Pot-pourri eBulletin 20 September 2019

President's Message

I am pleased to announce the 2020 recipient of the Howard Williams Medal is Professor Louise Baur.

Professor Baur is an Australian paediatrician, academic, and internationally recognised childhood obesity researcher at the University of Sydney and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. Louise has been instrumental in raising the profile of childhood obesity as an issue of clinical and public health importance in Australia and internationally.

Her body of research has helped define management efforts around childhood obesity and improved our understanding of the factors that help prevent obesity in the first years of life. In recent years, Louise’s work has also had a focus on the double burden of malnutrition in Asia.

Louise has pioneered the development and provision of clinical services for children and adolescents with obesity and she has championed the need for coordinated healthcare pathways and health professional training in paediatric obesity. She has had leadership roles within the University of Sydney, in various NGOs (including World Vision Australia Board and World Obesity Federation) and within the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and the Network Board.

I congratulate Louise and look forward to her oration at next year’s Congress.

When you read this, I will have attended the RACP Early Childhood Roundtable at Australian Parliament House on 19 September. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the RACP to showcase the excellent work of the Paediatric & Child Health Policy & Advocacy Committee and the working group who developed our Early Childhood: The importance of the Early Years position statement. Leading child health experts will provide advice to the Government on what actions should be taken to support child health and I look forward to providing you more details in the next Pot-Pourri.

September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) month and a timely reminder to us all of the significant impact FASD has on children. The Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit has a number of e-learning modules to assist with diagnosis and screening.

Professor Paul Colditz
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

Meet the College Board

You are invited to join members of your RACP Board at an informal meeting on Thursday, 26 September from 5.30pm to 7.15pm at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. You will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and network with other Fellows and trainees.

Numbers are limited, so register today to avoid disappointment. Please RSVP and advise any dietary or accessibility requirements.

Register now

What’s happening in Basic Training curricula renewal

We’re excited to announce the training settings that will be the first to adopt the new Basic Training program.

We will be working with the Gold Coast University Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital Auckland, The Townsville Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide to start rolling out the new Basic Training programs from 2020.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an expression of interest to become an early adopter of the new program.

We are also seeking expressions of interest for additional training settings to join those listed above as early adopters of the new Basic Training programs from 2021. 

Key changes coming to the Basic Training programs

Watch our video to learn more about RACP's Basic Training curricula renewal.

More information on the new Basic Training programs is available on the Basic Training curricula renewal pages.

RACP Indigenous Health Scholarships

The Paediatric & Child Health Division is proud to offer the 2020 Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health as part of the RACP Indigenous Health Scholarship Program.

The Program is an opportunity for those who identify as being Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori or Pacific Islander to receive support throughout their Basic, Advanced, Faculty or Chapter training in Australia and New Zealand. Each scholarship is valued up to $40,000 over three to four years, depending on the training pathway taken.

Several scholarships are available for 2020, including:

  • College Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Scholarship
  • New Zealand Indigenous Health Scholarship
  • Indigenous Health Scholarship for Paediatrics and Child Health

Applications are open from Tuesday, 1 October to Saturday, 30 November 2019.

Further details on these scholarships are be available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Eric Susman Prize

The Eric Susman Prize is awarded annually to a Fellow of the College for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine (adult medicine or paediatrics). Submit your nominations before Monday, 30 September 2019. For further details on these and other prizes, please visit the RACP Foundation webpage.

Refugee and immigrant health

Each year, thousands of people who have experienced persecution or other serious human rights abuses settle in Australia. The Refugee and Immigrant Health Curated Collection is a peer-reviewed resource to help you gain access to the key organisations and websites, webcasts, courses, tools and journals. View the resource today, or check out the whole range of RACP Curated Collections. Resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Access resources today

Input to RACP's ongoing work and advocacy on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Thank you to those Fellows who provided input into the College’s submission on the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) into NDIS Planning. The submission is being finalised and will be available on the RACP website soon. If you would like a copy of the submission sent to you directly, please email RACPConsult@racp.edu.au to request a copy.

Concurrently to this, the Australian Government has also promised to develop an NDIS Participant Service Guarantee to support positive participant experiences with the NDIS.The Guarantee will set new standards for the time it takes for key steps in the NDIS process. This means there will be shorter, agreed timeframes for people to receive a decision on whether they will be covered by the NDIS, for them to get an NDIS plan, and to have their plan reviewed. A particular focus will be on children and those participants needing specialist disability accommodation and assistive technology. To help facilitate this, a review of the NDIS Act 2013 has been announced, which will focus on removing legislative impediments and red tape to improve NDIS processes for participants and providers. It is not expected that this review will result in a fundamental reshaping of the NDIS. However, it is an opportunity to achieve better outcomes for patients and their families. Read the discussion paper.

The Policy & Advocacy Unit are currently developing a consultation framework for this review and will send it out to relevant committees soon. If you would like to provide feedback directly to this consultation, please contact Rebecca Randall via RACPConsult@racp.edu.au.

International Paediatric Chat

International Pediatric Chat (IPC) was founded by Dr Julius Edlavitch. With 5,000 members in 132 countries, Mike DeLarco called it the “world’s largest doctor’s lounge”.

On 16 May 1996 when a search for a specialty chat line for paediatricians came up empty, Dr Edlavitch came up with the idea to start his own. His vision was for doctors from all over the world coming together and talking about the issues. Edlavitch stated, “The neat thing about it is you can have a doctor in Israel wrestling with a case at three in the morning and now being able to chat with a doctor in Detroit over the internet.”

