The President's Message – 23 December 2020

We are nearly at the end of the year, and what a year it’s been. The pandemic has changed so much for all of us in both our personal and professional lives. It’s also had a profound effect on our College and the way we support you.

covidreportThe Board has commissioned a report on lessons the RACP has learned from COVID-19. I’m pleased to say that report is now complete, and we’re making it available to all members. The report is packed with interesting insights, including reflections on the College’s leadership role during the pandemic, and the many ways in which we had to rapidly adapt.

The report also looks forward at emerging global trends in medical education, professional development, policy and health and safety. It concludes with a series of recommendations for how our College can thrive in a world transformed by COVID-19. You’ll find a link to the document on our website.

As 2020 closes, I want to highlight an important initiative we’ll be continuing next year. We’ve begun the process of rewriting our founding document, the RACP Constitution. This is going to significantly affect the way our College runs.

We’re asking some big questions – what is the role of the Board and the Council? Should they share power and if so, how do they do that? We are also weaving the Indigenous world view into our constitution, to reflect the Indigenous cultures of our two nations as an integral part of our College. In the new year, we’ll send you consultation documents with more detail… keep an eye out.

On that note applications are now open for the RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize. The prize is awarded to a medical student, junior medical officer or RACP trainee who identifies as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori. The selected applicant will receive support to attend RACP Congress 2021 for educational and networking opportunities, and exposure to career pathways within the College. Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before the deadline on Monday, 1 February 2021.

We also begin College elections next month – with the call for nominations opening on Tuesday, 12 January.

In the meantime, for those of you taking a holiday, I hope you manage to have a restful break in the weeks ahead. And for those who are working, stay safe and look after yourselves. Thank you for your support during this momentous year, and I look forward to seeing you in 2021.

Professor John Wilson AM
RACP President


RACP Congress 2021 speakers announced

2021Congress_SM_02As the year draws to a close, RACP Congress 2021 is coming together with a host of exciting and engaging speakers. Taking place over six cities and two countries, each city will have a unique program exploring the overarching banner of 'Transformation: Adapting for the future'. Bringing their own experience and expertise, speakers will explore this concept though a series of orations, workshops, webinars and discussions.

Brisbane will host the opening day of RACP Congress 2021, with the 'Adult Medicine Cottrell Memorial Lecture' presented by Dr Michael Ryan. Dr Ryan has been at the forefront of managing acute risks to global health for nearly 25 years. He first joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1996, with the newly established unit to respond to emerging and epidemic disease threats. Working in conflict affected areas, he is also a founding member of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, and served as Coordinator of Epidemic Response, Operational Coordinator of WHO’s response to the SARS outbreak, and as WHO’s Director of Global Alert and Response.

All sessions, wherever they are, will be live streamed and available to Congress delegates for six months. Find out more about the RACP Congress 2021 and the speakers appearing in your local city today.

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University of Otago | Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo
RACP Fellows promoted to the position of Professor or Associate Professor

He aha te kai ō te rangatira? He Kōrero, he kōrero, he kōrero
What is the food of the leader? It is knowledge. It is communication

He Mihi Whakanui congratulations to the RACP Fellows who have been promoted by the Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo University of Otago as of 1 February 2021. Dr David Jardine and Dr Anna Ranta have been promoted to Professors, and Dr Phillip Hider has been promoted to an Associate Professor. The promotions acknowledge their hard work and contributions to furthering the research and evidence in their respective fields, and their commitments to teaching and education.

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RACP Foundation update

Apply for the RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize

The RACP President's Indigenous Congress Prize is open to medical students, junior medical officers and RACP trainees who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori. The selected applicant will receive support to attend RACP Congress 2021 to gain educational and networking opportunities and exposure to career pathways within the College. Please encourage anyone you know who is eligible to apply before the deadline on Monday, 1 February 2021.

Find out more

RACP Quarterly Issue Three 2020

RACP Quarterly is our member magazine featuring healthcare and medical news

In our last issue for 2020, we feature the incredibly worthy inaugural recipient of the new College Medal, Professor Douglas Bridge. We also feature Dr Matthew Wheeler, an Indigenous Health Scholarship recipient.

COVID-19 related articles include: ‘Will the COVID-19 pandemic encourage a reflection on what is low-value clinical care?’ and ‘Telehealth transforming access to healthcare during COVID-19 and beyond’.  

