identifying the drivers for digital transformation in healthcare
  • appreciating the value of using data and analytics in healthcare
  • defining the roles of digital systems in optimising physician-patient interactions and shared decision-making
  • recognising the potential of digital health as a platform for quality improvement and research.

Find out more and register for the webinar.

Pot-pourri submissions welcome

To submit an article for publishing in Pot-pourri, please email paed@racp.edu.au. The article should be no more than 350 words. If you would like to submit an image with your article, it would be assumed that you have received appropriate permission to use the photo and it needs to be of high resolution, above 300 dpi. Please note that articles may need to be edited by the RACP Communications Team.

Update your details with the College

Did you know that you can update your address details online? Simply log into MyRACP and go to 'Edit my details'.

Career opportunities 

Queensland

Western Australia

View all career opportunities on the RACP website.

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