Pot-pourri May 13 e-bulletin

President's message

This is my final Pot-pourri as I approach the weekend, the Congress and the Annual Meeting for the Paediatrics & Child Health Council. Over the last few weeks I have been reflecting on my actions and achievements these past two years. I had hoped to visit New Zealand to meet the New Zealand paediatricians in person but regrettably work and family commitments made this trip too difficult to arrange.

From the beginning, I have made it my focus to increase the visibility and impact of paediatrics advocacy through the College, and to improve the quality and timeliness of our efforts.  I intended to make the advocacy of our Division more immediate and more ‘out there’.  I think the Policy Division has risen to the challenge and paediatrics advocacy has become more agile and robust.  We may not have been able to hold a ‘funeral for the governments’ conscience through the streets of our capital cities’ but we have made important contributions to Federal and State policy reviews and reports.

The Paediatrics Policy & Advocacy Committee has continued to deliver on a broad range of policy statements and I am personally very proud of the work that the Division and its Fellows have done in advocating for children in detention and children in danger. There is always a fine line between advocating and getting the government off-side such that our advocacy is ignored.  I think we can, and need to, get closer to that line.  I am proud to say that the Division is now widely regarded as an advocacy leader in the College, and largely in response to our efforts, the issue of working with topical specialists for advocacy is now firmly on the College’s radar.

I also contributed to moving the Australian Clinical Exam away from the busiest time of the year to May.  I see this as a concrete example of changes we can make if we ‘Just Do It’.  The College continues to work on running the first part of the exam more frequently but that is some time away still.

At the start of my term I stated categorically that I was not interested in starting a breakaway college.  I stand by that but have been working hard with the Steering Group of fellow paediatricians to set up an organisation (tentatively called an Academy) that will be a voice for Paediatrics within Australia.  Most of the other craft groups in the College have their own specialty society.  Paediatrics in Australia does not, although there is the very successful multi-disciplinary Paediatric Society of New Zealand.  The gap in Australia has meant that the agile and assertive advocacy – the independent voice of Paediatrics that many of us seek has been arguably less visible this side of the Tasman. This can now be addressed with the Board accepting my proposal to assist in the establishment of an Academy earlier this year. This will provide us with an independent voice for the first time since the Colleges amalgamated.

The Steering Group has received over 30 expressions of interest from the paediatric community to be a part of the initial working party and there will be meetings in the near future to establish the Academy and get started with a membership drive, advocacy and the running of our own ASM.  

Changes to the governance of the College are being voted on at the AGM.  I support a smaller, skills based Board.  Some may fear that this could reduce the voice of paediatrics within the College. However, if we are smart we would have the opportunity to put three Paediatric Fellows on the Board and really help shape the future of the College.

No outgoing Pot Pourri would be complete without thanking the many people involved in helping me through this term, Julian Page who ably stepped into the shoes of Phillipa Ardlie.  Julian had a difficult task working with a President who also has another full time job but he demonstrated flexibility and patience as we learnt to work together.  Phillipa will return from maternity leave next month and I wish Julian luck with his next move.  Engy Henein and Jessica McCormick (now in the NSW State Office) both helped with the never ending administration of the role and the office.  There are many in the College who support what we do, the Senior Leadership Group are all essential to dealing with the many issues that arise on a daily basis and I thank them all.  

Alex Lynch and Caroline Turnour in the P&A office have always helped deliver our message to our stakeholders, Paula Rowntree and the Events Office, Laura-Beth Wood and the Company Secretary Office both made all of our meetings run very smoothly.  Of course I have been supported by an excellent Council, some new and some more experienced members who anchor the Council.  Finally I thank Paul Colditz who stepped up onto the Board, his calm and measured ways tempering my sometimes empassioned moments.  

I wish Sarah Dalton good luck and great fun in the Presidency, she has impressed me and many others over the last two years, demonstrating herself to be an extremely able and committed paediatrician who will ensure the future of paediatrics is a strong one.
Dr Nicki Murdock
PCHD President

Remembering Dr Mohammed Waseem Maaz

On 27 April 2016, most of the world learned the name Dr Mohammed Waseem Maaz for the first time. Dr Maaz was a paediatrician in Aleppo, Syria, at the ul-Quds Hospital in northern Aleppo, where he attended emergencies in the evenings after a day’s work at the nearby Children’s Hospital. In an environment wracked by constant armed conflict, he was credited with saving the lives of countless children and, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was one of the last paediatricians known to be in Aleppo.

