New South Wales / Australian Captial Territory – December 2016

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

Welcome to the final edition of the New South Wales (NSW) / Australian Capital Territory (ACT) State eNewsletter for 2016. I would like to begin by thanking the Committee members for their ongoing support and work throughout the year. This is voluntary work and I appreciate everyone’s involvement and passion for meeting our members’ needs.

There have been a number of successful events this year, of particular note is the success of the Member Engagement Dinner with guest speaker Dr Antonio Penna from the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research. This was an intimate and informative evening with Dr Penna imparting his advice and wisdom on research and current practice.
More recently we have hosted a telehealth workshop to showcase the usefulness and ease of the technology. Find out more below.
The Committee has been working towards improving the current levels of acute care training being received by trainees and advocating for change within the curriculum and accreditation. Work is underway in this area and more will be advised later.

The Committee has also been active in responding to a number of policy and positions papers such as a submission to NSW Health’s statutory review of the NSW Medically Supervising Injecting Centre and support provided to the Review of the Guardianship Act 1987. We commented on the NSW Ministry of Health Draft Smoke-free Environments Regulation 2016. This Draft Regulation seeks to remake the existing Smoke-free Environment Regulation subject to minor amendments. We also provided feedback on the Draft Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2016 (NSW) prepared by the NSW Parliamentary Working Group on Assisted Dying.

The focus of the Committee is to impart to all Members a real sense of the importance of the State Committee and the College. The Committee is looking forward to a busy and productive 2017 with various activities planned such as the promotion of protected research time, building our relationship with the NSW Ministry of Health and continuing to advocate for our trainees and supervisors. I encourage you to take every opportunity to be involved, whether responding to this article or others in the newsletter, or by attending events, or by sending the Committee an email with suggestions.

Wishing you a safe and prosperous 2017.

Professor Stephen Clarke 
Chair, NSW/ACT State Committee

Why I joined the NSW/ACT State Committee – Professor Leena Gupta

Clinical Associate Professor Leena Gupta has been a member of the NSW/ACT State Committee for two years. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) and a former AFPHM President. She is currently Director, Public Health at Sydney Local Health District, and has appointments at Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Sydney. 

Clinical Associate Professor Gupta has a number of interests in relation to the NSW/ACT State Committee. The first is in training the next generation of doctors. She sees that the NSW/ACT State Committee has an important role in being ‘close to the ground’ in relation to trainees and supervisors and is in a good position to provide input and feedback to other College bodies about the needs and experiences of trainees and supervisors.

Clinical Associate Professor Gupta is also keen for the State Committee to work closely with the College in being more active in influencing state health policy – whether it be providing input into legislation, advocating on public health issues such as Aboriginal or refugee health, and also interacting with government and peak bodies of interest to physicians.

“I feel that a real strength of the College is that it is a large organisation with committed Fellows and trainees who can really add weight to the conversation about the health of patients and our populations at a policy level,” said Clinical Associate Professor Gupta.

She is particularly keen to develop and promote opportunities for colleagues through the State Committee to take advantage of the collegiality within the organisation. This year, with RACP staff, she organised the successful member engagement dinner with the Director of the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research. She hopes that there will be other such dinners in the future, including in rural settings, and that over time, different Fellows may attend from time to time.

An update from the NSW/ACT Trainees’ Committee 

It has been a busy year for the NSW/ACT Trainees’ Committee. We have hosted a record five events for trainees this year, starting with Adult and Paediatric Basic Training Orientations, where we not only welcomed many new trainees but also met aspiring Junior Medical Officers interested in physician training. 

This was followed by our annual Joint Adult and Paediatric Basic Trainee Forum with pearls of wisdom on surviving Basic Training, how to write a CV and how to pass your exams. Following their success last year, we continued to hold separate Advanced Trainee Forums for Adult and Paediatric Trainees to better address training topics specific to their field.

The Paediatric Advanced Trainee Forum shed light on topics including the new research project requirement for Advanced Trainees, how to pick your Fellow year and surviving Advanced Training. The Adult Advanced Training Forum offered vigorous discussion on what’s needed to pursue various career prospects including dual training, private practice or research.

These events are hosted on request and based on feedback from trainees. We hope to continue hosting these events next year.

