Pot-pourri newsletter 5 February 2016

President's post

Welcome to 2016, and what will undoubtedly be another busy year for all of us. This year I finish my Presidency of the Division and will pass the baton to Dr Sarah Dalton, an Emergency Paediatrician who also works at the Clinical Excellence Commission in NSW. 

Nominations for positions on the PCHD Council and RACP Board have closed, and I would like to congratulate Dr Divyesh Mehta, Dr David Everett, A/Professor Michael Gabbett, and Professor Catherine Choong on their successful nomination to the PCHD Council. The election for President-Elect of PCHD Council will also commence on 3 March 2016, and Professor Catherine Choong, Dr Paul Bauert and Professor Paul Colditz have all nominated for this role. I encourage all paediatric members of the College to participate in this election, and once again congratulate all nominees for their demonstrated interest in contributing to the Paediatric and Child Health Division’s ongoing activities.

Once the elections have concluded, the Division will be looking to fill several casual vacancies on Council, and I encourage you to think about nominating yourself to join the Council and help with the work of the Division. 

It’s a great pleasure to start the year by congratulating two of our Fellows for their recognition in the Australia Day Honours list. Emeritus Professor Robert Ouvrier OAM was made a Companion (AC) in the General Division for eminent service to medicine, particularly to the discipline of paediatric neurology, through pioneering efforts in neuromuscular research, to a range of medical professional organisations at the national and international level, and as an author and educator. Professor Peter Sly was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division for distinguished service to medical research and education in the area of paediatric respiratory medicine, as an academic, author, and clinician, and to professional organisations. Please join me in congratulating both for their outstanding efforts.

In January, I attended Pedicon 2016 and the Asia-Pacific Pediatric Association (APPA) Board meeting in Hyderabad, India on behalf of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division Council. The conference was large and very interesting, I, Associate Professor Sue Moloney, Dr Shanti Raman and Dr Divyesh Mehta all presented at the meeting. During my time there I attended the Non-communicable Disease workshop organised by the American Academy of Pediatrics and had time to discuss the Paediatric Care Online program with them. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has now been given license to use this program and we will be looking at it in the Council meeting this month, to assess if we think it is valuable  in providing Continuing Professional Development for us in Australasia. I also spoke to the Indonesian College of Pediatrics and Indonesian Pediatrics Society about building on the Memorandum of Understanding. They are interested in moving forward with more visits to the exams and also seek to build relationships with paediatricians in our two countries. They are specifically looking for links with subspecialists to improve their care of patients. We will be brokering this through the Specialty Societies, and if anyone is interested in forming a relationship please email paed@racp.edu.au.

The APPA council meeting decided to set up some Technical Advisory Groups on the following issues:

  • immunisation advocacy and training
  • non-communicable diseases
  • newborn and child survival including birth defects
  • research in child health and training in paediatric subspecialties
  • nutrition
  • adolescent health.

If you are interested in being on one of these groups or chairing a group please let us know as soon as possible. APPA aims to have someone from each country. It is intended that meetings will be held by teleconference and at the APPA meeting held every two years. The next meeting will be in Bali in 2018.

The RACP Congress 2016 is scheduled for 16 to 18 May 2016, and registrations are now open. I am pleased to report that the paediatrics agenda is coming along very well, and I am confident that a worthwhile program will be in place for all attendees. 

Dr Nicki Murdock
PCHD President

EVOLVE and Paediatrics

The RACP’s EVOLVE initiative is a paediatrician and physician led initiative reflecting the College’s commitment to a high quality, safe and sustainable healthcare system. Through the initiative, paediatricians can help lead the evolution of high-value patient care and participate in an opportunity to examine evidence from their specialties in a new light, making substantial improvement to practice where warranted.

EVOLVE is part of a growing international movement to analyse medical practices and reduce the use of low-value clinical practices and interventions including initiatives such as the US and Canadian Choosing Wisely campaigns. EVOLVE also complements NPS MedicineWise’s Choosing Wisely campaign in Australia, which engages clinicians and patients in conversations about low value interventions.

