New South Wales / Australian Captial Territory - August 2016

A message from the New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory State Committee Chair

Welcome to the second edition of the New South Wales (NSW) / Australian Capital Territory (ACT) State eNewsletter.  

We have recently begun a new election cycle and with this said goodbye to a number of committee members. I would like to thank Associate Professor Liz Cotterell, Dr Andrew Berry, Dr Ashlene McKay, Dr Nghi Phung, Dr Scott Twaddell and Dr Wei Jiang for their contribution. 

During their elected terms the Committee made important inroads in a number of strategic relationships, member engagement and supporting trainees. Collaborative efforts have been made with external bodies such as NSW Health, the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine, the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), the Centre for Clinical Excellence (CEC) and NSW Kids and Families. 

We have since held the first NSW/ACT State Committee meeting for the new election cycle and I welcome the members of the Committee:

Dr Lucy Deng Paediatric Medicine Trainee Representative
Dr Hong Du General paediatrics
Associate Professor John Eastwood Chapter of Community Child Health Representative
Dr Jane Estrella Endocrinology
Dr Ron Granot Neurology
Professor Leena Gupta Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine Representative
Dr Suharsha Kanathigoda Palliative medicine
Dr Adrian Lee Medical oncology
Dr Sophie McGilvray Adult Medicine Trainee Representative
Dr Nalini Pati Australian Capital Territory Representative
Dr Chandi Perera Adult Medicine Division Representative
Clinical Associate Professor Alistair Reid Infectious diseases
Dr Megan Sands Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine Representative
Dr David Skalicky Rehabilitation
Dr Kathy Wu Clinical genetics

After much discussion the committee agreed to focus on a number of priorities for 2017 including protected time for research, acute care, fostering relationships with the Ministry of Health and the NSW government, and advocating for NSW/ACT within the RACP and within NSW/ACT. 

State committees play a vital role as part of the College. They are instrumental in delivering the College policy and programs to Fellows and trainees based in each region and are an important contact point for local Fellows and trainees to ensure they feel engaged with and supported by the college. I encourage you to get involved in the College at a local level by attending events or joining one of our committees, or if you have suggestions for the NSW/ACT State Committee please email us at

I urge you to attend and connect with your colleagues at one of the events coming up for the rest of 2016. You can find information about these events below. 

Professor Stephen Clarke
RACP NSW/ACT State Committee Chair

Why I joined the NSW/ACT State Committee – Clinical Associate Professor Alistair Reid

After growing up and completing medical school in Tasmania I completed the majority of my post-graduate training in Victoria. I moved to Wollongong with my family in 2012 so that my children could have the advantages I had of growing up in a regional centre with space and the outdoors available to them on a daily basis.

Throughout my medical career I have been passionate about excellence in clinical care, facilitated by excellence in medical education both undergraduate and postgraduate. 

This passion led me to the position of Director of Physician Education at Wollongong Hospital followed by appointment as the foundation network director for the newly formed Illawarra Medical Network.  
My vision for the NSW/ACT State Committee is for us to represent NSW and ACT Fellows and trainees both internally within the RACP as well as with external stakeholders to ensure the principles of patient centred quality care and excellence in ongoing medical education are protected and strengthened in our ever more resource limited/cost conscious/highly regulated and governed healthcare environment.

Clinical Associate Professor Alistair Reid
NSW/ACT State Committee Member

Join us at the NSW/ACT Members' Dinner on Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The NSW/ACT State Committee is looking forward to meeting with members to discuss issues of common interest. It is also a great opportunity for you to connect with colleagues from across specialties.

As physicians the continuation and support of medical research, particularly trainees in research, is always a key issue. Our special guest speaker, Dr Tony Penna, Director, NSW Office for Health and Medical Research, will explore opportunities to help promote and encourage a robust medical research culture for the future. 

This exclusive, members only, event will be held in the College's historic building at 145 Macquarie Street. 

Venue: RACP, 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney 
Date: Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Cost: $40 per person
RSVP: Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Register online

Register for the NSW/ACT Telehealth Workshop – Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Genetic oncologist, Dr Hilda High and Ms Julia Martinovich, Implementation Officer, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation will present at this free workshop on telehealth.

