The President's Message – 3 September 2021
COVID-19 has thrown us many challenges and your dedication to our core purpose has been truly outstanding. I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank our examiners, Directors of Physician Education and supervisors for your incredible contribution in getting our exams delivered and assessments performed during this unusually difficult time.
I also recognise that many changes in assessment format and uncertainty in our lives has put significant pressure on our trainees. Your patience and understanding while we work through the logistics of exam delivery is greatly appreciated by the College Board, staff and members alike.
Some Colleges have postponed their exams for this year, however with the support of the College Education Committee and exam committees, we are committed to supporting the progression of our trainees through their journey towards Fellowship. This has only been possible through your enormous efforts and contribution to this, your College. Once again, thank you.
On another note – for some time, you’ve told us you want to be able to easily find your peer members. RACP Congress, committees and regional meetings have been the time-honoured way to achieve networking. Now, more than ever, you want to be able to meet, discuss and debate with them, share knowledge, and experiences during the COVID-19 era. We’ve listened.
In three weeks’ time we’ll be launching one of the most exciting initiatives in our College over recent years – that is The RACP Online Community, or the ROC. If you haven’t used an online community before, think of it as like a virtual common room or open online forum for the whole College.
You’ll be able post questions, share comments, start debates and discussions… with all members across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Or, if you prefer, you can just read what everyone else is saying before dipping your toe in the water. Best of all, you’ll be able to find other members like yourself, via the ROC directory.
Nearly 300 of your peer members have been piloting the ROC already, and their response has been most positive. The ROC is for everyone – from newly joined trainees, right up to our most eminent and senior Fellows. It is exclusively for RACP members. It’s secure and you are in control of your settings and identity.
We'll be starting off with an open forum for all members, but over coming weeks and months, we’ll launch other smaller ROC communities. They’ll be exclusively for trainees and Fellows according to their Divisions, Faculties or Chapters, and many other groups as well.
The ROC has lots of other interesting features we’ll bring you as it grows. As a member, you automatically have access via MyRACP – on launch day just click on the Join the ROC tile, or you can download the ROC app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store and be taken straight into the community.
The ROC will be open from 30 September. It’s for you. It will thrive and grow as you use it. Have a look and read or join the discussions.
I’ll see you there, in the ROC.
Professor John Wilson AM
In response to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some parts of Australia, the Australian Government has approved a temporary expansion of the existing COVID-19 specialist telehealth items to allow private patients being treated in either a private or public hospital to also obtain a Medicare rebate (at 85 per cent of the schedule fee). This will enable specialist medical practitioners to provide telehealth services to hospital in-patients, where it is safe and appropriate to provide consultations remotely.
The expanded arrangements will apply where the specialist medical practitioner, at the time of providing the service, is located in a ‘COVID-19 Commonwealth declared hotspot’ or is subject to a state or territory government public health order to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19. The patient will also need to have an existing clinical relationship with the treating practitioner. These new arrangements are expected to commence in early September.
More details will be available over the coming days and members will be provided with a further update once the College knows more. Alternatively, you can check the MBS online website, as any updates will be published there.
Australia’s healthcare sector is estimated to contribute to seven per cent of Australia’s total carbon footprint, yet climate change is contributing to life-threatening illnesses and deaths. Many in the healthcare sector are working to improve carbon footprints and sustainability practices. Held on Tuesday, 14 September from 6.30pm to 8.30pm AEST, this free webinar will provide an avenue to showcase such actions, learn from each other and an international exemplar, be updated on the climate change science and consider the Australian context.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) invite you to join a two-hour webinar to showcase climate change and sustainability leadership and action in the health sector.
Dr Nick Watts (Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England) and Professor Mark Howden (Director, ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions and Vice Chair, IPCC) along with Dr Eugenie Kayak (DEA) will give brief keynote presentations.
The webinar will also include an update from Australia’s specialist medical colleges on the steps they are taking to respond to climate change and move towards sustainability, and the impacts of climate change on their specialty. Professor Lynne Madden FAFPHM will represent RACP at this event. The webinar will be moderated by Dr Omar Khorshid (AMA President) and Dr John Van De Kallen (DEA Chair).
The College and its AChAM share Rethink Addiction’s vision for an Australia without alcohol, tobacco or other drug-related harm or discrimination. That is why we have joined the campaign to Rethink Addiction.
Addiction is one of the most stigmatised and misunderstood of all health conditions. The stigma and misinformation surrounding addiction has resulted in an average near 20-year delay for seeking help. That is far too long, and many Australians and their families suffer in silence. We must Rethink Addiction.
Rethink Addiction is a national campaign to educate and advocate for the need to change Australia’s attitude and approach to addiction. The campaign represents the collective efforts of over 50 partner organisations from across a wide range of sectors.
The campaign leverages the SBS series, Addicted Australia, which consists of four episodes that were aired nationally late last year and which are available on demand. The series covers alcohol, gambling and drug addiction, treatment (including peer and family support) and highlights the social issues that worsen the stigma and isolation associated with addiction.
You can help out too, by going to the Rethink Addiction website, signing the petition for change and following their social media channels for more ways to get involved.
Find out more
Two new online learning resources have been developed in response to the unique challenges physicians are facing during the pandemic, Physician wellbeing in challenging times, and the Telehealth online courses.