EVOLVE encourages each medical specialist to think about the clinical circumstances in which some of their practices, whether they are medical tests, procedures or interventions, should have their indications or value questioned and discussed by paediatricians and physicians. These practices may be overused, inappropriate or of limited effectiveness in a given clinical context. The result will be the development of a top five low value practices list for each specialty. The EVOLVE website was launched last Friday to publish and widely disseminate recommendations provided by specialties, and promote discussion with their colleagues and patients of the top five low value practices lists.

The Paediatrics & Child Health Division has established a working group to apply the EVOLVE program to general paediatric practice. Membership of the working group includes paediatricians from a variety of backgrounds, and in partnership with the College has constructed a preliminary list of practices and interventions based on the research conducted as part of the Choosing Wisely campaigns. This preliminary list will be reviewed and consolidated by the working group before going out to the wider paediatric community for feedback, with the ultimate goal of developing a top five low value list of general paediatric practices and interventions, which will be posted on the EVOLVE website to facilitate community consultation and discussion.

RACP Congress 2016 will provide an opportunity for paediatricians to review, and comment on, the work conducted on this initiative to date. Dr Sarah Dalton, the working group lead and incoming President of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division, will chair a session on EVOLVE and address questions and comments from interested stakeholders and participants.

For more information or to get involved, please contact the working group at paed@racp.edu.au.


EOI: College Workforce Profile Pilot, closes 22 February 2016 

The College Workforce Unit is piloting a workforce planning system to capture workforce data from Fellows. This will replace the existing College-wide workforce surveys. 

We are looking for a small group of Fellows to assist with the pilot which will be conducted via email and take approximately twenty minutes. It is open to Fellows from all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters in both Australia and New Zealand. 

To submit an Expression of Interest email Andrew Hilton at andrew.hilton@racp.edu.au

Applications close:  Monday, 22 February 2016. 

EOI: Chapter of Community Child Health Committee, closes 29 February 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.

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

  • six appointed Fellows; at least one being a resident of New Zealand
  • one trainee of the Chapter

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 Monday, 29 February 2016. 

EOI: Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party, closes 29 February

The College Policy and Advocacy Committee is seeking Expressions of Interest from Fellows and trainees for its new Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Death Working Party.

The College is committed to a fair, balanced, robust and transparent process for establishing a College position or positions on these topics. 

Download the Terms of Reference, and Expression of Interest Application Form

Expressions of Interest must be submitted by close of business on Monday, 29 February 2016 to policy@racp.edu.au.

If you have any further questions regarding the establishment of the Working Party, please contact Louise Hardy, Manager – Policy and Advocacy on +61 2 8076 6358 or louise.hardy@racp.edu.au.

Consultation: Draft RACP Policy and Position Statement on E-Cigarettes, closes 29 February

The dilemmas surrounding e-cigarettes are an area of active debate worldwide. The RACP Reference Group on Electronic Cigarettes is seeking feedback on the College’s draft policy and associated draft position statement. Your input will greatly assist in the development of the RACP’s final policy position.

To request a copy of the documents and consultation questions or to submit your comments contact Ritu Mohan at racpconsult@racp.edu.au.

The consultation period closes on Monday, 29 February 2016.

EOI: Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) Scientific Review Panel

The APSU is seeking expressions of interest from experienced paediatricians/researchers with an interest in rare childhood conditions to join its Scientific Review Panel (SRP). They are seeking three new members, preferably from South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. 

The APSU is a national resource which facilitates surveillance and research into rare childhood conditions including rare infectious diseases, rare genetic conditions, rare injuries and other rare conditions or rare complications of more common conditions. 

The SRP reviews applications from groups of investigators who want to conduct surveillance using the APSU system. The committee meets three times per year via teleconference. 
If you are interested in joining the SRP, please provide a brief CV listing your qualifications, experience and key relevant publications and why you are interested in serving on the SRP. Send your expression of interest to SCHN-APSU@health.nsw.gov.au by COB Friday, 18 March 2016. 

For any queries please contact the APSU on +612 9845 3005 or contact Dr Marie Deverell at marie.deverell@health.nsw.gov.au or on +61 2 9845 2200.

Get Involved: RACP Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group

The debate on medicinal cannabis has intensified in the last 12 months, with both the general public and politicians calling for legislative change to allow its use. Legislation has been proposed in Victoria to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis for paediatric drug-resistant epilepsy, terminal illness and to manage symptoms associated with chemotherapy. 