Telehealth can be defined as the secure transmission of image, voice and data via telecommunication channels, to provide clinical advice, consultation, monitoring, education, training and administrative services.

Telehealth is an everyday part of Dr High's practice based in Sydney. As a genetic oncologist she assesses inherited cancer risk and arranges testing for genetic mutations which heighten a patient's risk of cancer.

Her presentation at this workshop will be titled 'Telehealth in Private Practice: if a physiotherapist can make it work, so can you'.

Read more about how Dr High uses telehealth on pages 32 and 33 of the June/July edition of RACP Quarterly (PDF 4MB).

Ms Martinovich will discuss the clinical, financial and legal considerations of implementing telehealth services.

Attendance at this workshop qualifies for CPD credits under MyCPD Category 2: Group Learning Activities (one credit per hour up to the cap of 50 credits).

Date: Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Venue: RACP, 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Cost: This is a free event.
Registration: To register, email

Places are limited. Register today.

Find out more about telehealth and access resources.

Find out about Basic and Advanced Training at one of our upcoming events

If you are a Basic or Advanced Trainee and would like to know more about training and hear from current trainees and supervisor, come to one of our upcoming events:

NSW basic trainees’ forum – Wednesday, 14 September

This event for both Adult Medicine and Paediatrics basic trainees will feature presentations from:

  • Dr Sarah Dalton FRACP, Paediatrics & Child Health Division President
  • Dr Jad Othman, Advanced Trainee in haematology
  • Dr Kelly Li FRACP, nephrologist
  • Dr Hala Katf FRACP, general paediatrician

The forum will cover key information and discussion on topics including:

  • how to make the most of basic training
  • surviving basic training
  • how to write your CV and interview tips.

Light refreshments will be served on arrival.

Venue: Education Centre, RACP Sydney, Level 8, 52 Phillip Street, Sydney
Date: Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm 
Registration: To register email
RSVP by: Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Paediatric Advanced Training Forum – Tuesday, 20 September

Find out about Paediatric Advanced Training at this forum with presentations from Fellows and College staff.

The event will cover key information to help you prepare for Advanced Training and your future paediatric career including:

  • the research project 
  • surviving advanced training 
  • a Q&A session with Fellows and College staff. 

Light refreshments will be served.

One-on-one sessions

Do you have questions about your training?

College staff will be available from 5pm to 6pm for one-on-one sessions to discuss your training.

These sessions are strictly by appointment only. Contact to book a time.

Venue: Lorimer Dods Lecture Theatre, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Date: Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Time: 6pm to 8pm 
Registration: To register email
RSVP by: Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Basic Training Curricula Trainee Forum

The Curricula for Basic Physician Training are being revised and we need your help to ensure that they are workplace ready.

Take part in this important process of curricula renewal and have your say on the future of
Basic Physician Training.

Venue: TBC
Date: Friday, 9 September 2016
Time: 10am to 4pm 
Registration: Email

news-trainee-research-awardsNSW/ACT RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence – Submit your abstract today

The annual RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence identifies and acknowledges the best trainee research presentations in the fields of adult medicine and paediatric medicine.

Two representatives, one in the field of adult medicine and one in the field of paediatric medicine, will be selected to present their research in Melbourne in May 2017. 

Abstracts for the NSW/ACT regional competition close Friday, 30 September. Trainees from all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters are eligible to apply.

This is an excellent opportunity for trainee representatives to present their ideas and research in a professional and public setting.

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence are funded from donations received from Fellows and trainees.

All members are invited to attend the NSW/ACT competition which will be held on:

Date: Thursday, 17 November 2016
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Venue: RACP Sydney, Level 9, 52 Phillip Street, Sydney
Registration: ​Email

Go to the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence page for more information, including abstract submission information.

Interested in becoming a supervisor? Join a Supervisor Professional Development Program workshop

There are several Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops planned for 2016 in New South Wales.

These workshops are open to all Fellows who are supervisors, would like to become one, learn more about what supervision is about or become a workshop facilitator.

Supervisor workshops provide supervisors with the training and support they need to supervise Basic or Advanced Trainees.

