Western Australia – December 2016

A message from the Western Australia State Committee Chair

Dear Fellows and trainees,

This newsletter is a welcome opportunity to keep you up-to-date on what is happening in Western Australia. This information has been tailored especially for you, our members, covering our issues and our events. 

The Western Australia (WA) State Committee met on 21 August 2016 and 30 November 2016. Current items on the ​Committee agenda include the Curricula Review, State Committee Governance Structure, Policy and Advocacy and Accreditation.

Revalidation remains a topical issue with the recent release of the Medical Board of Australia Expert Advisory Group Interim Report in August. I would encourage all members to maintain an awareness of developments in this area and actively contribute to discussions as opportunities arise.

I would like to congratulate the participants in the recently held Western Australia RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence in the fields of adult medicine and paediatric medicine, Dr Jamie Tan and Dr Anoushka Krishnan.

I encourage all members to take up the opportunities of College involvement at a local level by joining one of our committees, or if you have suggestions for the Western Australian Committee please email us at RACPWA@racp.edu.au

I would like to wish you a safe and happy festive season and look forward to a productive 2017.  

Dr Michael Lucas
WA State Committee Chair

Western Australian State Committee Membership

The Members of the Western Australian State Committee are:

  • Associate Professor Venkata Kodali
  • Dr Rhagu Dharmapuri
  • Professor Charles Watson
  • Dr Stephen Richards
  • Dr Michael Lucas (Chair)
  • Dr Ian Wilson
  • Dr Meg Henze
  • Associate Professor Euan Thompson
  • Dr Bhaskar Mandal
  • Dr Angela Graves
  • Dr Anthony Mylius

The State Committee can be contacted at RACPWA@racp.edu.au 

Introducing your State Committee Members

Over the next few issues we will be including biographies of our State Committee members.

Dr Angela Graves

Dr Graves is a consultant physician, nephrologist and Director of Clinical Training at Rockingham General Hospital (RGH).

During her time at RGH, Dr Graves has organised the facility’s FRACP examinations, including the first held there in 2014, developed robust handover practices and supervised multiple research projects including clinical service redesign projects. 

Her research interests include acute kidney injury, avoiding harm from health care interventions and supporting junior staff to devise and generate their own research. Dr Graves also has an interest in simulation (Sim) training and is currently in the process of changing the didactic hospital orientation to an interactive Sim course.  

Dr Graves other interests include aquaponics, art, woodwork and caring for her three dogs.

Dr Meg Henze

Dr Henze is an Advanced Trainee in endocrinology.  

She completed her MBBS with Honours in 2009 from the University of Western Australia and completed a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King Edward Memorial Hospital in 2012. 

Dr Henze has been actively involved in the RACP since she was a Basic Trainee and is the current Adult Medicine Chair of the WA College Trainees’ Committee.  

Dr Henze has a rural bonded scholarship and looks forward to servicing rural areas when she completes her Fellowship. In her spare time she enjoys baking, the outdoors and is learning to speak German.

Clinical Associate Professor Venkata Kodali   venkata-kodali

Clinical Associate Professor Kodali is a consultant physician and endocrinologist with an affiliation with University of Western Australia.

He joined the RACP WA State Committee in 2016 and is currently working at Rockingham Hospital and in private practice.

Associate Professor Venkata graduated from Andhra University in India, completed his postgraduate training in the United Kingdom and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He is American Board Certified in Internal Medicine after training in Massachusetts. 

He is an examiner for medical and postgraduate students. He worked as a Director of Clinical Training at Geraldton during which time the centre was recognised for Basic Physician Training. His research interests are in endocrinology and nutrition. He is a keen teacher and committed to go to extra lengths to create the right learning environment for trainees.

Associate Professor Venkata’s hobbies are travel, walks and his 5am treadmill sessions.

michael-lucasDr Michael Lucas

Dr Lucas is Chair of the WA State Committee, State Representative to the College Council and Chair of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) WA Regional Committee.

Dr Lucas is Medical Director at Next Health Group – a multi-specialist group and WA’s largest provider of independent medical assessments. He is also an advisor to the Western Australian Department of Transport (Licencing) and an Independent Medical Examiner/Accredited Medical Practitioner consulting in WA, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. He is also an expert member on the WA Commission for Occupational Health and Safety.

Dr Lucas has background working in the mining industry in WA and consults in medico-legal medicine across multiple states. 

During his specialist training Dr Lucas was awarded the AFOEM Ramazzini Prize and has also been presented with the Fremantle Regional Division General Practice Award for Past Contribution and Dedication in areas of Board of Directors and Occupational Health and Safety.

Dr Lucas has a Masters Degree in Occupational Health and Safety and a PhD on occupational injuries. He is a Certified Medical Review Officer with Australasian Medical Review Officers Association and a Certified Independent Medical Examiner with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners. He is also a keen model ship builder.

charles-watsonProfessor Charles Watson

Professor Watson is a public health physician and neurobiologist. He is the Chair of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine WA Regional Committee. 

He taught medical school anatomy at the University of Western Australia and University of New South Wales from 1968 to 1982 before joining the WA Department of Health where he led the health promotion and disease control branches. Professor Watson has also served as WA’s Chief Health Officer. 

From 1982 to 1994, Professor Watson was responsible for WA campaigns on smoking, immunisation, HIV/AIDS and injury control. He was Chair of the National Coalition for Gun Control, which played a prominent role in pushing politicians to adopt gun restrictions after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. He holds professorial research positions at Curtin University, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Queensland. In addition to his medical qualifications he has an MD from UNSW and a DSc from the University of Sydney.

