Pot-pourri eBulletin 26 July 2019

President's Message

This week I received the very pleasing news that the impact factor of the Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health (JPCH) has increased again; from 1.449 in 2017 to 1.688 in 2018. The JPCH is distributed monthly, and includes a range of material such as research reports, educational articles and position papers. Congratulations to David Isaacs and the Editorial Panel for their great work. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with RACP Congress 2020 Lead Fellow, Professor Don Campbell to look at how key paediatric themes can be incorporated into next year’s program. The PCHD co-representatives on the Congress Program Committee are Dr Daryl Efron and Dr Jim Buttery. I look forward to seeing the program develop.

At the time of publication, the PCHD Council will have held its second face-to-face meeting this year on 25 July, and joint meeting with the Paediatric Specialty Societies on 26 July. The PCHD is cognisant of the differences between each society and their relationship with the College and would like to explore how engagement can be optimised. The focus for discussion will be centered on education renewal, workforce and the priorities for each society within these areas. I look forward to the meeting and will update you on the outcomes in the next edition.

Nominations are now open for the Howard Williams Medal. The Medal is awarded each year to a member who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the health of children and young people in Australia and New Zealand. Please consider nominating a colleague who meets this criterion. I would also like to remind members that applications are now open for PCHD’s International Grant – Asia Pacific Region.

Professor Paul Colditz
President, Paediatrics & Child Health Division

Nominations closing soon for Howard Williams Medal

Howard Williams was a great paediatrician. Inspired by the vision that the health of children was the basis for the health of the nation – and indeed for its whole social wellbeing – he determined as a young man to devote his career to the advancement of paediatrics.

Nominations for the Howard Williams Medal close on Monday, 12 August 2019. Nominate a Fellow who deserves to be recognised for his/her outstanding contributions to Paediatrics and Child Health. 

Changes to antenatal pertussis vaccination recommendations

Update received from Dr Kerry Chant PSM, Chief Health Officer and Deputy Secretary, Population and Public Health, NSW Health:

The National Health and Medical Research Council has provided updated recommendations on the range of timing of pertussis vaccination for pregnant women, which has been expanded from 28-32 weeks to 20-32 weeks gestation. These recent changes are expected to benefit pregnant women at risk of pre-term delivery by increasing their opportunities to receive the vaccine.

While the recommended timing range for this vaccination has been extended to the second trimester, I acknowledge that this may be disruptive to established protocols to vaccinate at the 28 week visit, potentially reducing effectiveness of the current programmatic approach. Therefore, pregnant women should continue to routinely receive their pertussis vaccination at their 28 week visit. Women identified as being at high risk of preterm birth, or unlikely to attend a 28 week visit for any reason, should receive their pertussis vaccination at 20 weeks or as soon as possible after this time. Women who do not receive the vaccine before 32 weeks should still receive the vaccination as soon as possible, at any time up until delivery.

Pertussis vaccine is provided free under the National Immunisation Program for pregnant women during each pregnancy to provide protection to the infant by the transfer of antibodies through the placenta. Vaccination during pregnancy provides the infant with protection against the disease during the first weeks of life before they can receive their own vaccinations from six weeks of age. Additional information on antenatal pertussis vaccination is available at: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/wc-newborns.aspx

If you require any further information please contact Dr Sonya Ennis, Manager Immunisation on (02) 9391 9194 or sonya.ennis@health.nsw.gov.au

Invitation: Annual Paediatrics and Child Health Advanced Training Orientation 2019

Date: Thursday, 1 August 2019, 5pm to 8pm
Location: The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Corner Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead NSW
Host: RACP
Register now

Join the RACP NSW Trainees Committee at the Annual Paediatrics and Child Health Advanced Training Orientation 2019 for an evening of interesting talks on:

  • prioritising your own health and wellbeing
  • managing your role as an Advanced Trainee
  • personal success stories, tips and resources
  • research projects – past project examples, how to choose an idea and mentor
  • managing staff
  • responding to bullying and harassment
  • communication and team work.


5pm-6pm: Advanced Training 1:1 Consultations (RACP Representative from Advanced Training)
5:30pm-6pm: Registration opens and refreshments
6pm-6:10pm: Welcome and introduction (NSW & ACT Trainee Committee)
6:10pm-6:40pm: Thriving as an Advanced Trainee (Dr Rebecca Nogajski)
6:40pm-7:10pm: Alternative and unique training options (Dr Phoebe Williams)
7:10pm-7:40pm: Advanced Trainee roles and responsibilities (Dr Marilyn Paull)
7:40pm-8pm: Panel Q&A (all presenters)

Bring your questions and concerns for our panel of guest speakers.

