Pot-pourri eBulletin 23 August 2019

President's Message

The PCHD Council met face-to-face in late July for two days, with RACP President, Associate Professor Mark Lane present for both meetings, and Board Director Dr Jacki Small present for the second. The first day was business as usual with the Council focusing on a number of matters including the current MBS item review, changes to the NDIS and STP funding across Australia. We were also briefed on the current activities of the Health & Wellbeing reference group by AFOEM President, Dr Beata Byok. It is pleasing to see the College is progressing work on this important issue and identifying key action areas for change.

The second day was the annual joint meeting with specialty societies. The meeting focused on two areas only: education and workforce, so that we could concentrate on the main issues within each and think about how the College and societies can work together in each space. Some strong themes emerged such as concerns about geographical distribution of services, lack of funding for positions, the number of paediatric trainees within adult dominated specialties and managing the transition of care. We will now look to identify specific actions the College can take to address these issues and work with relevant stakeholders on this.

I have recently been in the media advocating for the Queensland government to introduce a minimum floor price on alcohol. We are all aware of the harms caused by alcohol, in particular to our most vulnerable; children and unborn babies. The RACP calls on the Queensland government to introduce a minimum floor price on alcohol and contribute to a reduction of significant harm in the community. 

There is good news for our younger patients eligible for NDIS funding.  A fast track process for these children is now available to ensure that their early intervention is truly early. Similarly there has been an announcement about NDIS funding supports for our patients. This is great news for our younger patients eligible for NDIS funding.

Professor Paul Colditz
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

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.

Preventing colds: Knowing what works

In the most recent Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Poll, Australian parents were asked a series of questions to explore their knowledge about what works when it comes to preventing colds and the strategies they use to protect their children from catching colds.

This poll revealed that less than half of parents (46 per cent) know that frequent hand washing is the most effective way to reduce their chance of catching a cold. Four in five (84 per cent) parents report using one or more myth-based strategies for cold prevention, including staying warm (79 per cent) and avoiding going to bed with wet hair (54 per cent).

A quarter of parents (27 per cent) say they have kept their child home from school, preschool or childcare if other children in the class are sick. One in eight parents (13 per cent) report giving their child antibiotics to reduce their chances of catching a cold even though colds do not respond to antibiotics, and one in four parents (25 per cent) incorrectly believe taking antibiotics may stop a cold turning into the flu.

While the majority of parents do follow evidence-based strategies to help their children avoid catching or spreading the common cold such as good use of personal hygiene measures, around half of parents also report giving their child supplements or vitamins for cold prevention despite there being no scientific evidence they are effective in preventing colds.

The RCH Poll shows that while parents are trying a range of different ways to prevent their child from catching a cold, they would benefit from better education to help them understand that colds are caused by viruses and which cold prevention strategies are scientifically proven to work.

For further information please visit the RCH National Child Health Poll website.

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.

Evaluation of the Training Support Pathway

We are seeking the views of trainees and Fellows who have had experience of the Training Support Pathway.

Your feedback about your past experiences of the Training Support Pathway will help us identify what improvements can be made.

This short survey is open to:

Your participation will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes and is anonymous.

If you have questions about the research project, please contact the lead researcher, Gillian Lucas at evaluation@racp.edu.au.

College prizes

Nominations are closing soon for prizes which acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees. Submit your nomination for the prizes below by Monday, 16 September 2019.

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of the RACP and its members.
  • The College Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or community health through physician activities.
  • The RACP International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • The Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or New Zealand.
  • The Mentor of the Year Award presented to a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or providing a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • The Trainee of the Year presented to a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.

Details about these prizes are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

The Trainee Research Awards

Trainees are encouraged to apply for the RACP Trainee Research Awards. This is an opportunity to present your research at regional events. Representatives will be selected from each event and invited to present at RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne in the ‘Research and Innovation Showcase’. Applications are due Saturday, 31 August 2019.

Details about this prize are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day 2020 – Earlybird registration open 

Register today for Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day 2020. This event is developed by trainees for trainees and will be held on Saturday, 4 April 2020 at The Heritage Hotel in picturesque Queenstown.