If you have ideas or thoughts on how to improve the trainee experience or concerns regarding your training, please let us know or better yet, get involved in the Committee by speaking to one of the existing committee members.

The RACP trainees also have a closed Facebook group that you are welcome to join. It is a great space for trainees to meet and share their experiences, ideas and pearls of wisdom, as well as receive trainee relevant material from the RACP. 

Dr Lucy Deng
Trainee Representative, NSW/ACT State Committee

NSW/ACT RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition is held to select State, Territory and New Zealand representatives to present their research work at an event connected with RACP Congress.

Two trainees, one presenting in the field of adult medicine and one presenting in the field of paediatric medicine, are selected to represent their State, Territory or New Zealand by the respective regional committee.

We are delighted to announce the regional representatives for NSW/ACT:

In the field of adult medicine

Dr Jun Dai presenting ‘Remote frozen section examination of parathyroidectomy specimens by telepathology using Mikroscan D2 and Aperio LV1: a validation study’.

In the field of paediatric medicine

Dr Karrnan Pathmanandavel presenting ‘Antibodies to surface dopamine-2 receptor and n-methyl-daspartate receptor in the first episode of acute psychosis in children’.


Dr Karrnan Pathmanandavel and Dr Jun Dai will represent NSW/ACT at the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence in Melbourne in May 2017.

Telehealth workshop – making telehealth real

In October, the NSW/ACT State Committee hosted the well-received Telehealth Workshop at the RACP Sydney office. The aim of the workshop was to provide guidelines and practical experience to trainees and Fellows in the private and public systems.

Dr Hilda High, a medical oncologist who specialises in cancer genetics and works in private practice and Ms Julia Martinovich, Telehealth Manager at the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation presented on the evening. 

Dr High spoke about the numerous areas of consideration when using telehealth such as what technology to use, how to ensure professionalism during an appointment, Medicare billing and payment. 

Ms Martinovich presented some of the key clinical, financial and legal considerations as well as success factors to implantation. 

Their combined area of knowledge resulted in a meaningful workshop and discussion with the audience. The event received a lot of interest from rural areas and we are looking at options for having a workshop for these areas. 

Watch a recording of the telehealth workshop.

RACP NSW/ACT gets out and about

NSW Health Symposium

Dr Sarah Dalton, Paediatrics & Child Health Division President and NSW/ACT State Committee Deputy Chair, Dr Suharsha Kanathigoda, represented the College and the NSW/ACT State Committee at this year’s NSW Health Symposium – Festival of Contagious Ideas. Attendees were encouraged to share their thoughts and both Dr Dalton and Dr Kanathigoda said it was interesting to see hear how innovation and change can lead to better patient outcomes. 

Medical Board of Australia Revalidation Forum

Associate Professor John Eastwood represented the NSW/ACT State Committee at the Medical Board of Australia’s stakeholder forum on options for revalidation on Tuesday, 15 November. 

The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) has over the recent years begun to look towards a process of recertification or ‘revalidation’ for medical practitioners in Australia. To lead their work on the area of revalidation, the MBA has set up an Expert Advisory Group on the issue. The group has produced an interim report with a proposed approach to support medical practitioners to maintain and enhance their professional skills and knowledge and to remain fit to practise medicine. Professor Richard Doherty, Dean, RACP represents the College on the MBA’s Expert Advisory Group on Revalidation. 

The RACP has been proactive in this area having formed the RACP Revalidation Working Party and has been involved in discussions with the MBA on a number of occasions. Read the RACP submission to the MBA revalidation consultation.

Pre-Internship (PRINT) Conference 2016

Staff from the RACP NSW/ACT State Office presented at the Pre-Internship (PRINT) Conference held in Sydney at the end of October. 

The academic event was targeted at graduating medical students in NSW and the ACT. The Conference provided support for students transitioning between the end of medical school and the beginning of their medical career. The PRINT Conference featured a number of high profile speakers including paediatric emergency specialist and RACP Paediatrics and Child Health Division President Dr Sarah Dalton, palliative medicine specialist and Senior Clinical Advisor at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Associate Professor Amanda Walker and gastroenterologist Dr Peter Lim. 