On the evening of 27 April Dr Maaz was working, as he usually did, at ul-Quds Hospital, when it was hit by an airstrike. The fatalities from this attack included Dr Maaz, a dentist, three nurses and 22 civilians.

Dr Maaz was one of the few doctors and medical professionals left to look after approximately 250,000 people in that part of Aleppo, representing just five percent of doctors in place at the beginning of the war. He was just 36 years old when he died. His contribution to the lives of the local children has been praised by colleagues and friends, and the impact that his loss will have on the health and wellbeing of those individuals in this desperately afflicted community will be profound.

The plight of Dr Maaz and his contemporaries in Syria and other conflict zones is tragic in itself, and serves to highlight the dedication that these professionals have to their patients and to their communities. However these events also serve to highlight the tragic circumstances facing children and young people in places like Aleppo where access to paediatric services, difficult at the best of times, is now virtually impossible.

Selection into Training Consultation

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is seeking member feedback on a proposed selection process for candidate entry into Basic Training.  A panel of experts in the field of postgraduate medical education has partnered with the College to undertake a Selection into Basic Training Quality and Feasibility study.

The study aims to develop a merit based model for identifying and selecting candidates best suited for Basic Training, with progression into physician practice. The Selection into Basic Training process is part of the College’s strategy to address its Capacity to Train and preparations for implementation will begin in 2017.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the Selection into Basic Training Quality and Feasibility study consultation paper, either through completion of the survey or via a written submission to EducationPolicy@racp.edu.au For further information visit the Capacity to Train web page.

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Council – Casual Vacancy, closes 27 May 2016 

An opportunity has arisen for casual vacancies on the PCHD Council. Contribute to discussions on education, training and assessment of trainees; continuing professional development; policy and advocacy; overseas trained physicians; research; and workforce as each relates to paediatric and child health.

Read more about the Paediatrics & Child Health Division. 

The following commitment is required:

  • two face to face meetings in Sydney per year, generally February and June
  • two teleconference meetings of two hours per year, generally April and November
  • reading time for papers which are delivered about one week before a meeting.

    Expressions of interest are now sought for the following casual vacancy:
  • one New Zealand Fellow.  

Further information is outlined in the Position Description and also in the Paediatrics & Child Health Division By-law. Please submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 27 May 2016. 

EOI: PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee – Casual Vacancy, closes 27 May 2016

Would you like to be involved in policy and advocacy matters of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division? An opportunity has become  available to join the PCHD Policy & Advocacy Committee (PPAC), which gives and receives advice on policy and advocacy issues in paediatrics and child health. The Committee actively develops, coordinates, implements, and monitors the policy and advocacy interests and activities of the Division.

The Committee meets face-to-face in Sydney, twice yearly around February/March and August/September, as well as a mid-year and end-of-year teleconference. The term will commence in May 2016 in line with the College AGM and run for two years.

Expressions of interest are now sought for the following casual vacancy:

  • one New Zealand Representative

The position descriptions (including relevant governance documents), PPAC Terms of Reference, and recent PPAC achievements are available on the RACP website.  Please submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 27 May 2016. 

EOI: General Paediatrics Project Reviewers, closes 30 May 2016

The Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in General Paediatrics is seeking Expressions of Interest from Fellows to assist with marking General Paediatrics Research Projects. 

Currently there are two project submission deadlines per year; 31 March and 31 August. The ATC is looking to increase this to up to four submission rounds per year in the near future.

Project Reviewers will assist the ATC in General Paediatrics as the second Reviewer for up to five projects each quarter, in the first instance. Orientation and training on the process will be provided. 

More information on the Research Project requirement for General Paediatrics Advanced Training can be found on pages 21 and 22 of the handbook, which is available here.

For further enquiries, and to obtain the EOI form, please contact Rebecca Lewis via email on GeneralPaedsAdvanced@racp.edu.au. Please submit your EOI form by Monday, 30 May 2016.

EOI: Advanced Training Committee in General Paediatrics, closes 31 May 2016 

The Advanced Training Committee (ATC) in General Paediatrics is seeking Expressions of Interest from General Paediatrics Fellows to join the ATC as an Appointed Member. The Committee oversees Advanced Training in General Paediatrics. 

