The President's Message – 4 February 2019

One of our distinguished Australian Fellows Emeritus Professor Richard Graeme Larkins AO, FRACP is made a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to medicine and medical research, to education through academic leadership, to public health care, and to the community.

He is joined by Professor Kathryn Nance North AM, FRACP, also made a Companion of the Order for her eminent service to genomic medicine nationally and internationally, to medical research in the fields of genetics, neurology and child health, and as a mentor and role model.

In New Zealand, Dr Susan Mary Bennett Morton FAFPHM has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to epidemiology and public health research.

Thirty-two other Fellows have also been recognised for their service to a wide range of specialties, demonstrating the tremendous breadth and depth of expertise our College encompasses as specialists together.

I invite you to read the full list complete with citations, here

I would also especially like to draw attention to an RACP Fellow bestowed with a very distinguished award made each year on Australia Day in parallel with Australia Day Honours.

This year’s Senior Australian of the Year is Dr Suzanne Packer AM, FRACP.

Since starting her career as a paediatrician in 1972, Dr Sue Packer AM has worked tirelessly to advocate for the rights of children. Sue has been a leader in child abuse prevention and treatment and a champion of the importance of early childhood environments for the developing brain.

This award comes with many attendant media and speaking opportunities across Australia that will allow Sue to further raise the profile of her valuable work in this field.

You can view a short and powerful video of Sue talking about her work here.

Finally - Fellows and trainees worked with staff throughout 2018 to develop learning, teaching and assessment programs to deliver the new Basic Training curriculum standards.

This year will be a huge 12 months for our College as we begin implementing our new Basic Training Curriculum.

We encourage you to have a look at the standards on the RACP website.

Our thanks to everyone involved in the development process and consultations  - with over 200 members and healthcare professionals providing feedback.

The Education team is looking forward to continued engagement with you to ensure the new Basic Training programs are a success.

And on an Education theme – best of luck to all Basic Trainee candidates who will sit the Divisional Written Exam on 18 February.  

Kind regards

Associate Professor Mark Lane
RACP President

Achievements recognised with esteemed honours

Congratulations to the 35 RACP Fellows recognised in the 2019 New Zealand New Year and Australia Day Honours lists.

We would also like to congratulate Dr Suzanne Packer AM, who has been named Senior Australian of the Year.

View the list of members honoured

Delve deeper into disruption discussion

In the two newest Pomegranate Health podcasts, Professor Des Gorman and consumer advocates discuss disruption in healthcare.

Listen now

Early birds invited to confirm

With just a few weeks until early bird RACP Congress 2019 registrations close on Friday, 22 February, now is the time to confirm your attendance to receive the discount rate.

RACP Congress 2019 takes place from 6 to 9 May 2019 at the Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. The 2019 program will showcase valued New Zealand based practitioners tackling the issues of obesity, the first 1000 days – the window of opportunity for long term health, chronic disease and integrated care, mental health and addiction in patients, physicians health and wellbeing and more.

Speakers include:

  • Sir Mason Durie, one of New Zealand’s most respected academics and an exceptional contributor to public, Indigenous and mental health. The most part of his career has focused on research around improving health outcomes, wellbeing and education in Māori communities.
  • Dr Patrick Kelly, paediatrician and Honorary Associate Professor in paediatrics at the University of Auckland. He is Service Clinical Director of the Starship Children’s Hospital child protection team (Te Puaruruhau), based in Puawaitahi, New Zealand’s first multi-agency child advocacy centre.
  • Ms Izzy Lomax-Sawyers, a fifth-year medical student at Dunedin School of Medicine and currently studies in Greymouth. In 2017, her blog post ‘On being a fat medical student at the start of our metabolism module’ went viral. Since then, she's been published in Canvas and in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, has been interviewed by Kim Hill, contributed to an RACP working group on obesity, guest lectured a gender studies class in Canada and presented at weight stigma seminars.
  • Ms Leonie Matoe (Ngaa Rauru, Ngaa Ruahine), as CEO of national health agency Toi Tangata, Leonie successfully grew and developed a range of innovative workforce development programs and Māori community health initiatives, positioning Toi Tangata as leaders in Māori Public Health Nutrition and Physical Activity. More recently Leonie has been applying her knowledge and skills to the area of Indigenous Māori Economic Development.
  • Ms Megan McEwen, leading Clinical Exercise Physiologist based in Auckland central. While Megan works with a wide range of illnesses, her specialised fields, and areas she is most passionate about, are in helping those with 'invisible illnesses'. These include those with psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, stress and burnout, and mismanaged chronic pain and fatigue conditions, including somatoform disorders, CFS, fibromyalgia, CRPS and central sensitisation disorders.
  • Professor Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Population Nutrition and Global Health at the University of Auckland and Co-Chair of World Obesity Policy & Prevention section. He trained as an endocrinologist and has conducted research in metabolic, clinical and public health aspects of obesity. His major research interests are centred on community and policy actions to prevent childhood and adolescent obesity, and reduce, what he has coined, ‘obesogenic’ environments.

Visit the Congress website to read more about our speakers and register

Have you read our new position statement? 

A position statement that sets out the RACP’s role in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, including work within the College and our partnerships and advocacy outside the College, was released in December 2018.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Position Statement was developed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC), chaired by Professor Noel Hayman.