Northern Sydney Coastal Basic Physician Training Network ​Orientation Evening 

New Basic Trainee’s enjoyed an information session at the Northern Sydney Coastal BPT Network orientation evening at Royal North Shore Hospital in early November. 

Staff from the NSW/ACT State Office presented on the Adult Medicine Basic Training program, college requirements and Physician Readiness for Expert Practise (PREP) tools. 

Expressions of Interest

EOI: NSW/ACT State Committee position, closes 6 January 

The NSW/ACT State Committee has one vacancy for an elected member. Members can be Fellows of any of the RACP Divisions, Faculties or Chapters.  

Expressions of Interest for this position is on a ‘self-nomination’ basis, anyone interested in being a part of the committee should send their completed nomination form to by 5pm Friday, 6 January 2016. 

If more Expressions of Interest than available positions are received, a panel comprised of the State Committee members for the period 2016–2018 will assess applications.

The NSW/ACT committee was established to:

  • advance the interests of the College in the NSW/ACT
  • facilitate the engagement of Fellows in the NSW/ACT in the activities of the College
  • in conjunction with other College Bodies and College staff, support the professional careers of Fellows and trainees of the College in the NSW/ACT
  • work with appropriate College Bodies and staff in connection with:
    • education, training and assessment of trainees
    • training and continuing professional development
    • policy and advocacy.

Please see the By-laws (PDF 220KB) and Committee Member position description (PDF 77KB) here for further information. 

If you have any questions regarding the nominations or election process, or to determine your eligibility, please contact 

EOI: Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute Board 2017/2018, closes 6 January

The Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute is seeking a representative to sit on the 2017/2018 Board.

This position focuses on the Hunter Region of NSW and will require the nominee to assist and promote matters specific to the region and provide educational programs for medical practitioners. Read the constitution of the Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute

If you are interested please email your EOI form and CV to by Friday, 6 January 2016. 

EOI: NSW Paediatric Scopes of Clinical Practice working groups – closes 6 February

This year the Paediatrics & Child Health Division (PCHD) placed representatives to General Paediatrics, Paediatric Nephrology, and Paediatric Rehabilitation working groups that are developing model Scopes of Clinical Practice (SoCP) to assist hospital credentialing committees to ‘define an individual’s SoCP in reference to the role delineation of a NSW Health facility in which they work’.

The State SoCP Unit works on behalf of all NSW Health Local Health Districts and Specialty Networks and is hosted by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. The primary goal of the Unit is to assist NSW Health Local Health Districts and Specialty Networks to appropriately define the scope of clinical practice of their employed and contracted senior medical practitioners and dentists.

RACP positions to the working groups are currently available for the following: 

  • paediatric cardiology
  • paediatric gastroenterology and hepatology
  • paediatric intensive care
  • paediatric medical oncology
  • paediatric respiratory and sleep medicine
  • paediatric clinic genetics
  • community child health
  • neonatal and perinatal medicine
  • paediatric endocrinology
  • paediatric haematology
  • paediatric immunology and allergy
  • paediatric infectious diseases medicine
  • paediatric neurology
  • paediatric nuclear medicine
  • paediatric palliative medicine
  • paediatric rheumatology

Interested PCHD Fellows should read the full project information or overview. It is anticipated that two workshops and email activity will occur. Applicants must be PCHD Fellows and qualified in the relevant specialty.

Submit your completed EOI form together with a brief CV to by Monday 6 February, 2017. 

Have your say: NSW Child Personal Health Record (Blue Book) review

A major review of the NSW Child Personal Health Record (Blue Book) is underway. The Blue Book is the parent-held record, that provides structure for routine child health surveillance and screening.  

The input of paediatricians, as a core part of the child health system, is sought as part of this review process. NSW Health is currently undertaking a survey regarding the current version of the Blue Book, the results of which will inform the next iteration of the Blue Book. 

The survey can be accessed online. Please note: the survey questions have been designed so that clinicians and parents/carers (and those who are both) answer questions relevant to them only. The survey ​closes Friday, 23 December 2016. 

Please contact Sharnee Townsend, Policy Analyst Child and Family Health, NSW Ministry of Health at if you have any questions.
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