If you are an RACP trainee, this event is for you. Whether you are a basic or advanced trainee, adult medicine or paediatrics, the Trainees’ Day will be inspiring and relevant for wherever you are in your training journey. Offering a variety of big picture topics and professional skills building, every NZ trainee should attend Trainees’ Day at least once during Basic Training and once during Advanced Training.

Trainees' Day offers professional development and community building opportunities for all trainees at any stage of training. It is supported as a recognised skills day by New Zealand District Health Boards and attendance costs are reimbursable and earlybird registration is open now.

Trainees’ Day is an opportunity to connect with the wider trainee community, take time out to think broadly and strategically about your career, and hear practical wisdom from experienced physicians and other professionals.

Register now for the RACP Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day 2020.

For more information email the RACP New Zealand team.

AMC Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Committee Chair needed

The Australian Medical Council Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Committee invites interested Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori members to nominate for the position of Committee Chair. Closing date for nominations is 5pm Friday, 6 September 2019.

Webinar: My Health Record – Opportunities to better serve the population

Monday, 26 August 2019, 6pm to 7pm (AEST) Webinar

Join Dr Rosalie Schultz, Associate Professor Nick Buckmaster and Carey Doolan from the Australian Digital Health Agency next Monday for an interactive panel discussion on the opportunities My Health Record has for Indigenous health, integrated care and more.

Register now 

If you’ve used My Health Record, we want to hear from you

RACP has been engaged by the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) to help promote and encourage the adoption and use of the My Health Record (MHR) system. We are looking for trainees and Fellows who have used MHR to share their experience.

We’re keen to understand and build a suite of real-life practical vignettes, highlighting the use and benefits of MHR by specialists, working in a range of settings. Your contribution on how the MHR may be embedded in current specialist workflow is extremely valuable. RACP and the Agency may use the information provided in a variety of ways (e.g. print and social media, educational resources etc.) and as per the process, we will consult with the author for review & approval. We may also contact you to present your cases for educational webinars/podcasts.

If you are interested in being involved, please complete the RACP Clinical Use Case Template and provide to gemma.altinger@racp.edu.au. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Evolve strategy 2019-21 consultation now complete

Since 2015, Evolve has been a flagship initiative of the RACP. Evolve enables physicians to be leaders in high-value, high-quality care. The importance of this initiative was recognised in recent government reviews including the Productivity Commission’s 2017 Shifting the Dial Five Year Productivity Review. Consultation for our 2019-21 strategy is now complete. We thank our members for their valuable insights which contribute to the ongoing development, delivery and evaluation of Evolve. We look forward to sharing the outcomes with our members in the coming weeks.

Draft Peripheral Venous Access Clinical Care Standard – call for comment

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has invited the College to comment on its draft Peripheral Venous Access Clinical Care Standard. If you wish to help the College develop a response to this draft, please send your comments on the draft standard to racpconsult@racp.edu.au by close of business Monday, 9 September 2019. You are also welcome to make your own submission.

Are you heading to IIC Perth in December?

Book your place for the Hot Topics in Infection & Immunity in Children – The Perth Course (IIC Perth) being held in Western Australia on Thursday, 5 and Friday, 6 December.

Hosted by the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases based at Telethon Kids Institute, IIC Perth is a clinical training course in childhood infectious diseases based on the ESPID-Oxford concept.  Featuring a broad range of international expert speakers and interactive case rounds, Perth is the only place in the southern hemisphere providing this popular course and equipping attendees from Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region with the latest knowledge and best evidence to prevent, diagnose and cure infectious diseases.

Visit the IIC Perth website to find out more and register.

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. 

North Queensland Physicians Conference, 14-16 September 2019, South Townsville
ELLC Workshop Flyer - Queensland Children's Hospital, 17 October 2019, Queensland Children's Hospital, South Brisbane
Academy of Child & Adolescent Health Annual Conference, 17-19 October 2019, Adelaide

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

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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