Register now for the orientation, which is being held at the Children's Hospital at Westmead on Thursday, 1 August 2019 from 5pm to 8pm. Please RSVP by Wednesday, 31 July 2019 via our event webpage. We look forward to seeing you there and encourage you to bring questions for our panel of experts.

Invitation to take part in an Australia-wide Paediatric Weight Management Services study

Study Title: Multi-disciplinary Paediatric Weight Management Services in Australia: A 10-year review
Investigators: Professor Louise Baur, Dr Shirley Alexander

The treatment for children with obesity includes a whole-of-health approach with children with severe obesity requiring treatment in secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities. As the number of children with severe obesity continues to rise, there will be an increasing need for services in secondary and tertiary settings to treat children with obesity.

We are seeking both public hospital and private practice multidisciplinary weight management clinics to participate in a study to:

  • Identify multi-disciplinary specialist paediatric weight management services across Australia.
  • Describe the service configuration, practices and patient profile of multi-disciplinary specialist paediatric weight management services.
  • Describe the management practices for children and adolescents attending multi-disciplinary specialist paediatric weight management services.

This study has been approved by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Human Research Ethics Committee: LNR2019/ETH00300. If you wish to participate or have any questions about this study, please contact the Project Manager: Dr Jennifer Cohen at Jennifer.cohen2@health.nsw.gov.au or on 0405 153 595.

College Gender Equity in Medicine meeting

You are invited to join your fellow members at an RACP Gender Equity in Medicine meeting on Tuesday, 20 August 2019 to showcase important gender equity initiatives and discuss the roles our College and membership can play to promote gender equity. 

Spaces are limited, so please register by Thursday, 15 August to avoid disappointment. 

When: Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Time: 6pm to 8pm (AEST)

Where: RACP Sydney Office, Level 19, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney 
RACP Melbourne Office, Presentation Room, Level 2, 417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Via teleconference – dial in details will be provided on registration.

Call for reviewers – Research Entry Scholarship and Travel Grant Applications

Applications for Research Awards offered through the RACP Foundation have just recently closed, and close to 300 applications were received across different award categories.

The Grants Advisory Committee (GAC) extends an invitation to Fellows who are willing to assist in reviewing the Research Entry Scholarship and Travel Grant applications. Reviewers will be assigned around 20-30 applications to review, with the review period from Thursday, 8 August 2019 to Thursday, 26 September 2019.

To assist the GAC with the assessment of over 160 submissions received for 2020 Research Entry Scholarships and Travel Grants, reviewers are urgently needed in the following specialty areas:

  • neurology
  • cardiology
  • oncology
  • endocrinology
  • paediatrics.

Expressions of interest will be accepted until Monday, 5 August 2019. Please email the RACP Foundation for more details.

Fellowship Medals

Nominations are now open for these College awards acknowledging outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields:

Successful nominees are presented a medal at the RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne and receive full Congress registration, return economy airfares and up to three nights accommodation.

If you have a mentor or colleague you wish to recognise, now is the time to nominate them for one of these prestigious awards. Nominations must be submitted by Monday, 16 September 2019.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation website. You may also email the RACP Foundation for enquiries.

Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) Research Awards

Under IAP Action Plan 2019-20, the IAP has initiated the IAP Research Awards to foster a research environment among the undergraduate medical students, pediatric postgraduate students, and private practitioners. The awards are offered to students from the Asian Pacific Pediatric Association (APPA) member societies countries as well as to private practitioners who are primary members of any of the APPA member societies. The awards will be granted every year for carrying out a research project related to child health. Applications are invited from interested researchers. For categories of awards, the criteria and selection process, please visit the website.

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.

The Trainees' Day offers professional development and community building opportunities for all trainees at any stage of training. It is also 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.

Apply to be a member of the College Research Committee

Expressions of interest are open for a Fellow to join the College Research Committee. The closing date has been extended to Monday, 12 August 2019.

Ethics and High-Cost Drugs Ethics evening event

On 19 June 2019, an Ethics Committee event on ethics and high cost drugs was held at the College, and also webcast and recorded.

Dr Narcyz Ghinea presented on current and projected pharmaceutical spending patterns, and the degree to which current trends are sustainable and may contribute to low-value care.

Dr Wendy Lipworth presented the results of an empirical study which examined the strategies used by Australian cancer physicians to manage dual loyalties when prescribing high cost cancer medicines, between patient advocacy and health resources stewardship.

