Western Australia – November 2017

A message from the Western Australian (WA) State Committee Chair

Welcome to the latest edition of the Western Australia (WA) eNewsletter. The state 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, the members in our region, covering our issues and our events. 

I would encourage all members to check out the Physician Education Program Lectures, now screened each week at the RACP WA office in Nedlands.

The lectures are not only excellent exam preparation for those planning to sit the Basic Training exam in February, but also provide an excellent update on contemporary clinical practice and scientific research which is valuable to all Fellows. Attendance at these sessions is eligible for Continuing Professional Development credits.

There has been a lot of attention recently on physician wellbeing and looking after yourself to best serve the needs of your patients. I would encourage everyone to take a moment to access the  wellbeing resources on the RACP website and the recently released podcast Being human

In addition, there is an Australian Health Benefits of Good Work (HBGW) Signatory Steering Group Industry Forum coming up in Perth, supported by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which has a special focus on: ’Healthcare professionals – promoting the health benefits of good work’

I would like to welcome to the State Committee Dr Kristen Lindsey and Dr Lee Fairhead who have taken over the Co-Chair positions on the WA Trainees’ Committee.

Many thanks to Dr Meg Henze, and Dr Zoe Wake, who have stepped down from the State committee, for their long time support and contributions to the activities of both the State and WA Trainees’ Committees 

If you have any contributions for the Western Australian State Committee please email us at RACPWA@racp.edu.au 

Dr Michael Lucas
WA State Committee Chair

Support for trainees: Physician Education Program (PEP) ​lectures

In response to feedback from trainees on how the College might provide support for exam preparation, the WA State Committee working with the State Office have established a service to enable access to the College Physician Education Program (PEP) Lecture Series  in WA at no cost.

The PEP lectures are recorded in the RACP Melbourne office every Thursday from May to December each year and cover all major topics in the Basic Training Curriculum. Each session consists of three 45 minute lectures by RACP Fellows.

The lectures are now available for viewing at the RACP WA offices in Nedlands. A regular session is held every Thursday from 6pm to 9pm and catering is provided. Topics can be tailored to suit the study schedules of attendees and matched to upcoming local events or workshops.
The WA office also offers a View on Demand service for those unable to attend the regular Thursday session. Simply contact the office on racpwa@racp.edu.au and let them know when you will be coming in and provided there are no other events scheduled you can access the entire library of topics.


The WA State Committee Chair, Dr Michael Lucas, recently met with Dr Simon Towler from the South Metro Health Service (SMHS) to discuss opportunities to collaborate in the areas of employee wellness and 'choosing wisely' for optimising services to clients.

There are clear common objectives in the SMHS Strategic Plan and the RACP Evolve initiative and we look forward to participating in a number of events over the coming months, starting with the Health Benefits of Good Work forum focusing on the healthcare workforce.

New Fellows' Forum – September 2017

An information and networking evening was held on Thursday, 7 September at the University Club of Western Australia to welcome our new Fellows.

The event was attended by new Fellows from a range of specialties representing all Divisions, Faculties and Chapters working in both public and private sectors. 

Speakers for the evening included the WA State Committee Chair, Dr Michael Lucas and RACP Board Member, Dr Helen Rhodes, who provided an oversight of the structure and functions of the College.

Dr Helen Thomas delivered a presentation on opportunities, and support available, for those wishing to participate in the College Supervisor training program.

Dr Angela Graves gave a highly entertaining and informative presentation on ‘Life as a new specialist’.

Our sponsor Avant, provided two speakers for the event:

  • Dr Michael Ngyuen provided insights on how to balance public and private sector commitments and outlined the pros and cons of each.
  • Ms Morag Smith discussed the medico-legal aspects of life as a new specialist and provided invaluable and somewhat scary insights, into the legal pitfalls that can catch out those starting out in practice.

The presentations were followed by a networking opportunity.

RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence Western Australia representatives announced

The WA State Committee are pleased to announce the WA representatives in the RACP Trainee Research Awards for Excellence. 

The standard of research was outstanding and all presentations were of an exceptional quality.

In the field of paediatric medicine
runmoreDr Sarah Rumore who presented on: 

Degree of C3 depletion as a prognostic factor for APSGN in children in the Kimberley region of Western Australia

Acute Post-Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis (APSGN) continues to have health implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Northern Australia, with a rate as high as 93 per 100,000. While some forms remain subclinical others can be more severe with significant medical complications. Identifying children at risk of a more fulminant course would assist in management and prediction of prognosis. The objective of this study was to determine if the degree of complement level 3 (C3) depletion at presentation of APSGN in children in the Kimberley region can predict disease severity. 

"I have recently completed my training in general paediatrics but I am an ongoing trainee in paediatric gastroenterology. I have been privileged to have worked in many hospitals throughout Australia while doing my training including rural and metropolitan New South Wales and Queensland, and have been working at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for Children in Perth for the past five and a half years.

"I am currently Medical Education Registrar at PMH and have had the opportunity to further develop my skills in medical education and leadership. My future career goals include providing care in both general paediatrics and paediatric gastroenterology to children across Australia, particularly in areas of need such as the Kimberley and Northern Australia. I'm particularly interested in malnutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in these areas," said Dr Runmore.

In the field of adult medicine
wa-tra-2017-sriDr Sri Thiruvengadam who presented on:

DPP-4 inhibitor monotherapy and insulin resistance in post-transplant diabetes mellitus

To compare the insulin resistance in patients treated with DPP-4 therapy to a historical cohort of patients receiving other treatment for NODAT. 

The use of corticosteroids and calcineurin-inhibitors to prevent rejection after renal transplant predisposes patients to insulin resistance. Within the first year, almost half of patients are affected by new onset diabetes after transplant (NODAT). Although DPP-4 inhibitors have shown efficacy in protecting beta cells from tacrolimus-induced toxicity, there is limited data on their clinical application in this population. 

Upcoming events

Australian Health Benefits of Good Work (HBGW) Signatory Steering Group Industry Forum
Friday, 17 November
RACP WA Rural Physician's Workshop
Saturday, 18 November

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