Other highlights in this issue are ‘New recommendations to help stop early heart attacks for Indigenous Australians’, ‘Introducing effective pregnancy warning labels on alcohol products’ and ‘Natural killer’ cells may be the answer to treating Hepatitis B’.

Read now

Access previous issues of RACP Quarterly on the RACP website.

Update of Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity 

In 2019, the College joined the Obesity Collective, a platform for committed individuals and organisations from across the community to take on the obesity challenge together, with empathy and from a whole of society perspective.

There are currently no National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals on how to assess, help and manage patients with obesity. The most recent NHMRC guidelines were rescinded in 2018 after the standard five-year timeframe and there appear to be no plans to commission new guidelines. Yet, this is a particularly important time to make investment in clinical guidelines for obesity management a national health priority. 

The RACP has been invited by the Collective to join a range of organisations in calling for new living Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia. The Collective has produced a brief call to action that we are asked to endorse as part of a wider campaign for the guidelines.   

We invite your endorsement of this document by emailing by close of business Friday, 5 February 2021.

EventsAir_Trainees Day 2021 Banner 1920x300_F

Te Rā o ngā Tauira Mahi o Aotearoa Niu Tīreni 2021
Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day 2021

The Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees' Day will be held on Saturday, 27 March 2021 at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua. We encourage all trainees to register for this important event and take advantage of the current discounted earlybird rate. You may even be eligible for full reimbursement for your registration from your District Health Board. 

Aotearoa New Zealand Trainees’ Day is an opportunity to connect with the wider trainee community, take the time to think broadly and strategically about your career, and hear practical wisdom from experienced physicians and other professionals.

  • Earlybird rate $360 – Hurry, ends Thursday, 31 December 2020
  • Standard registration $420 – Until Friday, 26 March 2021

 Register now

RACP welcomes the revised NHMRC guidelines on alcohol  

After a robust three-year process involving leading researchers and experts including the RACP, in early December 2020, the National Medical Health and Research Council (NHMRC) released the revised Alcohol Guidelines (the Guidelines). The College welcomes and supports the revised Guidelines.

The Guidelines reflect the best available evidence on the harm caused by alcohol, providing people with accurate, clear and consistent information about how to reduce their risk of harm.

The Guidelines are:  

  • To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than ten standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. The less you drink, the lower your risk of harm from alcohol. 
  • To reduce the risk of injury and other harms to health, children and people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol. 
  • To prevent harm from alcohol to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their babies. 

 For more information on the Guidelines, see the NHMRC website.

Artificial intelligence for healthcare webinar now on Medflix

Watch this engaging webinar where Dr Olivier Salvado, Head of Imaging and Computer Vision at CSIRO, presents on the opportunities and challenges for the medical application of artificial intelligence (AI). He also reviews the main AI methods in the medical context. Hosted by Associate Professor Clair Sullivan FRACP, the webinar explores why the deployment of AI technologies in healthcare is lagging and highlights the current challenges that hinder AI deployment into clinics.


Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) invites you to sign its petition to the Health Minister calling for preventative action on nuclear weapons

The global campaign for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was initiated in Australia by medical and other health professionals; the TPNW will come into force on 22 January 2021.

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) has launched a petition calling on the Health Minister, The Hon Greg Hunt MP, to accept the advice of Australian health professionals, based on compelling and irrefutable evidence, and recognise that:

  • nuclear weapons must never be used, under any circumstances
  • it is a medical and public health imperative to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.

Find out more

RACP 2020 Physician Training Survey update

Sincere thanks to all those who took the time to complete or support this year’s Physician Training Survey. We received important feedback about the state of workplace training and look forward to sharing the insights with you in the new year.

For now, here is a brief summary of the final response rates:



Introducing Member Advantage’s new partnership

As an RACP member, you now have exclusive access to the Tesla Corporate program through Member Advantage. Enjoy a complimentary three-year maintenance plan, waved delivery fee and complimentary installation of the Tesla Wall Connector*. Find out more about the Tesla program and benefits at your benefits platform.

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ˆInstallation in combination with solar and Powerwall installation. Does not include supply of Tesla Wall Connector, with complimentary installation subject to availability of Tesla Direct installation.

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