Pot-pourri eBulletin 19 November 2021

A message from your President

The conditions related to vaccination of children and adolescents continue to evolve. May I encourage fellow members to review the RACP COVID-19 webpages

The RACP COVID-19 Expert Reference Group (ERG) is monitoring advice and recommendations from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination of children. 

There will be a strong role for the College in relation to advocacy for children in relation to COVID-19 preparedness for re-establishment of greater school attendance. Vaccination of children, staff safety and wellbeing, the safety of buildings, ventilation and the school yard remain areas of concern. 

Registration for RACP Congress 2022 has launched, highlighting the overall theme of ‘A Climate for Change’. The event will take place in Melbourne and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, and early bird registration before 31 December will secure you a 15 per cent discount which can be applied to either an in-person or virtual ticket. Will you be a voice for change? Register now and join us to be part of this crucial conversation. 

The Australian PCHD exams commenced on 1 September 2021 in the modular format, with Long Cases and Short Cases being delivered concurrently. As a result of the COVID-19 situation in NSW, the Short Case component has been delayed to early next year and will be delivered between 18 February and 13 March 2022. Well done to all those who’ve sat the exams thus far. This is the culmination of an extraordinary body of work and effort, and you are all to be congratulated. I attended the 2021 WA Trainees Day recently and was especially impressed by the members of the Trainees’ Committee who managed the day and provided excellent encouragement and advice to upcoming Basic and Advanced Trainees. 

On behalf of the PCHD may I thank all the examiners who’ve volunteered their time and expertise to this complicated process; the pressure you’re under to help deliver these exams is immense and is acknowledged and greatly appreciated. 

Finally, may I draw your attention to the Indigenous Australian and Māori Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health. Submissions close at the end of this month. More information on this and other Foundation opportunities can be found later in this eBulletin

Kind regards,

Professor Catherine Choong
PCHD President

Update from the Chapter of Community Child Health Chair

Paul HottonIn May 2021, it was an honour and a privilege to step into the role of Chair of the Chapter of Community Child Health. However, it is always a daunting task when you follow in the footsteps of some incredible people who have shaped the specialty direction. 

I must start by thanking Dr Chris Pearson for all his leadership and guidance as the previous Chair. Chris has been instrumental in developing priorities and advocating for child and family health in a specialty that he cares deeply for. I hope I can continue to drive the Chapter of Community Child Health (CCCH) vision of improving the health and wellbeing of all children. I would like to pay my respects and say a sad farewell to Clinical Professor Trevor Parry AM, a founding father of developmental paediatrics in Australasia, leaving behind a powerful legacy that impacts the core elements of the discipline. 

For those who do not know who I am, I am a community child health (CCH) paediatrician working across the core elements of CCH at Sydney Children's Hospital Network. My main areas of work are child protection. Still, I am interested in optimising the life chances for children from priority populations while transforming health systems and developing equity-focused care pathways. 

The CCCH has been involved with several RACP policies and advocacy work, such as:

  • a draft discussion paper on the use of the term ‘vulnerable’ within RACP
  • supporting the development of the RACP Health Care of Children in the Care and Protection Services
  • ongoing support to the RACP in the Raise the Age work
  • NDIS Evidence Summaries: Medications used for behaviours of concern in children, adolescents and adults with Autism
  • National Obesity Prevention Strategy 2022-2032
  • feedback on the proposed NDIS legislative improvements and the Participant Service Guarantee.

In 2021, the CCCH has run a monthly webinar series on various topics focusing on population health work nationally and internationally. We finished the webinar series with the Rue Wright Memorial Award, which recognised the best oral presentation research around the excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and relevance to community child health. We had seven outstanding presentations from trainees and Fellows, who presented on various topics spanning child protection, child population health, and developmental and behavioural paediatrics. This year's winner was RACP Fellow Dr Shanthi Ameratunga for her work on 'long-term disability and quality of life following serious childhood injury: a population-based study'. The webinars have been recorded and I encourage everyone to watch some of the amazing work that has occurred and is occurring in the CCH space.