The ATC meets via teleconference eight times per year, with two face-to-face meetings in Sydney per year. The term of office is for two years, with the option to serve up to a maximum of six years.

Please contact Rebecca Lewis via email on GeneralPaedsAdvanced@racp.edu.au to obtain an EOI form.  Please submit your EOI form and CV by COB Tuesday, 31 May 2016.

EOI: Chapter of Community Child Health Committee, closes 3 June 2016

The Chapter of Community Child Health Committee is the peak decision making body of the Chapter that includes the domains of child protection, child behaviour and development and child population health. The Chapter fosters the development and accreditation of relevant training programs for doctors in community child health, supports CPD, supports research and special professional interests of doctors working in community child health, and advises the PCHD and College on matters pertaining to community child health.

The Committee meets face to face, at the College, twice a year in February/March and September/October as well as a mid-year and end of year teleconference. The term will commence in May 2016 in line with the College AGM and run for two years.

In addition to the three regular appointed members of the Chapter Committee, the Chapter is seeking to add a trainee representative from New Zealand, to encourage greater interaction with this important community group.

Expressions of interest from Chapter members are now sought for the following:

• three appointed Fellows resident in Australia
• one co-opted New Zealand Trainee

The position description and Chapter By-laws, are available on the Chapter webpage. Please submit your EOI of no more than 500 words and a brief CV to paed@racp.edu.au by COB Friday, 3 June 2016. 

EOI: The Early Childhood Position Statement working group, closes 3 June 2016

Fellows and trainees are encouraged to express their interest (EOI) in joining the RACP ‘Early Childhood Position Statement Working Group’. 

Over the last four decades there has been considerable research in the area of early childhood development, and a clearer picture of the effect of the first 1000 days on the subsequent life is emerging. However, despite some initial enthusiasm and broad commitment to child wellbeing, national implementation of evidence based, adequately funded, ongoing program has been variable, and many of the potential gains in child health and wellbeing, and the opportunity to reduce the onset of chronic illness in adulthood, have yet to be realised. 
The RACP has the expertise, opportunity and advocacy skills to make a significant difference to children and to make an impact on the burden of non-communicable disease in adult populations in generations to come.

The Lead Fellow of this working group, Dr Pat Tuohy will report to the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) Policy & Advocacy Committee which has oversight for the development of paediatric related position statements.

The scoping document is available on request. 

Representatives with the following skills and experiences will be considered: 

  • five PCHD Fellows with interest/experience in early childhood 
  • one PCHD trainee with interest/experience in early childhood
  • one PCHD New Zealand Fellow 
Submit your brief EOI and CV and a completed Conflict of Interest form to paed@racp.edu.au by Friday, 3 June 2016.

EOI: RACP Western Australia College Trainees’ Committee

Adult Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health Medicine trainees are encouraged to join the RACP Western Australia College Trainees’ Committee.

This committee sits under the RACP College Trainees’ Committee on which there is an Adult Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health trainee representative from Western Australia. 

These committees aim to advocate for trainees, provide a forum for the views of all trainees and ultimately to enhance the training experience.

The RACP Western Australia College Trainees’ Committee meets four times a year to discuss trainee related issues, as well as organising events such as the Basic Training Orientation and Advanced Training Forum for WA trainees, an initiative the Committee started in 2014. 

If you are interested in joining the RACP Western Australia College Trainees’ Committee, please email Helen Prince, Member Support Officer, RACP WA (Helen.Prince@racp.edu.au) to express your interest.

Career opportunities

Northern Territory

Paediatric Registrar: Royal Darwin Hospital

From August 2016 for 6 or 12 months
Any interested applicants should contact Dr Louise Woodward via email at louise.woodward@nt.gov.au with a cover letter and CV.

Western Australia

Consultant Paediatrician: WA Country Health Service (WACHS)

Reference number: CH889
Closing date: Friday, 3 June 2016

New Zealand

Paediatric Registrar (Advanced) 2016-2017: Nelson/Marlborough - December

Reference number: 44854
Closing date: Sunday, 22 May 2016

General Paediatrics Research Fellow: Child Health, Kidz First (1.0 FTE Fixed Term)

Reference number: 095265
Closing date: Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Community Paediatric Fellow: Child Health, Kidz First   (1.0 FTE Fixed Term)

Reference number: 095266
Closing date: Tuesday, 31 May 2016

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.