Unfortunately, Dr Edlavitch fell ill, and the site has been out of commission for many years. Dr Edlavitch and a team of people have been working over the last few years to update members' information, and to give a new face to the site. They are looking for new members to join them in this exciting endeavour. There is no fee to become a member or to use the site. An additional goal is to have a calendar of topics for paediatricians, nurses, and other physicians to discuss so that they may get on and find others there also. The URL is www.pedschat.org and you can sign in and register or contact Beth Galindo via beth.m.galindo@gmail.com, and she can take your information.

Dr Edlavitch once volunteered in the Head Start program for Anoka and Washington Counties, served as a developer of the Anoka County Unity Hospital Child Protection Committee, working to install playrooms and art work in emergency rooms and short stay surgery. "The best thing about the chat line is that you not only get helpful tips from other doctors," he said, "it's a great way to make friends and colleagues all over the world!" Credit is due to Dr Vladiniro Alcaraz-Ortega of Sonora, Mexico and Dr Humberto L. Lugo-Vincente of San Juan, Puerto Rico for helping with creating the web pages for IPC.

Spotlight on the Integrated Care Subgroup

'Integrated care' is a much-used term in healthcare. The College designated integrated care as a strategic Fellow-led priority, under the umbrella of the Health Reform Reference Group (HRRG). The work described here is a positive example of successful physician teamwork supported by the College’s Policy & Advocacy team. The HRRG comprises of many experienced members who consider a wide range of health reform issues. To lead this stream of work it formed an agile Integrated Care Subgroup.

The Subgroup is co-led by Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Dr Tony Mylius, and members include Mrs Debra Letica, Dr Mohamed Haroon Kasim, Dr Niroshini Kennedy, Dr Carol McAllum, Professor Christopher Poulos, Associate Professor Anthony Russell, Dr Tai Tak Wan and Dr Gerard Adrianus. Two team positions are allocated to paediatrics, and importantly, a team member is a consumer representative.

Since commencing at the end of 2018, the national group of Fellows has met consistently, and within a few months has produced a ‘model of chronic care management’. The model has been so successfully received that the College is receiving requests from health service delivery sites asking to be a ‘proof of concept site’. If you’d like to see a copy of Complex care, consultant physicians and better patient outcomes: streamlined care in the community please email policy@racp.edu.au. This has been the subject of high-level consultation with a comprehensive band of stakeholders.

The Subgroup is:

  • calling for health system infrastructure to better support consultant physicians (both private practitioner and hospital employed) to work in the community and in ambulatory care settings
  • advocating more flexible hospital services and the use of interoperable information systems to create a continuum of care for people with chronic conditions.

Share your talents at RACP Congress 2020

We’re looking for talented members to lead extra-curricular experiences for delegates at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne. Do you have a special interest outside of medicine you would like to share? Volunteer to lead a session at the RACP Congress Fringe Experience.

Express your interest

RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019

Physicians and trainees are invited to come together for an update on the latest research in Tasmania. The RACP Tasmanian Physicians' Conference 2019  will be on Friday, 8 November at the Launceston General Hospital. Held under the theme ‘Physician vulnerability: are you at risk?’ the conference explores online communications and medico-legal risk. With constant changes in these areas, it’s challenging for physicians to remain informed, confident and protected in their practice.

New Pomegranate podcast: Getting off the opioids

The dramatic headlines about the opioid crisis are all-too familiar by now. Australia and New Zealand have followed the lead of the US, and seen a fourfold increase in opioid use over the last 30 years. Most of this prescribing has been for chronic non-cancer pain, but systematic reviews will tell you that there are no decent trials that would warrant use for this indication.

In this podcast we’ll discuss some of the latest studies that have actually followed pain patients long-term, and provided evidence against the efficacy of chronic opioid use. Addiction medicine specialist Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds (Clinical Director Alcohol and Drug Service, Tasmania) talks about how to identify patients that have developed dependence on or addiction to opioids and how to wean them off this medication. And pain medicine specialist Chris Hayes (Director Hunter Integrated Pain Service) describes an alternative approach to therapy, that involves breaking maladaptive pain associations in the nervous system.

Listen now

Subscribe to Pomegranate podcasts

Be among the first to find out about new podcasts by subscribing to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunes, Spotify or any Android podcasting app.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening and using resources related to this episode.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health September 2019 released online

The September 2019 issue of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (Vol 55, Issue 9) is now live on the RACP website and JPC Wiley page. 

Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis

An initiative of the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) which is the world’s first cooperative research effort focused on autism across the lifespan.

Applications for the Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis (GCAD) at the University of Western Australia in 2020 are now open, and will close on Thursday, 31 October 2019. The GCAD trains medical and allied health professionals to participate in team-based diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The course is run in an online format supplemented by workshops, and therefore can be managed around work, with the exception of a four-day intensive face-to-face training in ADOS-2 administration in Perth. As part of the GCAD, students obtain detailed training on how to conduct diagnostic ASD assessments, and receive qualification to use the ADOS-2.

If you, or anyone you know, are interested please visit the University's website. You can also view a short interview with a GCAD student. For more information, please contact Emma Miller via emma.miller@uwa.edu.au.

Important information for medical specialists from the Department of Veterans' Affairs

The College has been notified of important changes to the referral process for Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) clients for allied health services from Tuesday, 1 October 2019.

These changes may impact our members if they refer their DVA clients to allied health services. The referral will now be valid for up to 12 sessions or one year, whichever ends first. After this, subsequent referrals will be managed by the client’s usual GP.

After 1 October 2019 specialists can only refer a DVA client for an initial treatment cycle.

For more information about the treatment cycle arrangements please visit the DVA website.

Further questions or information can be directed to Christine Reed, Director (A/g) of Health Policy via health.policy.section@dva.gov.au.

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 now update your address details online? 
Simply Login to MyRACP and go to 'Edit my details'.

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