We look forward to May 2022 and being face-to-face with the CCH Satellite Day in Melbourne as part of RACP Congress. We are working on the day but can't wait to bring you some great topics aligned with the 2022 Congress theme of 'A Climate for Change'. 

Moving forward, the CCCH Committee will focus on promoting the Chapter and its work within the College and the broader medical community. We look forward to engaging more with Chapter members to shape the direction of what its members want. One of the steps we have made is to engage with trainees, and we have changed the Chapter admissions process for the CCH Advanced trainees. We will continue to help generate discussion within the ROC (RACP Online Communities). We launched the Chapter’s own community a few weeks ago, and we look forward to more engagement with our members through this forum of support and collaboration. We encourage our members to reach out to the CCCH Committee. We are always looking at ways to improve, advocate and help children, families, the community and our colleagues. 

Dr Paul Hotton
CCCH Chair

Take part in two committees to progress policy and advocacy for adolescent and young adult medicine

A fantastic opportunity has become available to be part of important discussions on policy and advocacy matters related to the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young adults. Expressions of interest (EOIs) close on Monday, 13 December 2021.

One Fellow of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) is sought to be a conduit for dialogue between the PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee and the Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine Committee.
The term is scheduled to commence in November 2021 and run through to May 2022 as a casual vacancy. The successful applicant will be eligible to re-apply for up to two further terms.

Each Committee meets (individually) face-to-face, at the College in Sydney, once a year as well as via Zoom three times a year. 

Submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Monday, 13 December.


RACP Congress 2022 launches

RACP Congress 2022, A Climate for Change, will be taking place both in-person and virtually, in Melbourne and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland from 12 to 14 May 2022.

This three-day event will feature a range of speakers, panel discussions and workshops exploring the factors that are driving a growing desire for change and what can be done to bring about positive, lasting change. Australasia’s premiere specialist event should not be missed.

Visit the RACP Congress website to explore the program and register to attend. Book before the end of December to secure your early bird pricing.

RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division is proud to offer the 2022 Indigenous Australian and Māori Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health as part of the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program.

The Program supports medical graduates and current RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori on their chosen career path to becoming a physician. The Scholarships provide a funded pathway through Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and/or Aotearoa New Zealand.

There are other scholarships also available for 2022, including:

  • College Indigenous Australian and Māori Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Māori Health Scholarship
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Pacific Islander Health Scholarship.

Applications close Tuesday, 30 November 2021. Further details on these scholarships are available on the RACP Foundation website.

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 RACP Congress 2022 to gain educational and networking opportunities and exposure to career pathways within the College.

Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before the deadline of Monday, 31 January 2022. Visit the website for further details.

Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health

This prize is awarded for excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and oral presentation at the RACP Congress. One Fellow and one trainee may each be awarded AUD$750 and a certificate.

Visit the prize webpage for further details. Abstract submissions close Friday, 4 February 2022.

Rue Wright Memorial Award

This award is given to the presenter who best demonstrates excellence of hypothesis, scientific merit and relevance to community child health in an oral presentation at RACP Congress. The chosen presenter receives AUD$1500 and a certificate.

Visit the award webpage for further details. Abstract submissions close 4 February 2022.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

The November edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health – 'Effects of climate change on children' is now live on the Wiley Online Library website.

Read now

Become a mentor

We’re excited to announce Mentor Match is open via the ROC (RACP Online Community). Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development.

We invite you share your knowledge, expertise and advice with other members by registering as a mentor. Watch this short video to see how easy it is to participate.

Once we have 100 registered mentors, we’ll invite members to register as mentees.

Selection into training assessment pilot: What are the attributes of a good physician?

Selection into Basic Training can be highly competitive. We are collaborating with five paediatric and child health training networks and an external test provider to pilot whether a pre-interview assessment tool can help to ensure the most suited applicants proceed in the selection process for Basic Training. 

The pilot will trial the use of an online test called 'Casper', a test to measure a candidate's ability to reflect on and communicate responses to interpersonal and professional dilemmas, in-line with the attributes outlined in the RACP selection criteria and professional practice framework. 