To enable the College to make timely and well informed responses on this topic, the College Policy & Advocacy Committee (CPAC) is establishing a Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group (the MC Reference Group). 

The purpose of the MC Reference Group will be to enable the College to respond with appropriate expertise on medicinal cannabis topics and to guide policy development on this topic. 

Getting involved
Joining the MC Reference Group will allow you to contribute your views and expertise to the medicinal cannabis debate.

The roles and responsibilities of the MC Reference Group are:

  • to provide input to College submissions on matters related to medicinal cannabis
  • to be a source of subject matter experts to represent the College at medicinal cannabis related meetings, workshops and advisory groups
  • to contribute to College work on other policy priorities where medicinal cannabis is a related matter.

Download the Terms of Reference.

Physicians of all specialties are invited to apply, to ensure the breadth of physicians’ perspectives is brought to the MC Reference Group. However, the College is particularly seeking Fellows and trainees working in the following areas of specialty practice:

  • Neurology
  • Paediatric neurology
  • Oncology
  • Paediatric oncology
  • Palliative medicine
  • Addiction medicine
  • Public health medicine
  • General paediatrics
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Occupation and environmental medicine
  • General medicine
  • Clinical pharmacology

If you would like to join the MC Reference Group or would like further information, please contact policy@racp.edu.au or phone +61 2 9256 9624.

Get Involved: RACP e-Health Reference Group

It is acknowledged that e-Health has the potential to drive significant improvements in both the quality and safety of healthcare. Yet it remains a work in progress.

With the re-commitment of the government to a national e-Health strategy, and the upcoming transition from NEHTA to a new Australian Digital Health Agency, physician and paediatrician input to this policy area is vital.

To enable the College to provide informed and expert input to e-Health policy, make timely and well informed responses on eHealth matters, and increase physician and paediatrician representation on relevant external committees and working groups, the College Policy & Advocacy Committee (CPAC) is establishing an e-Health Reference Group.

Getting involved
Joining will allow you to contribute your expertise and views on current and future e-Health issues and enable physician and paediatrician input to shape e-Health developments and plans.

The roles and responsibilities of the e-Health Reference Group are:

  • to provide input to College submissions on e-Health matters
  • to be a source of subject matter experts to represent the College at e-Health related meetings, workshops and advisory groups
  • to contribute to College work on other policy priorities where e-Health is a related matter.

Download the Terms of Reference.

If you would like to join the e-Health Reference Group or would like further information, please contact policy@racp.edu.au or phone +61 2 9256 9624.

Career opportunities

New South Wales


  • Paediatric Registrar: Launceston General Hospital
    See page 32 of the Training Positions Guide 
    12 months position Feb 2016 – Feb 2017  
    A 6 months position Feb 2016 - August 2016 could be considered. 
    Contact: Dr Christopher Bailey at chris.bailey@dhhs.tas.gov.au or on Ph: +61 3 6777 8972 


Western Australia

  • Developmental Paediatrician: Outreach services - Albany, WA Country Health Services – Great Southern
    To provide weekly 2-day clinics
    Email your contact details to Kristy Law – Program Officer at Kristy.Law@ruralhealthwest.com.au or call +61 8 6389 4510.

New Zealand

Conferences & events

Physician Education Program (PEP) event series,
February – December 2016, Melbourne

The Physician Education Program series of lectures held every Thursday night (4 February – 8 December 2016) is designed for Basic Trainees as an opportunity to gain knowledge that will assist in the written exam. The lectures are also open to Advanced Trainees and Fellows wishing to keep informed of the latest developments in each specialty. The lectures are held at RACP Melbourne, Level 2, 417 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Light refreshments will be provided for attendees.

National Child Wellbeing Symposium,
25 February 2016, 

National Children's Commissioner, Ms Megan Mitchell, will launch the final Australia Child Wellbeing Project (AWCP) report and database.

Venue: National Convention Centre, 31 Constitution Avenue, Canberra
Date: Thursday, 25 February 2016
Time: 9am – 4.30pm
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the symposium website.