Professor Watson is best known internationally for his work in neuroscience. His current interest is in the construction of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) atlases for rat and mouse brains, and the study of gene expression during brainstem development.

WA Rural Physicians’ Workshop

The fifth annual WA Rural Physicians’ Workshop was held at the RACP WA office in Nedlands on the weekend of Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 November. Nearly 30 rural physicians attended and welcomed presenters from all corners of Western Australia.

The program, designed specifically for rural physicians and those with an interest in rural medicine, included presentations in a range of topics including: 

  • respiratory medicine 
  • neurology 
  • nephrology
  • a review of important journal articles from 2016 
  • an update from the International Congress for Tropical Medicine.

The program included presentations from participants in WA Country Health Service (WACHS) facilities and was telecast to allow those who were unable to attend in person to participate in sessions of special interest. 

This continuing professional development and networking opportunity also included a dinner on the Saturday evening at Chez Pierre restaurant in Nedlands. 

The annual 'Golden Teaspoon Award' - for the presentation which would have the most direct impact on the clinical practise of attendees - was awarded to Dr Tony Ryan for his informative session on fibromyalgia.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive and planning is already underway for next year's event.


Dr Lydia Scott presenting the 'Golden Teaspoon Award' to Dr Tony Ryan at the WA Rural Physicians' Workshop

Recent Events

Western Australia RACP Foundation Trainee Research Awards for Excellence

At this competitive event, trainees from all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters had the opportunity to present their research to an audience. Two trainees (one in the field of adult medicine and the other in the field of paediatric medicine) were selected to present in Melbourne in May 2017. 

The Award in the field of paediatric medicine ​went to Dr Jamie Tan for his presentation ‘Diagnosis of childhood lower respiratory tract illness using non-contact sound recordings’.

The Award in the field of adult medicine went to Dr Anoushka Krishnan for her presentation ‘A randomised controlled trial evaluating everolimus compared to cyclosporine on left ventricular mass index and arterial stiffness after kidney transplantation’.

Advanced Trainees Orientation Evening

The third WA Advanced Training Forum was held on Thursday, 20 October 2016 at the Harry Perkins Institute Nedlands campus.

This event, organised by the WA Trainees’ Committee, was sponsored for the first time by Avant Mutual Group, who sourced local and interstate speakers to complement the program.  

Topics included:

  • Tips and tricks to getting through Advanced Training
  • Work-life balance
  • Income protection and financial planning
  • Medicolegal issues
  • Overseas training, Fellowships and higher degrees and research projects. 

The event attracted positive feedback from the 43 Advanced Trainees who were able to attend. 

Expressions of Interest

EOI: Western Australia State Committee – Paediatric Fellow representative, closes 20 January

The Western Australia State Committee is calling for expressions of interest for a Fellow of the Paediatrics & Child Health Division to join the Committee.

The Board has established the Western Australian State Committee to:

  • advance the interests of the College in Western Australia
  • facilitate the engagement of Fellows in Western Australia 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 Western Australia
  • work with appropriate College Bodies and staff in connection with:
    • education, training and assessment of trainees
    • training and continual professional development
    • policy and advocacy.

Nominations for this position is on a ‘self-nomination’ basis, anyone interested in being a member of the Committee should send their completed nomination form to RACPWA@racp.edu.au by 5pm Friday, 20 January 2017.

If you have any questions regarding the nominations or election process, or to determine your eligibility, please contact Peter Dewar, Senior Executive Officer at peter.dewar@racp.edu.au 

EOI: Belong: Translational Research Project

The Telethon Kids Institute recently received funding from Healthway for an innovative three-year project called ‘Belong’ which focuses on the well-being of primary school students who are deaf or have hearing loss. Telethon Kids Institute is inviting RACP Members to join a Stakeholder Translation Advisory Group, chaired by Mr Barry MacKinnon AM, to review and guide the development and implementation of this project.

This project aims to support children who are deaf or have hearing loss by engaging them, their families and their teachers (as well as other major stakeholders and decision-makers) as co-researchers to develop and test innovative school and family-based intervention strategies to enhance their developmental health (i.e. mental health, emotional and social wellbeing) and education outcomes.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the study with a member of the research team, please contact Donna Cross by email at Donna.Cross@telethonkids.org.au or contact Lisa Patterson on +61 8 9489 7604 or at Belong@telethonkids.org.au 

To join the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, please complete the consent form and email or post it to the Telethon Kids Institute.

EOI: Western Australia Department of Health Cannabis-Based Products Assessment Panel 

Expressions of interest (EOI) are invited for appointment to a Cannabis-Based Products Assessment Panel. 

The role of the Panel is to consider and make recommendations on applications to prescribe medicinal cannabis. The Panel will also advise the Western Australia Department of Health on associated regulatory and policy matters, as necessary. 

The required commitment will include attendance at a monthly meeting of one to two hours duration, and associated preparatory reading. Membership will be by Ministerial appointment.

The Department of Health is currently seeking public and private medical specialists in the fields or related specialty areas listed below:

  • public health medicine
  • general medicine
  • immunology
  • clinical pharmacology or toxicology
  • oncology
  • neurology
  • palliative care
  • paediatrics
  • psychiatry.

Interested clinicians are invited to submit a brief EOI, with a condensed CV (one page or less), by email to poisons@health.wa.gov.au, marked for the attention of Dr Gemma Bilkey.

Applications from public sector specialists should be supported by the employing hospital or
health service.

More information on medicinal cannabis is available on the Western Australia Department of Health website

Close overlay