Upcoming workshops

Date  Workshop Location   Time
Monday, 22 August SPDP 1 Concord Hospital 4pm – 7pm
Monday, 5 September to Monday, 10 October (online) SPDP 2 Online  
Friday, 9 September SPDP 1 The Children’s Hospital at Westmead 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Thursday, 15 and Friday, 16 September Facilitator Training The Mint, Sydney 10am to 4pm (Thursday)
9.30am to 1pm (Friday) 
Friday, 7 October SPDP 2 The Children’s Hospital at Westmead 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Monday, 10 October to Monday, 14 November (online) SPDP 1 Online  
Wednesday, 26 October SPDP 2 Wollongong Hospital TBC
Monday, 7 November to Friday, 9 December (online) SPDP 3 Online  


Regulatory changes for access to medicinal cannabis products in New South Wales

From Monday, 1 August 2016 regulatory changes in New South Wales allowing doctors to prescribe and supply some medicinal cannabis products to patients who have ‘exhausted standard treatment options’, outside of clinical trials took effect.

Detailed information for prescribers including relevant application forms, and a consumer fact sheet are available from NSW Health.

A prescriber of a cannabis product (expected to be a specialist in the management of patients with the disease being treated with the product) must submit an application for authority to prescribe and supply a cannabis-based product. Applications will be assessed by both an expert committee for NSW Health and the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration. 

Join the RACP Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group

Open to all RACP members, the RACP Medicinal Cannabis Reference Group provides advice and input to RACP submissions on matters related to medicinal cannabis. For more information email

Changes to the prescription of controlled medicines in the ACT

Based on support received by ACT Health during consultation, the Assistant Minister for Health, Meegan Fitzharris MLA, has recently agreed to proposed amendments to the Medicine, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation (MPTG) 2008.

From 1 August 2016 prescribers: 

  • can seek approval to prescribe a therapeutic class of controlled medicine(s) for a patient, within Standards determined by the Chief Health Officer (CHO)
  • can continue to apply for approval for each drug, form and strength as per the current process 
  • are no longer required to annotate the CHO approval details on the prescription
  • will continue to be able to seek ‘standing short term approval’ in the MPTG Regulation which allows approval for non-drug dependant patients to be prescribed a controlled medicine for up to two months without seeking approval from the CHO (or delegate). 

These changes increase flexibility in controlled medicine prescribing as well as reducing the regulatory burden on prescribers and pharmacists. 

The regulatory framework that underpins public health policy in this area will continue to provide safeguards against the abuse, misuse and diversion of controlled medicines. In addition, the Health Protection Service will actively monitor the prescribing and supply of controlled medicines through regular audits of pharmacy dispensing data.

Read the Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards or visit the ACT Health website for more information.

Supporting our trainees at 2016 Paediatric Basic Training Orientation

Over 60 new and prospective Basic Trainees attended the event at Westmead Hospital on Tuesday, 31 May 2016. 

The Orientation was hosted by the NSW/NSW Trainees Committee in conjunction with NSW/ACT Member Support Officer Rhiannon Moran.

It was aimed at Postgraduate Year Two Trainees (PGY2) and those interested in commencing Basic Training (BT) in paediatrics and child health.

Guest speaker, Director of Physician Education at The Children’s Hospital Westmead, Dr Marilyn Paull, gave the audience helpful training tips and advice on how to make the most out of training.

Attendees at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Gosford Hospital and Sydney Children’s Hospital joined the event via videoconference. 

A video of the session is available on the RACP YouTube channel.

RACP represented at university information evening

nsw-careers-expoMember Support Officer for NSW/ACT Rhiannon Moran and Executive Officer for NSW/ACT State Office, Jessica McCormick represented the College at the University of Sydney Postgraduate Information Evening in May.

It was an opportunity to talk to medical students about the process of applying to the RACP and what they can expect from training at the RACP if they wanted to become a physician.

The event showcased all postgraduate programs and study options in a single University-wide one-stop-shop expo event.

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.

Ramsay Health Care – ‘A Private Affair’ information evening

Ramsay Health Care, Australia’s largest and most respected operator of private hospitals, invites recent Fellows and Registrars who are nearing completion of their specialty training to attend one of their ‘A Private Affair’ information evenings. These evenings are designed to provide doctors with handy tips and advice on processes associated with setting up and standing out in private practice.

  • Sydney – Wednesday, 31 August 2016
  • Newcastle – Monday, 24 October 2016

Register online at

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