Victoria - 2016

A message from the Victorian State Committee Chair

As well as advocating for Victorian members of the College, the Victorian State Committee advocates for the best possible healthcare for all Victorians. The Committee is currently working on a number of topical policy and advocacy issues in particular in relation to the legalisation of medicinal cannabis in Victoria and the Victorian Public Health training scheme. Another important focus area for the Committee in 2016 is a closer link with rural and regional members, with a rural event proposed for later in the year.  

The Victorian State Committee plays a vital role as part of the College. The Committee is instrumental in delivering College policy, events, awards and programs to Fellows and trainees based in Victoria. It is also an important contact point for local Fellows and trainees to engage with and receive support from the College. Our state group via its roles in education, policy and advocacy, specialist society groups, and research also has a say on issues of national health relevance through the national college body. As a group we also offer a voice to local members in the advocacy to government, health departments, and other stakeholders on issues affecting our members.

This state newsletter is a welcome opportunity to keep you up-to-date on what is happening in Victoria.  This information has been tailored especially for you, the members in Victoria, covering our issues and our events. I encourage you to get involved in the College at a local level by joining one of our committees, or if you have suggestions for the Victorian State Committee please email us at

The Victorian State Committee met last on Wednesday, 6 April 2016 and will next meet on Wednesday, 1 June 2016.  

Associate Professor Ian Fraser
Victorian State Committee Chair

Victorian dual training program

The Victorian Dual Training Working Group was established by the Victorian State Committee to assist and facilitate the local implementation and monitoring of a dual training program in rural Victoria with links to metropolitan training hospitals.
Recently a funding commitment for ​three new training positions, bringing the total to four, was received for positions to commence training in 2017. These positions train a physician in General and Acute Care Medicine and another specialty. The two years of training in General and Acute Care Medicine take place in a regional setting, with the other two years of specialty training taking place in a metropolitan setting.

A goal of the program is that the newly dual trained physician continues to work in the regional setting once training is complete, to help increase workforce in that region and fill a regional area of need.

The 2016 Victorian dual training positions are now finalised and the working group has successfully arranged for an Advanced Trainee to train in the dual specialties of General and Acute Care Medicine and gastroenterology at Bendigo Hospital in conjunction with the Austin Hospital in Melbourne.  

The regional training locations for the Victorian Dual Training Program in 2017 are currently being finalised. The Victorian Dual Training Working Group is made up of members with an educational portfolio across the majority of the rural regions of Victoria and has proven to be a useful forum for members to discuss not only the dual training program but also the important issues affecting the regional and rural health workforce in Victoria. The program has also been responsible for strengthening connections and developing networks between the various regions.   

Medicinal cannabis

The rapid movement to legalise medicinal cannabis in Victoria is one policy area the Victorian State Committee has been asked to provide expert opinion on. 
In late 2015 the Victorian Government announced its intention to legislate to allow the use of medicinal cannabis in Victoria. The Committee was briefed by the Health Minister, the Hon. Jill Hennessey on this matter.

The College was concerned about the impact of this change on its members and by surveying members in early 2016 sought to better understand Victorian physicians’ attitude, knowledge and concerns about medicinal use of cannabis.  

The results are currently being analysed and are vital in effectively guiding College advocacy for its members affected by medicinal cannabis legalisation. Some preliminary findings of the survey include:

  • concern about the lack of evidence for the efficacy of medicinal cannabis including its efficacy compared to other available therapeutics
  • the need for training resources to support physicians
  • concerns that patients and families/carers may have formed unrealistic expectations

For more information see the Victorian State Government’s health.vic website, or the Victorian Law Reform Commission's report on medicinal cannabis or contact the Committee at

Supporting our trainees at orientation

Over 60 first year Basic Trainees attended the 2016 Basic Training Orientation on Saturday, 12 March to hear about topics that are of interest to them at this stage of training.

The event was hosted by the Victorian State Office in partnership with the Victorian Tasmanian Trainees’ Committee and the Victorian State Committee. 

As well as the usual overview on College requirements, our new trainees heard about trainee wellbeing from Dr Lisa Mitchell, life as a trainee from Victorian Tasmanian Trainees’ Committee (VTTC) Chair Dr Hong Wu, and tips on preparing for the exam/study tips from Dr Richard Coates (Winner of the RACP Victoria 2016 Highest Achievement in Clinical Medicine Award). Dr David Smallwood, Victorian State Committee member, also gave a great presentation on College involvement after training. The College expresses a special thank you to all of our speakers.

Expressions of Interest

College Trainees Committee (Victorian Representative training in Paediatrics & Child Health Medicine or with the Faculties or Chapters), closes Tuesday, 26 April

There is currently a vacancy for a Victorian Paediatric Medicine trainee or Faculty/Chapter Medicine trainee representative on the College Trainees’ Committee.  