Early Childhood Intervention in QLD and the NDIS Public Forum, 2 June 2016, Brisbane

Venue: Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre Southbank, Brisbane
Date: Thursday, 2 June 2016, 7pm to 9pm
For more information visit the event website.

36th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Perinatal Society of New Zealand, 29 June 2016, Wellington

Venue:TePapa Wellington, New Zealand
Date:Wednesday, 29 June 2016
For more information visit the event website.

Global Partnerships in Intellectual Disability Health: enhancing research, policy and practice in NSW Symposium, 22 August 2016

Venue: Kirribilli Club, Harbourview Crescent, Lavender Bay NSW
Date: Monday, 22 August 2016
For further information visit the event website.

19th Biennial & 4th International Conference, 21-23 October 2016, Bangladesh 

Venue: Auditorium, Milton Hall, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU)
Date: Friday, 21 to Sunday, 23 October 2016
For more information visit the conference website.  

Hot Topics in Infection & Immunity in Children – The Perth Course, 1-2 December 2016, Perth

Venue: The University Club, Crawley, WA
Date: Thursday, 1 to Friday, 2 December 2016
For more information visit the event website.
This course is based on the ESPID-Oxford IIC course.

Trainee News

Paediatric Basic Training Orientation 

Venue: Lorimer Dods Lecture Theatre, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Date: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 5.30pm to 6.30pm
Please RSVP to RACPNSW@racp.edu.au by Tuesday, 17 May

You are invited to attend the 2016 Paediatric Basic Training Orientation session in Sydney on Tuesday, 31 May 2016.

The orientation is aimed at new basic trainees (PGY2s) and those interested in commencing Basic Training.  The event will cover key information including:

  • how to approach Basic Training
  • Basic Training Requirements
  • helpful tips to get you through your training
  • wellbeing and work-life balance.
Light refreshments will be provided. For those of you who are unable to attend in person the orientation will be available via video conference to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Gosford Hospital (TBC) and John Hunter Hospital.

Monash Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Update - Clinical Conundrums

It’s not too late to register! The excellent Monash Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Update - Clinical Conundrums will be on Friday 3rd June 2016. This popular event is aimed at consultant paediatricians, with speakers asked to address very clinical questions relevant to both generalists and sub-specialists.

Click here for further information and to register.

Executive Masterclass – Responsibilities for Leading Quality and Safety

Registrations are now open. The closing date is Monday 11 July 2016.

This three-hour workshop is ideal for Board chairs, Board members, chief executives and members of the executive team of healthcare facilities including hospitals, primary and community care organisations, both public and private sector.

Participants will require healthcare experience as a clinician, manager or board member.

Note:  Registration fees apply – for details and to register please click here

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Course Objectives: 

  • Understand role of accreditation and the expectations and responsibilities of Boards and Chief Executives
  • Understand the legal and governance responsibilities for quality and safety
  • Understand the new approaches to governance of clinical quality and safety, based on international best practice
  • ACHS asks that you forward the registration information to the relevant staff in your organisation for their consideration.  We also encourage you to visit the ACHS website for more information about the ACHS Improvement Academy and program offerings.

Freemasons Postgraduate Fellowships in Paediatrics and Child Health for 2017

This Fellowship/Scholarship is made available by the Freemasons of New Zealand who have provided postgraduate fellowships in Paediatrics and Child Health since 1988. 
to fund research and research training aimed at improving child health in New Zealand. 
Eligibility: University graduates who intend long term to pursue work in Paediatrics or Child Health within New Zealand. 

This Fellowship can be undertaken in Christchurch, Dunedin or Wellington Clinical Schools for one to two years. 

Closing Date: Friday, 8 July 2016 

For more information please contact Fran Cockerell on phone: + 64 3 470 9758 or via e-mail: wch.admin@otago.ac.nz

New eLearning resources available now

New online resources on communication in difficult situations and research projects, are the latest addition to the College’s eLearning library and are available to both trainees and Fellows.

The eLearning resources have been created by drawing on member feedback and cover topics that form part of the College’s training program curricula and the new College Standards framework.

Central to the design are video and audio scenarios that are inspired by the real life experiences of our trainees and supervisors. The resources also include reflection and practice activities, online discussion forums and curated information. 