Hopkins Symposium in Paediatric Neurology,
2 March 2016, Melbourne

Venue: Ella Latham Theatre, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Date: Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Registrations: For more information and to register please visit the Hopkins symposium webpage

The 5th Global Congress for Consensus in Pediatrics & Child Health (CIP2016), 
3 – 6 March 2016 China

Venue: Hilton Xi’an, China
Date: Thursday, 3 to Sunday, 6 March 2016
For more information visit the conference website.

New Zealand Trainees’ Day 2016,
19 March 2016, Christchurch, New Zealand

Venue: The University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch
Date: Saturday, 19 March 2016
Registration: Please complete the registration form and email to communications@racp.org.nz, or phone +64 4 460 8122
Cost: NZ $250 (includes dinner)

The New Zealand Trainees’ Day program offers information and skills development to support trainees in balancing their physician career with all other elements of life. This event is suitable for trainees in all specialties and at all stages of training. This year’s theme is ‘making good decisions: at work and at home’. 

10th Annual Update in Paediatric Emergencies,
8 – 10 April 2016, Noosa, Queensland

A three day update course for emergency physicians and paediatricians.

Venue: Peppers Resort & Spa, Noosa
Date: Friday, 8 to Sunday, 10 April 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website

Child Aware Approaches Conference,
23 – 24 May 2016, Brisbane

Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Date: Monday, 23 and Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

The 2nd International Neurosequential Model Symposium,
8 – 10 June 2016, Canada

Venue: The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada
Date: Wednesday, 8 – Friday, 10 June 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

28th International Congress of Pediatrics,
17 – 22 August 2016, Vancouver, Canada

Venue: Vancouver Convention Centre
Date: Wednesday, 17 to Monday, 22 August 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the conference website.

4th International Conference on Oesophageal Atresia – OA 2016,
15 – 16 September 2016, Sydney

Venue: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney
Date: Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 September 2016
Registration: For more information and to register please visit the event website.

International Medical Symposium 2016 – ​Future Challenges for the Medical Profession

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in association with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) are pleased to host the 2016 International Medical Symposium: Future Challenges for the Medical Profession.

We encourage you to join the debate around the future role and challenges of the medical profession. This will be a world class symposium with international and local speakers and is guaranteed to showcase ground-breaking and challenging discussion around the development of our roles as health professionals.  

Keynote speakers at IMS 2016 include:

  • Professor Olle ten Cate, Netherlands 
  • Professor David Sinclair, Australia 
  • Dr Julian Archer, United Kingdom 
  • Dr Susan O’Dwyer, Australia 
  • Dr Victoria Brazil, Australia 
  • Dr Papaarangi Reid, New Zealand

The Symposium will take place at the Amora Hotel Sydney on Friday 11, March 2016. 

For program and registration information please view the website 2016 International Medical Symposium or contact the RACP Events Team at ims@racp.edu.au.

Congress website now live and registration open

Planning is well underway for RACP Congress 2016, to be held in Adelaide on May 16-18, with the Congress website now live and registrations open. 

The next key date in the lead up to the event is the early bird deadline of Friday March 11, with discounts available to those who register early. For this year only, attendees who have attended two of the last five RACP Congress events will also be eligible for VIP registration rates. 

 Speakers at this year’s event speakers include Sir Henry Burns, Professor John Mills, Professor Dinah Reddihough, Professor William Ivan Glass and Professor John Chalmers.

Recipient of 2015 Examination Medal in Paediatrics & Child Health

Dr Luisa Clucas is the recipient of the 2015 Examination Medal in Paediatrics & Child Health for best overall performance in the combined Written and Clinical Examination.  

Luisa spent 2015 as a paediatric registrar at Sydney Children's Hospital. Her previous years of basic training were completed at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital Melbourne, including a six month rotation at Albury Wodonga Health.

Site accreditation criteria consultation

The Advanced Training Committee in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine is currently finalising the development of an Advanced Training Program in Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine including an Advanced Training curriculum, program requirements, and site accreditation criteria. The program is due to commence in 2017.

The draft site accreditation criteria for this new program are now open for feedback from members.

Download the draft criteria and complete a short survey to participate in this consultation process.

Consultation is open until Wednesday, 17 February 2016.

