The President's Message – 21 December 2018

In my final message of this year, I would like to thank all members who have tirelessly gifted their time and energy for our College throughout 2018 – due to your efforts it has been an extraordinary 12 months.

Our advocacy campaigns spanned a full spectrum of public health issues.

We highlighted at least eight major issues throughout the year; welfare recipient drug testing, medicinal cannabis, obesity, inequities in child health, Indigenous healthcare access, alcohol pricing, occupational silicosis and maintaining pressure to bring children back from immigration detention in Nauru.

The level of media engagement our College generated in relation to many of these issues was significant.

We re-staged our written examination, as well as successfully completed the clinical examination.

We held a highly successful Congress in Sydney, then inducted and transitioned to a new smaller Board.

The implementation plan for our new Basic Training Curriculum was approved, and you can read more about the plans for implementation next year later in this bulletin.

We concluded the year with a successful mini assessment visit from the AMC.

Our dedicated College staff supported all of these activities, and I would like to thank them all for their hard work during a very challenging year.

But many of these achievements were led by our Fellows and trainees who continue to gift their time, to travel, sit on committees and working parties, train, supervise and examine - all pro bono.

It is because of our members that the RACP continues to be the remarkable organisation it is.

Thank you for your outstanding efforts as Specialists Together over the last 12 months.

Finally, I invite you to read the new Board Strategic Plan for 2019 to 2021.

We committed to release a long-term vision document for the next three years – and the Board has now signed off on the plan.

Stay safe if you are working over the break, and for your own health and wellbeing take time to relax and rest, ready for the coming year.

Best wishes for the festive season.

Associate Professor Mark Lane
RACP President

Read RACP Quarterly online

Stories in the December 2018/January 2019 edition include:
  • Canberra cancer experts enhancing care in the Solomon Islands
  • Asthma and the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics
  • A public health emergency – Sounding the alarm on the health impacts of climate change

Atlas of Healthcare Variation findings

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released the Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018 on 11 December.

The Atlas has found wide disparities in the use of some health treatments and investigations – which raises questions about the appropriateness of these treatments and investigations for members of the community ranging from the youngest to the oldest. Among other trends, the Atlas notes the overuse of treatments such as antibiotics, PPIs, opioids and antipsychotics - which has also been highlighted by numerous Evolve recommendations of the College’s specialty groups.

To view the Atlas and its findings:

Take advantage of early bird registration rates

One of New Zealand's most respected academics and an exceptional contributor to public, Indigenous and mental health – Sir Mason Durie – is the keynote speaker on day one of RACP Congress 2019, which runs from 6 to 8 May, 2019.

Set to be held at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, the event will focus on the theme of Impacting health along the life course. 

Other topics set to be focused on include making physician training work in the workplace, rising to obesity challenges, the impact of health services on Māori health and the multidisciplinary aspects of paediatric care.

Register now 

Our Policy & Advocacy wins in 2018

From securing a review of regulations governing the artificial stone benchtop industry, to implementing the most successful RACP social media campaign ever to get #kidsoffnauru – 2018 has seen RACP members secure a range of significant policy and advocacy achievements.

Read more

Future focus at ASM

Looking into the future was the focus of the recent South Australian Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) held at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Hosted by Dr Rob van den Berg, Chair of the RACP SA Regional Committee, SA Horizons – Scanning the Next 10 Years took audience members on a journey of what might be in store for Fellows and trainees during the next decade.

Learn more

RACP closure notice

Training survey results to be released

The 2018 Physician Training Surveys are now closed. We would like to thank every RACP member who completed their survey as well as the Survey Champions, who volunteered to promote them.

This ensured we achieved a 34 per cent response rate for trainees and 22 per cent for Supervisors. This is an incredible outcome, which provides a good picture of training experiences. Survey results will be available to all RACP members after April 2019, via an online dashboard.

RACP Congress Lead Fellow opportunity extended

Fellows looking to take a leading role in developing RACP Congress 2020 are invited to express an interest in becoming the event's Lead Fellow.

With support from the Fellowship Committee and RACP staff, the Lead Fellow will work with key stakeholders to implement the Board's strategic vision for Congress.

The Expression of Interest deadline is Thursday, 31 January 2019.

Find out more

News from the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges

In this issue you will find information on new college Presidents, forums, updates on revalidation, and other issues of strategic importance to colleges. 

Read more

Basic Training Curricula Renewal project update

This project is progressing to implementation. Fellows and trainees have been working with RACP staff throughout 2018 to develop learning, teaching and assessment programs to deliver the new Basic Training curricula standards. The College Education Committee has approved the new Basic Training programs, which you can view on the RACP website.  

We thank everyone involved in the development process and consultations. More than 200 members and healthcare professionals provided feedback. The team is looking forward to continued engagement with you to ensure the new Basic Training programs are a success.

Incremental rollout of the new Basic Training curricula will begin in 2020 with a small number of early adopter settings involved in real-world testing of the new programs ahead of broader implementation. Further information will be available in early 2019, however if you are interested in getting involved please contact the Curriculum Development Unit.

New report highlights opioid challenges

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia's (SHPA) newly released report, Reducing opioid-related harm: A hospital pharmacy landscape, exposes national inconsistencies in the provision of pharmacy services to reduce risk of opioid misuse, extremely high use of sustained release opioids and poor handover of discharge information for use by General Practitioners.

According to SHPA, this is the "first Australian study to comprehensively analyse current hospital pharmacy practices around opioids". It has shone a light on the link between the prescribing and supply of opioids to patients after surgery in public and private hospitals nationally, and heightened risk of long-term misuse and dependence. The study demonstrates the urgent need for a coordinated, multidisciplinary response.

Rural Health Conference invite

The program for the 15th National Rural Health Conference, to be held from 24 to 27 March 2019 in Hobart, is now available.

The conference is held every two years to learn, listen and share ideas about how to improve health outcomes in rural and remote Australia.

For more information or to register, please visit the National Rural Health Alliance Ltd website.

International Medical Symposium 2019
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