Dr Linda Sheahan FRACP provided an organisational ethics perspective on the role of Local Drug and Therapeutics Committees in overseeing the judicious use of medicines in hospitals, and decision making around drug approvals for Individual Patient Use (IPUs).

Dr Ghinea and Dr Lipworth’s presentations are now available to view online

Australian Genomics' survey of medical specialists

Genomic medicine here to stay? Have your say.

Are you a medical specialist in Australia? If so, tell us your thoughts about genomic medicine practice and continuing medical education!

We need to hear from non-genetic medical specialists who work clinically in Australia. We want to know about past, present and future aspects of genetics and health, including genomics in healthcare.

It doesn't matter how much you know about this, or whether you incorporate genomics into your practice or not; your opinions, views and experiences are valuable to us.

You will help shape future workforce practices and continuing education and training programs

Complete the anonymous 15-minute survey. You are also encouraged to distribute the survey to your networks.

Please note there are separate studies for clinical geneticists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and general practitioners, who will be contacted directly.

This survey is an activity of the Workforce & Education Program of the NH&MRC-funded Australian Genomics Health Alliance. If you have any queries, please contact Dr Amy Nisselle, Specialist Project Officer, Australian Genomics Health Alliance (amy.nisselle@mcri.edu.au or +61 3 9936 6340). This survey has HREC approval, The University of Melbourne (1646785.8).

Boost your genomics knowledge

The Clinical Genomics for Physicians online course introduces physicians in Australia and New Zealand to the emerging field of clinical genomics. It aims to enable physicians to use genomics appropriately in their practice and engage with its evidence-based integration into the broader health system. It features video interviews with physicians already using genomics, interactive tools, quizzes and case studies.

The course covers:

  • human genome structure and function
  • genome sequencing and testing process
  • applications of genomic testing in healthcare
  • discussing genomic testing and results with patients and their families
  • ordering a genomic test or referring to genetics services
  • interpreting a genomic report
  • ethical, legal and social issues.

RACP Online Learning Resources are free for RACP members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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 the Australian Digital Health Agency for an interactive panel discussion on the opportunities My Health Record has for Indigenous health, integrated care and more.

Register now 

New Pomegranate Health episode

Ep48: Training in the Bush Part 1—Country NSW

A third of Australia’s population is classified as regional or remote, but since it’s such a big place it’s hard to provide comprehensive heath care all over. As a result, chronic disease gets treated later and mortality is 1.3 times higher than it is in major cities, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

There are only 42 per cent as many specialists per 100,000 population in regional areas as there are in major cities, but research shows that these experiences are more likely to lead to permanent careers in the country.

In this episode we visit the country town of Dubbo about six hours drive northwest of Sydney. The Dubbo Base Hospital services a catchment of 130,000 people spread across an area the size of Great Britain. While need in this area is high, Dubbo presents an example of strong clinical leadership and training across many specialties.

Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice 2020-21

The Commonwealth Fund's Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice provide a unique opportunity for mid-career health services researchers and practitioners from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom to spend up to 12 months in the United States, conducting original research and working with leading US health policy experts.

AMC Expressions of interest

The AMC is inviting expressions of interest from their membership for the Progress Reports Sub Committee with positions for an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander member, a Māori member, and a member experienced in medical education.

The position descriptions, expected time commitment, information about the Sub Committee and application process are detailed in the following position descriptions.

Expressions of interest close Monday, 5 August 2019.

For more information, please contact Juliana Simon, Accreditation Policy Officer at specaccred@amc.org.au or +61 2 6270 9752.

New Informed Financial Consent Guide launched

The RACP is one of 13 leading medical colleges, societies and associations to co-badge the Australian Medical Association's Informed Financial Consent: A Collaboration Between Doctors and Patients. Other co-badged organisations include two RACP affiliated specialty societies, the Australasian Sleep Association and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand. The guide aims to empower patients to better understand medical costs, and engage in conversations with their doctors about their fees. It was launched on 23 July at Parliament House in Canberra by the Minister for Health, Hon Greg Hunt MP.

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. 

Webinar: Working effectively with parents of young children at risk, 31 July 2019, 12pm-1pm (AEST)
Northern Australia Regional Paediatricians' Meeting, Wednesday, 14 August to Friday, 16 August, Darwin
Paediatric Refugee Health Conference, 23 August 2019, 8:15am to 6:30pm, Lorimor Dods Lecture Theatre, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine 'Humans In Space: Challenges for Exploration' short course, Tuesday, 3 to Saturday, 7 September 2019, Novotel on Collins, Melbourne

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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