Communication skills
This resource is created to help trainees through difficult communication situations which emerge in everyday practice, such as conversations with patients and families around end-of-life care.  It is based on established medical communication frameworks such as ISBAR, NURSE and SPIKES.

Research projects 
In line with new Advanced Training program research requirements from 2017, this resource provides a useful guide to the College approved research types.  

It provides an interactive overview of the research process, from finding a supervisor to publication. It includes tips from trainees who have completed successful advanced training research projects, as well as activities and opportunities for discussion.

Access is easy, follow these steps: 
1. Log into elearning.racp.edu.au
2. Watch the welcome video and complete the pre-participation survey. 
3. Watch the videos or listen to the podcast interviews. 
4. Use the “mark as read” buttons to keep your progress up to date. 
5. Generate your certificate of completion.

Important changes to the General Paediatrics Advanced Training program for new trainees starting in 2017 

From 2017, a number of changes will be made to the training requirements of General Paediatrics Advanced Training, to suit changes in healthcare and an evolving physician practice.
The changes apply to new trainees beginning their General Paediatrics training from 2017. They include an increase in the training time for the General Paediatrics component of core training, from 6 to 12 months. At the same time clinical subspecialty training will only be eligible for approval towards non-core training.

The changes have been made by the Australian and New Zealand Advanced Training Committees. 

The new PREP Program Requirements for Trainees who Commence Advanced Training in 2017 can be found on the College website
If you have further queries regarding this change, please contact the Education Officer for General Paediatrics in Australia at GeneralPaedsAdvanced@racp.edu.au  or New Zealand GeneralPaediatrics@racp.org.nz 

RACP Foundation Research Awards for 2017– applications now open

Applications are now open in the following categories for 2017 Research Awards:

Career Development Fellowships – closing date: Monday, 20 June 2016

Research Establishment Fellowships – closing date Monday, 27 June 2016

Research Entry Scholarships – closing date: Monday, 18 July 2016

Travel Grants – applications open Wednesday, 1 June 2016

There are several awards offered in each category. Contact the Senior Administration Officer by email at foundation@racp.edu.au or phone +61 2 9256 9639 for any queries regarding the eligibility criteria, or application process.

 Visit the RACP Foundation webpage for full details of all Awards.

Changes to Workplace Gender Equality Act 2016

In accordance with the requirements of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act), on Tuesday, 3 May 2016 the College lodged its annual compliance report with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (the Agency).   As a member based organisation, the Act provides for our members to comment on the report either to us by email to human.resources@racp.edu.au or to the Agency. 

Please refer to the Agency’s guidelines on this process are available on the Workplace Gender Equality website

eBulletins to move to monthly cycle 

Our research has shown that many Fellows and trainees want us to decrease the frequency of our communications, while improving the quality… and we’re listening.

After Congress, the President’s eBulletin, and Division and Faculty eBulletins, will be transitioning to a monthly cycle.

The first President’s eBulletin after Congress will be published on Friday, 20 May, and the next published on Friday, 17 June, continuing on a monthly basis after that.

The first Division and Faculty eBulletins after Congress will be published on an alternating cycle, starting Friday, 3 June, with the next published on Friday, 1 July, continuing on a monthly basis after that.

Please note that deadlines for submitting completed content is 5pm Tuesday, the week the eBulletin is sent.

The College Marketing and Communications team welcomes any feedback on eBulletins – please email us at communciations@racp.edu.au.

Changes to the RACP Training Positions Guide

The RACP has enhanced the medical positions vacant service to enable members to access it on the College website and advertisers to submit advertisements online as they arise. 

This means the RACP will no longer publish the Training Positions Guide in hardcopy or PDF.

What are the benefits?

  • It’s flexible – you are no longer limited to an annual publication, which means positions can be advertised at any time
  • Up-to-date information – advertisements no longer appear after the closing date
  • Advertisements reach a wider audience – medical positions vacant can now be accessed from the ‘About’ tab on the College website. 

View the current Trainee Positions and General Medicine Positions on the RACP Website.

Vale Emeritus Professor Charles Ruthven Bickerton Blackburn AC ED MBBS MD BA MDhc FRACP (1913 - 2016)

A memorial service will be held on Monday, 30 May 2016 at 4pm in The Great Hall, Quadrangle on the University of Sydney’s Camperdown campus.

For organisational and catering purposes, please RSVP to medicine.dean@sydney.edu.au by 24 May 2016. All welcome. 
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