Register now – Online ​Supervisor ​Professional ​Development ​Program (SPDP)

The online Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) is a three part program which has been designed and developed specifically for supervisors, in collaboration with leaders in education. These newly developed eLearning courses are free for RACP Members.

The courses are all five weeks in duration with new activities, videos and discussion forums added each week. It is expected that you will need to put aside one to two hours per week to participate in and complete the course, and participation can be counted towards your myCPD program. Courses can be completed using a computer, tablet or mobile device and participation undertaken at times convenient to you.

Part 1 – Practical Skills for Supervisors

Registrations for part 1 of the SPDP online course, Practical Skills for Supervisors, are now open, with the course beginning Monday, 15 February 2016. To register, please send your MIN number to learning@racp.edu.au, using the subject line 'registration for SPDP1'. Registration closes Tuesday, 9 February 2016.

96% of past participants said they would recommend this online course to other Supervisors.

2016 dates

2016 dates for all three parts of the online SPDP in 2016 are listed below:

SPDP 1 - Practical Skills for Supervisors
15 February – 21 March 
8 August – 7 September

SPDP 2 - Teaching & Learning in Healthcare Settings
2 May – 3 June  
5 September – 7 October

SPDP 3 - Work-based Learning & Assessment
Late 2016: date tbc.

If you would like to register your interest in part 2 or part 3 of the series, please send your MIN number and your preference to learning@racp.edu.au

New Zealand President-Elect Announced

Congratulations to Dr Jeff Brown who has been announced as the incoming New Zealand President-Elect.

Dr Brown has been a paediatrician at Palmerston North Hospital, New Zealand, for 20 years and is the current Chair of the New Zealand Paediatrics and Child Health Division Committee.

Throughout his career Dr Brown has made vast contributions to the area of paediatrics in New Zealand in both the profession and the practice.

As part of his role as Chair of Advanced Paediatric Life Support New Zealand Dr Brown was an integral part in the development of a New Zealand Resuscitation Council Newborn Life Support Course. The course ensures a nationally consistent standard for all health professionals at the birth of a baby.

He also served a six year term with the New Zealand Paediatrics and Child Health Education Committee – reforming the accreditation process and making it consistent with other Colleges. 

In 2009 Dr Brown chaired the Ministerial Taskforce that developed the In Good Hands report. The report outlined transformative changes to clinical leadership that must occur and the importance of nurturing clinical leadership. 

Dr Brown said that during his time on the New Zealand National Health Board he was able to get a clear picture of the machinery of the health system and the scope of leadership required to improve it. 

Dr Brown’s role as New Zealand President-Elect will begin at the close of the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 16 May 2016.

RACP Foundation awards and prizes

RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence in the field of paediatric medicine

Congratulations to the following trainees who have been selected to present their research in the field of paediatric medicine at RACP Congress 2016 as part of the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition. 

State/New Zealand  Representative  Topic 
New South Wales Dr Angela Titmus Response to growth hormone therapy and gonadal pathology in 45,X/46,XY females
Northern Territory Dr Shreerupa Basu Paediatric Advance Care Planning: Physician experience, confidence and education in raising difficult discussions
 New Zealand Dr Bronwyn Rosie Epidemiology of intussusception in New Zealand pre-rotavirus vaccination
Queensland Dr Melissa Lai PREMM: PReterm Early Massage by the Mother – The effects of massage in very preterm infants - a randomised controlled trial
South Australia Dr Melissa Norman Does providing dietary advice improve the ingestion of non-allergic nuts in children with existing nut allergies? – a randomised controlled trial
Tasmania Dr Gopakumar Hariharan Central Venous Catheter associated infection in neonatal intensive care unit
Victoria Dr Jonathan Kaufman Quick-Wee: Catching urine samples quickly from infants in the paediatric emergency department
Western Australia Dr Kajal Hirani Identification of health risk behaviours among adolescent refugees resettling in Western Australia

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition is held annually in each Australian State and Territory and New Zealand, to identify and acknowledge the best trainee research presentations in the field of adult medicine and in the field of paediatric medicine.  

Submit your abstract today

Abstracts are now being accepted for Best Poster Prize in Paediatrics & Child Health.

Abstracts may be submitted via the College Congress website.

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