The College Trainees’ Committee is the peak body representing the interests of trainees at the College and to the Board. The College Trainees’ Committee is responsible for:

  • providing a forum for the views of all trainees 
  • advocating on behalf of trainees in matters relating to their selection, training, assessment, supervision and overall education experience 
  • making recommendations regarding policy relating to any training matter 
  • liaising with state, territory and New Zealand based Trainees’ committees 
  • liaising with trainee representatives across the College and its College bodies 
  • recommending to the appropriate College body any new initiatives to support trainees and enhance their training experience 
  • managing the selection, election and nomination of trainee representatives to the various College body councils, committees and groups. 

The College Trainees’ Committee is made up of representatives from the States and Territories and New Zealand and the various Faculties. The College Trainees’ Committee also includes a representative who identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island and a trainee who completed their primary medical degree in a country other than Australia or New Zealand.

Interested trainees must complete the expression of interest form and submit both the form and a CV, including a supporting statement outlining their knowledge, experience and interests and how they will contribute to the objectives of College Trainees Committee.  A full Position Description, copy of the RACP constitution, CTC by-laws, Governance of College Bodies By-Law, Code of Conduct, Conflicts of Interest Policy and Travel Policy are all available on request.

The expression of interest form and CV must be emailed to by Tuesday, 26 April 2016.  

Victorian Tasmanian Trainees Committee (VTTC) members, closes Tuesday, 26 April

The VTTC is a forum for Victorian Basic, Advanced and other physician trainees to address any issue around the College’s training program. The role of the VTTC is to advocate for Victorian and Tasmania trainees at the state and national levels in various issues including assessment, training, education and workforce; and to provide a forum for all trainees to raise their issues and concerns.

If you are a trainee resident in ​Victoria and you are interested in joining this Committee The expression of interest form and CV must be emailed to by Tuesday, 26 April 2016.  

Member events and workshops

The Victorian State Committee ​oversees of a number of events that are focused on increasing or maintaining the knowledge of our members. Three of the larger events overseen by the Committee are the:

  • Physician Education Program Lecture Series - a series of 135 lectures delivered over 45 evenings on Thursdays, 6.30 to 9pm AEST. The lectures provide resource material for Basic Trainees wishing to sit the FRACP written examination, and provide resource material in contemporary topics for RACP Fellows
  • Continuing Education
  • Paediatric Further Education and Training (Vic FEAT) workshops also provide current information and updates for members.

Physician Education Program (until 08 December)

Date: Ongoing, Thursday evenings from 6.30pm – 9pm

Rheumatology Journal Club

Date: Monday, 16 May, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Brain School

Date: Wednesday, 13 April 2pm – 5pm
Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2pm – 5pm
Date: Wednesday,  8 June 2pm – 5pm

The Kidney School

Date: Tuesday, 26 April 5pm – 9pm
Date: Tuesday, 28 June 5pm – 9pm

Physician Education Program – Clinical Exam series (until 12 July)

Date: Ongoing, Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Victorian Paediatrics Committee

The Victorian Paediatrics Committee is continuing to work with the wider RACP on a number of issues in particular in relation to rural paediatricians access to subspecialist advice.  

The Victorian Paediatrics Committee will next meet on Wednesday, 1 ​June 2016.  

Victorian Tasmanian Trainees Committee

A reminder that the VTTC is a forum for trainees to address any issue around the College’s training program. 

At their last meeting held on Wednesday, 9 March 2016 the Committee discussed trainee engagement and plans for the Victorian Basic Training orientation session.  

The VTTC will next meet on Wednesday, 11 May 2016.  

If you are interested in joining the Victorian Tasmanian Trainees Committee please see the Expressions of Interest section above or contact

AFOEM VIC Regional Committee

This year’s AFOEM Educational Seminars have been scheduled for the following dates:

  • Monday, 9 May 2016
  • Monday, 18 July 2016
  • Monday, 19 September 2016
  • Monday, 21 November 2016

Educational Seminars will be hosted at the RACP Melbourne Office from 7pm – 9pm (with dinner from 6pm). Registrations are essential and will open two weeks prior to each event. Email for more information.  

Genetics For Trainees, 30 July 2016, Melbourne

Genetics For Trainees is a weekend course designed to provide trainees with the genetics knowledge they need for their exam preparation and clinical practice.
The website also has other items which may be of interest to trainees including example genetics MCQs, genetics articles and other useful links.
Discover everything you wanted to know about genetics, but were too afraid to ask.
Venue: Ella Latham Lecture Theatre, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
Date: Saturday, 30 July 2016
For more information and to register visit the Genetics For Trainees website.
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