We are seeking input from a broad range of people who interact with physicians and paediatricians on the types of behaviours that represent good professional practice from physician and paediatrician trainees. Although the settings involved in the pilot are all within paediatric and child health training networks the outcomes of the pilot will be evaluated to determine if the tool is fit for purpose for use in the RACP context more broadly, including in adult internal medicine and Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Therefore, we are also seeking input from members involved in Adult Medicine Training Programs. 

Complete this short survey to have your say on the types of behaviours that represent high-quality professional practice by physicians and paediatricians. This short video will guide you through what to expect from the survey. Responses are anonymous and are open until mid-December 2021. 

Share the survey with your physician and non-physician colleagues and patients to help us gain perspectives from a broad range of people in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Your insights will be used to align the test with the context and performance expectations for RACP Basic Trainees. 

The pilot will be run with applicants for Basic Training at participating pilot settings in mid-2022. More information is available on the RACP website.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s Launch of the national standard for acute anaphylaxis

For member information, The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is launching the first national Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard.

Date: Wednesday, 24 November, 1pm to 2pm AEDT
Format: Webcast event and panel discussion

The host, Associate Professor Amanda Walker, and a panel of experts will discuss key areas for improvement addressed by the standard including prompt recognition of anaphylaxis, appropriate treatment and safe discharge and follow-up care.

Full details and how to register can be found on their website

Pomegranate Health Podcast

Episode 75: Feeling Guilty – Medical Injury Part 2 

In the last episode we talked about what patients or their families want to hear after an iatrogenic injury. Despite best practice standards for open disclosure, this occurs far less often than it should. The reluctance from health practitioners to be more transparent is in part due to a misplaced fear of exposure to liability, but perhaps the greatest barrier to incident disclosure is the culture of medicine itself. The historic tropes of the infallible physician and the heroic surgeon are still strong today. Though team-based practice has become the norm, many doctors find it hard to admit to a mistake, not just to patients and colleagues but even to themselves. This podcast explores the guilt that can come about from having caused harm, and the cognitive dissonance this creates in one’s professional identity as a healer. 


  • Associate Professor Stuart Lane FCICM (Nepean Hospital; FMH lead for Education, University of Sydney)
  • Professor Simon Willcock FRACGP (Program Head of Primary Care and Wellbeing at Macquarie University; Clinical Program Head of Primary and Generalist Care, Wellbeing and Diagnostics at MQ Health)


Written and produced by Mic Cavazzini DPhil. Music licenced from Epidemic Sound includes ‘Far Away from Home’ by John Glossner, ‘Illusory Motion’ by Gavin Luke, ‘Heart of the River of the Sun’ by Lama House and ‘Struck By You’ by Seroa. Music courtesy of Free Music Archive includes ‘Harbor’ by Kai Engel. Image licensed from Getty Images. Additional voiceovers by Michael Pooley.

Visit the RACP website for a transcript and supporting references. Fellows of the College can claim CPD credits for listening to the podcast and reading supporting resources. 

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple PodcastsSpotifyCastbox or any podcasting app. Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD.

Join the Working Group: Providing Healthcare to Patients with Cognitive Disability 

Expressions of interest are being sought from RACP members and other subject matter experts to join a working group to develop a new online learning resource on providing healthcare to patients with cognitive disability. The resource is being developed in response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. It will address recommendations to improve the education and training of health professionals in relation to people with cognitive disability.

Find out more and apply by Monday, 22 November 2021.

Doctors' Health and Wellbeing Curated Collection

Doctors' health refers to the overall mental, physical and social wellbeing which enables you to practise effectively, as well as to enjoy your personal life outside of work. Check out the recently updated Doctors' Health and Wellbeing Curated Collection for the most relevant resources, readings, courses, videos and tools on this important topic. The Collection is thematically structured, so you can search and filter for the resources that suit your needs. 

Curated Collections are developed based on the contributions and peer review of RACP Fellows and other experts. Don’t forget to claim CPD credits for time spent on online learning resources.

Conferences and events

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians 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. 

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Expressions of interest

We encourage you to contribute to your College with your valued skills and experience.

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'.
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