New South Wales / Australian Captial Territory – April 2017

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

Welcome to the first edition of the New South Wales (NSW) / Australian Capital Territory (ACT) State eNewsletter for 2017. 

I am pleased to begin with the news that we have been invited to meet with new NSW Health Minister, The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP and the RACP President to discuss the RACP Health in All Policies Position Statement (PDF 919KB). This is an exciting opportunity to raise the NSW/ACT State Committee profile at a government level and begin an important discourse on NSW health matters. 

Important work has been achieved by the College regarding physician wellness and I would like to bring your attention to the number of College resources available to address the health of physicians. The RACP support helpline via Converge International has been developed to provide members with access to confidential counselling, coaching and support for workplace and personal issues, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are a number of other support services for health professionals available.

The Training Support Unit coordinates support for trainees who are experiencing training difficulties and assists supervisors of these trainees. For any queries or concerns please contact to speak to staff in this area. 

The NSW/ACT State Committee is committed to supporting our physicians in their training journey and beyond. I urge all members to use these services and share this with your colleagues and trainees. 

Looking ahead, we are in the process of organising a number of events this year with a focus on our ACT members. We are currently looking into potential topics, speakers and locations and look forward to delivering thought provoking and informative events to our members. Stay tuned for more information in this area. 

The RACP eLearning library offers a wealth of free online educational resources for Fellows and trainees. eLearning courses cover a range of topics including Communication, Leadership and Management, Supervision and Research. Completing RACP eLearning modules is also an activity eligible for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits in MyCPD.

I would also like to congratulate the RACP Fellows who have been awarded 2017 Australia Day Honours, this is a fantastic achievement and I thank you for your service. 

Professor Stephen Clarke 
Chair, NSW/ACT State Committee

NSW/ACT Trainees Committee 

The NSW/ACT Trainees Committee advocates for NSW and ACT physician trainees in matters affecting recruitment, training, assessment, supervision, support and secondments. 

This year saw a change to the structure of the committee with the establishment of a new Terms of Reference. We will continue to host valuable information nights directed at all stages of training from residents embarking on basic physician training to advanced trainees contemplating consultant careers. In addition, we also hope to provide more focus on issues relating to mental health of trainees and a private practice forum. 

We know that sometimes it can feel as if trainees are disconnected from the RACP and need an avenue to direct their concerns. This Committee is one of these avenues and we encourage all physician trainees across NSW/ACT to engage with us and bring forward any concerns they have faced either to the elected members or directly to the RACP. Finally, the ACT representative position is vacant and we would welcome any ACT trainee who is interested to submit an EOI. 

Email: to contact the Committee or if you would like to be put in contact with your local Committee member.

Executive Committee: Rihan Shahab (Adult co-chair), Phoebe Stewart (Paediatric co-chair), Aimee Wiseman (Secretary).

Members: Lucy Deng, Yanna Ko, Andrea Knox, Kiri Langford, Patrick Tunney, Paul Bamford, Sathah Sivabalan and Zoe Stephenson.

Clinical Practice Improvement Training Program

A partnership for improvement – Ms Cathy Vinters and Emeritus Professor Kim Oates

Junior doctors gain technical skills during their training; however, it is not often that they get the opportunity to develop skills in improving the processes of care that their patients receive.

To help Advanced Trainees to develop these skills, a partnership was formed between the RACP and the Clinical Excellence Commission (the statutory body responsible for quality and safety in NSW) to teach RACP trainees the methodology to undertake quality improvement in their work-place through the Clinical Practice Improvement Training Program. 

In March, eight Advanced Trainees from New South Wales attended the initial  two day face-to-face workshop for the 2017 program. Each trainee brings brought along a problem that concerns them in the workplace (infections, falls etc). The workshop helped them refine their proposals into manageable projects and they learnt how to use the tools needed for a Quality Improvement Study. 

Upon returning to their workplace, participants gather an interdisciplinary team, undertake a thorough diagnostic of the problem, generate and test possible solutions, implementing those that work. The effect is measured and strategies are put in place for the process to be sustained in an ongoing manner. 35 participants have completed the program, which is now entering its sixth year, some of whom have gone on to publish their work1 2, present their work at national and international conferences and won best poster prizes. Previous participants have reported a high level of satisfaction with the program and some, who are now consultants, have gone on to undertake further projects to enhance the quality of care and experience of their patients.

1. Kim Oates1,2, Cathy Vinters3, John Cass-Verco4, Mandy Fletcher5, Narinder Kaur6, Martha Mherekumombe7 and Alice Tang8, “A pilot programme of clinical practice improvement for future consultant doctors”, The Clinical Teacher, 2016, 13: 1-6

Out and about

2017 Basic Training Orientation sessions for new basic trainees across NSW and ACT are in full swing with a number of events held across the region already. 

These sessions are held to outline the Basic Training Program for new trainees, or those considering entering the program. RACP staff deliver the presentations and are available to answer any questions.

Basic Training requirements (for both Adult Medicine and Paedatric programs), the Physician Readiness for Expert Practise (PREP) tools, exams, training portals and the importance of, and tools to help maintain,  a positive work-life balance are all discussed at these events.

These sessions are an opportunity for new, and prospective, trainees from across specialties to meet their peers, and gain further insight into the resources available to them from the RACP, including the RACP support helpline

Basic Training Orientation sessions held in 2017 (to March)

  • Canberra Hospital – Monday, 6 February
  • Wollongong Hospital – Wednesday, 8 February 
  • Liverpool hospital – Tuesday, 21 February 
  • Gosford hospital – Thursday, 2 March
  • John Hunter Hospital – Friday, 3 March
  • Royal North Shore Hospital – Thursday, 9 March

Would you like a Basic Training Orientation session held at your hospital? Contact the NSW/ACT Regional office at to request one. 


Professional Development events and workshops

The RACP hosts a number of events and workshops available to members. Below are some events that members can attend in person at the RACP Sydney office. To register for any of these events or for more information please contact RACP Events at

Regional Faculty Committee events

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