A 2018 deliverable contained in the Indigenous Strategic Framework, the statement combines the RACP's existing support for Constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples, development of a Treaty, a human rights approach to health equity, and advocacy for the health benefits of genuine reconciliation.

Read the Position Statement

Clinical audit a key activity

As the RACP's new MyCPD Framework comes into effect, Associate Professor Sue Skull and other Fellows who are incorporating the changes into their practice and lifestyles, share their thoughts on Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Read more

Register to attend the International Medical Symposium

Visioning the impact of advanced technology on medical education is the theme of the Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium (IMS 2019), being held in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday, 22 March 2019.

Technology has already had a profound effect on healthcare and the medical education sectors and it will significantly transform the way patients are treated and medical students are trained. At IMS 2019 speakers from around the world will share their knowledge and experience of how technology is changing the way we approach medical education.

Be part of the conversation and register to attend this one-day event that brings together representatives from international and local specialist medical colleges, medical schools, health services and regulators.

To view more IMS 2019 sessions and to register visit the IMS 2019 website

Develop your Quality and Safety knowledge

You can now access a convenient new eLearning resource that gives you tools, strategies and concepts to help you evaluate the quality and safety of your practice, and advocate for larger scale improvements in your workplace.

Learn more

Opportunity for Australian Fellows

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) grants worth up to $10,000 are available to Fellows living and working in rural and remote Australia.

Find out more

Sign up to Practical Skills for Supervisors course

Setting the culture for learning and giving feedback in challenging situations are just some of the skills supervisors can learn more about in the Practical Skills for Supervisors online course.

The course is designed with the busy physician in mind, and it can be done at your own pace starting from 
Monday, 11 February. Participants will have until Sunday, 17 March to complete it.

Register now

Do you need advice on billing multiple Medicare items?

The Department of Human Services has updated its guide to billing multiple Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) items. The guide helps you understand MBS item descriptions and how to bill items together.

View now

Updated guidelines are a must read

Department of Health guidelines for healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures, or are living with a blood borne virus (BBV), have been updated.

Updates reflect new evidence and are consistent with changes made by other countries. The new Guidelines, exposure prone procedure guidance and information sheets are on the Department of Health's website.

Read now

Transgender health, syphilis and youth sexual health a focus

You are invited to join colleagues at the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (AChSHM) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) on 16 March 2019 at the Novotel in Brisbane.  

An interesting and topical program, with enthusiastic presenters, has been developed. Highlights include:

  • Youth Sexual Health Program – Playsafe (NSW): lessons in implementation – Dr Chris Bourne
  • Syphilis session:
    • Where are we now? Outbreak overview and challenges – Dr Darren Russell
    • What are we doing? Enhanced response – Dr Lucas De Toca
    • What the community wants: successful community engagement initiatives – Professor James Ward
    • Using the syphilis register to enhance timely responses – Dr Mandy Seel
  • Transgender health session:
    • Assessment and treatment in transgender patients – Dr Graham Neilsen
    • Regional issues for transgender healthcare – Dr Arun Menon
    • Transgender youth – Dr Eugene Priscott
  • Mycoplasma genitalium update – Associate Professor David Whiley
  • PrEP update – Professor Andrew Grulich

You can view the program and register on the ASM website.

Saving lives and strengthening services

Thanks to the efforts of members of the Australian and New Zealand Gastroenterology International Training Association (ANZGITA), first-of-their-kind training programs have been building the skills and capacity of specialists and their colleagues in the Asia Pacific region since 2007.

Read more

2019 Divisional Written Examination

The 2019 Divisional Written Examination will be held on Monday, 18 February. This year’s exam will be paper based, and all registered candidates should now have received their allocation email with details of their examination venue and candidate number.

More information about the Divisional Written Examination including preparation tips are available on the RACP website.

If you have registered for this year’s examination but have not received your allocation email please contact as soon as possible.

Paediatrician position vacant in Fiji

Fiji National University are seeking a paediatrician to provide locum cover at Lautoka Hospital on the Fijian Island of Viti Levu. The role involves teaching final year students and general clinical duties. 

Read more

Acute Pulmonary Embolism reviewed

You can now read the newest edition of the Internal Medicine Journal online. Highlights include articles about:

  • frailty status and acute illness 
  • health risks for travellers to Bali
  • variation in spirometry interpretation
  • faecal calprotectin and inflammatory bowel disease
  • chronic Hepatitis B and Medicare ineligibility
  • gastric anisakiasis

The Editor’s Choice for the month is a review titled Acute Pulmonary Embolism: A concise review of diagnosis and management, by Morgan Hepburn-Brown, Jai Darvall and Gary Hammerschlag.

Read now

Burnout and telling the truth explored 

The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Heath January 2019 edition is out now. It includes articles about:

  • burnout
  • telling the truth: ethical reasons for information disclosure in paediatrics
  • antimicrobial prescribing for children in primary care
  • health professionals' experiences and barriers encountered when implementing hip surveillance for children with cerebral palsy and more.
Read now

Exchange better with OFX

International payments made safe and simple.

New year – new savings! Through your benefits program, experience better-than-bank rates when you open an OFX account. Use it to pay for holidays, international invoices, overseas loan payments, and more*.

You’ll enjoy $0 transaction fees on every transaction over $250AUD, better than bank rates and 24/7 phone and online support.

Start saving now – go to your RACP Member Advantage benefits website or call 1300 853 352.

*Terms and conditions apply. 

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