Victoria – August 2017

A message from the Victorian State Committee Chair

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.

The Committee focus for the reminder of the year is dedicated towards hosting a number of educational events to assist with education for our members such as the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence, RACP Victoria Christmas Lecture and a New Fellows’ Forum. These key events along with our regular education events like the Continuing Education Workshops and the Physician Education Program lectures will be held.

I welcome any advice on how we can better support the Victorian membership through local activities. Please send us your suggestions to

The next edition of our newsletter is due for publication in early November. 

Professor Judith Savige
RACP Victorian State Committee Chair 

Dr Lisa Mitchell on the RACP Supervisors Professional Development Program (SPDP)

Dr Lisa Mitchell, is a Victorian physician who is a facilitator of the RACP's SPDP1 Practical Skills for Supervisors workshop. 

Have you attended any of the three RACP Supervisors Professional Development Program (SPDP) workshops yet? You may even have facilitated these workshops. If not, they are designed to help supervisors be the best supervisors they can be and the workshops are available face-to-face or online.

In March, Associate Professor Louisa Ng (rehabilitation medicine physician and Deputy Director, Royal Melbourne Hospital Clinical School) and I facilitated the SPDP1 Practical Skills for Supervisors workshop in the lovely beachside regional city of Geelong where I work as a geriatrician and the Deputy Director of Physician Education.

Sixteen participants enthusiastically joined us one Tuesday for an interactive evening of discussion focused on setting a culture for learning and providing feedback in challenging situations –  something we can all identify with.

Most participants were Geelong-based supervisors but some had travelled from further afar (Warrnambool and Melbourne). There was a strong collegiate feeling amongst the group, with participants happy to raise contentious issues and to engage in robust discussion. There was a mix of seniority within the group with some senior registrars in attendance and all were happy to share their experiences.

Participants also launched into their role-playing activities with good spirit although some probably overly excelled at playing the 'insight-less trainee' resulting in extra challenging conversations. By the end of the evening, the majority of the participants 'agreed or strongly agreed' that they felt able to “create an effective learning environment, plan feedback, identify difficult situations with trainees and use strategies to give feedback in difficult situations” which was a huge increase from three participants who had felt confident in these areas at the start of the session.
All participants reflected positively on the session and expressed that they would incorporate further ideas into their practice. One supervisor even thought that they would plan to sit down with their ​Advanced ​Training registrar once a week for teaching and feedback, which no doubt would make their registrar very happy. Such ideas were very encouraging.  

For more information about the SPDP workshops held in Victoria, please email

Dr Laura Raiti on RACP Basic Training Orientation Sessions 

Dr Laura Raiti, is a paediatric trainee who attended one of the Basic Training Orientation sessions held earlier this year. 

As a new paediatric Basic Trainee, having just completed my internship, trying to understand the intersection and relationship between RACP and my employer, the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, training requirements, and the pathway through basic and subsequently advanced training was somewhat challenging. 

This year I attended both orientation sessions presented by RACP in Victoria. The first was held at RACP’s Melbourne office on a Saturday morning and the second at the Royal Children’s Hospital on a Monday evening. Both sessions were held outside of business hours making it more accessible for trainees to attend. 

The first session was a combined session for both ​Adult Medicine and Paediatrics & Child Health Basic Trainees.

Sharne Westblade, RACP Victoria/Tasmania Member Support Officer (MSO), gave a fantastic introduction and overview of the ​College. Her presentation included information regarding her role as MSO and how she can support us, the structure of the College, important dates/timelines, requirements for training, assessment tools, such as Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) and mini-clinical evaluation exercises (mini-CEX), an explanation of the roles of educational supervisors and Directors of Physician Education (DPE), and an introduction to the ​Basic ​Training ​Portal and the RACP website. 

The session was complemented by talks given by Adult Medicine trainees, with advice on ​Basic Training, studying for exams, and becoming an RACP trainee. It was also a great way to meet other trainees from around the state and from different hospitals. The second session at the Royal Children’s Hospital, was solely for paediatric trainees. There was a presentation on trainee wellbeing and the role of the RACP in supporting us during our training. Given the high rates of burnout and the unfortunate loss of far too many of our colleagues to suicide, it was reassuring to see the ​College taking an interest in this area and valuing trainee wellbeing.  

The sessions were both very successful and well attended. As new trainees joining the College, it can be confusing at first to try and understand all the College requirements and what our journey as trainees within the College will be. Having an RACP staff member explain this and hearing from trainees who have completed ​Basic ​Training was very helpful.

The attendance was excellent at both sessions, a testament to the interest of trainees and to the sessions themselves. Many of my colleagues share my sentiments in that these are fantastic sessions to help us navigate our journey through the College as new ​Basic ​Physician ​Trainees.

Basic Training Orientation sessions are held every year for new trainees joining the College. For more information email

Upcoming RACP Victoria events

Breakfast seminar: Climate change and human health: tracking the transition from threat to opportunity – Thursday, 17 August

Attend this event, being held in Sydney, via videoconference at the RACP Victoria office and discuss the threat to global public health posed by climate change and the impact of advocacy by health and medical organisations.

Find out more.

Continuing Education Workshop – Saturday, 23 September 

This is the third Continuing Education Workshop session for 2017 and will feature updates on ​depression, ​neurology and hepatology. 

Find out more.

RACP Victoria/Tasmania New Fellows' Forum – Saturday, 21 October

This free New Fellows’ Forum is designed to assist Advanced Trainees and New Fellows with the transition from trainee to Fellow.​

Find out more.

RACP Victoria Family Christmas Lecture – Friday, 17 November

RACP Victoria members are encouraged to attend this free event together with a family member or friend.
The topic of the lecture will be the Health of US Presidents throughout history and will be delivered by Professor Richard Harper.​

Find out more.

RACP Member Professional Development day (as part of the Continuing Education Workshop 2017 series) – Saturday, 18 November

What physicians need to know about management.

At this full day event find out more about how health works in Victoria and get tips for developing your career.​

Find out more.

RACP Victoria Trainee Research Awards for Excellence


Apply now. Submissions close Friday, 1 September 2017.

The RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence competition is held to select State, Territory and New Zealand representatives to present their research work in Sydney in May 2018. 

Two trainees, one presenting in the field of adult medicine and one presenting in the field of paediatric medicine, will be selected to represent Victoria. 

Representatives will be given the opportunity to present their research in Sydney in May 2018 and will receive the following benefits:

  • return economy class airfares from the place of nomination
  • accommodation for three nights (including breakfast) 
  • complimentary registration including Trainees' Day (if still a trainee)
  • Congress Gala Dinner or Paediatrics & Child Health Division Dinner.

Trainees from all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters are eligible to apply. Abstracts should be submitted to using the abstract template

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

All members are invited to attend the Victorian competition which will be held on:

Date: Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Time: 7pm to 9pm
RACP Victoria
Level 2
417 St Kilda Road
Cost: Free 
Registration: To register your attendance please email

If you would like more information, go to the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence page.   

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