The Physician wellbeing in challenging times online course explores in-depth how to better support your own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of your staff and colleagues through compassionate leadership. The course covers concepts, strategies, and tools to help you mitigate the impact, set healthy boundaries, prevent burnout and build support during a crisis.
The Telehealth online course provides all the information and tools you need to prepare for and conduct culturally-competent and patient-centred telehealth consultations
We understand you’re busy, so RACP Online Learning Resources have been developed to ensure they're accessible anywhere and optimised for mobile on-the-go learning. Our courses are designed to enable you to dip in and out, or just do the parts that are relevant to you.
Hurry, nominations close on Tuesday, 14 September
The prestigious College Awards and Medals acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by our Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.
If you know someone deserving of recognition, now is the time to nominate them for:
The John Sands College Medal
The John Sands College Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of the RACP.
The College Medal
The College Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
RACP International Medal
The RACP International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
Medal for Clinical Services in Rural and Remote Areas
The RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
RACP Mentor of the Year
The RACP Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or has provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
RACP Trainee of the Year
The RACP Trainee of the Year prize recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to the College, the community and/or trainee activities.
Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage, or contact RACP Foundation if you have an enquiry.
The Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP) is a high-quality training program for final year Advanced Trainees and Fellows who supervise trainees. Have you done one of our SPDP workshops and successfully applied the skills you learnt in practice? Complete our Online Facilitation Course and become an online course facilitator today.
Find out more
Professor Ian Kerridge chaired the RACP Ethics Committee over the past six years until his final term ended in June this year. During this time, his dedication to the Chair role and to the Ethics Committee more broadly has been instrumental in furthering ethics at the College.
This is evident in his long list of achievements which notably include the following:
We would like to acknowledge and thank Professor Kerridge for his time, hard work and commitment to the Ethics Committee and to developing online resources to benefit all College members.
Unsafe medication practices and medication errors have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as leading causes of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems across the world. Patient safety is every clinician’s priority.
Join this important session on Tuesday, 21 September from 6pm to 7pm AEST, 8pm-9pm NZST, led by Dr Genevieve Gabb with speakers Professor Jennifer Martin and Dr Chris Cameron, to discuss the common causes of physician induced harm.
The Australian Digital Health Agency is hosting a series of upcoming new virtual classroom sessions. Tailored specifically for specialists, practice nurses and practice managers, the virtual sessions use an online training environment to demonstrate the core features of My Health Record in either the Genie or National Provider Portal environments.
The sessions are designed to be interactive where participants are encouraged to ask questions and raise any issues.
Understand how to:
- save time by accessing overview summary documents including medicines, immunisations, pathology and diagnostic imaging
- find documents relevant to your clinical practice e.g. discharge summaries
- understand how to view the available Medicare information.
View the list of available session times and register for a session:
Register for a Genie session
Register for a National Provider Portal session
We’re hosting more online events than ever before, so have introduced a condensed monthly events digest. The latest digest was emailed to you, but you can also read it online.
This monthly communication will be sent to you on the first Wednesday of each month, to provide you with an opportunity to virtually attend events from all over Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. We hope this makes your life that little bit easier and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.
Discover upcoming events
The August 2021 issue of the Internal Medicine Journal is now live on the Wiley Online Library. This month’s Editor's Choice is a review titled eHealth and remote management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease: Lessons from Denmark in a time of need.
Other highlights from the issue are:
- Temporal trends in the burden of heart failure
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: a clinical update
- CBF-SPECT vs 18F-FDG PET in diagnosing Alzheimer disease
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Online headache guideline
- Medical Oncology Care Plan.
The early view of the September edition of the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health is now live on the Wiley Online Library.
Highlights from the issue include:
- Admissions due to vaccine preventable diseases in a large paediatric intensive care unit in Greece over a 10-year period
- Time trends in adrenaline auto-injector dispensing patterns using Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data
- Microbiology of septic arthritis in young Auckland children
- Epidemiology of scoliosis in cerebral palsy: A population-based study at skeletal maturity
- Decreasing delivery room intubations: A quality improvement project
- Are feeding disorders and feeding tube dependency the same?: A discrimination study between feeding disorders, feeding tube dependency and healthy eaters.
Last month, we published the results of the 2020 Physician Training Survey (PTS) through the interactive reporting dashboard. Using your MyRACP login, you can access the dashboard and compare data across regions, rurality, division and training level. This year we have added the historical analysis tab to enable comparison between the 2018 and 2020 survey results to monitor longitudinal progress.
Key findings from the 2020 survey include:
View the PTS 2020 Summary Report for a more comprehensive overview of the key findings and how they compare to those from 2018.
While the survey results indicate that most trainee and educator respondents were satisfied with their overall training experience in 2020, it is evident that last year, service provision took priority over education and educational opportunities were reduced. With topics such as workload, wellbeing and workplace culture highlighted once again, the results indicate there are ongoing systemic issues that need to be addressed.
Find out more about the Physician Training Survey on the RACP website or contact us if you have an enquiry.
Partial scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 per person are available for women in the health care sector
Scholarships are now available through Women & Leadership Australia to encourage more women to step into leadership roles and to support the further development of current women leaders in the Health Sector.
Scholarships from $1,000 to $5,000 will support participation in one of three leadership development courses designed for emerging through to senior leaders. The submissions of interest closing date has been extended to Friday, 24 September 2021.
Women & Leadership Australia provides world-class leadership development programs for emerging, middle, and senior women leaders. Their programs bring together the latest in leadership theory and practice with a focus on applied learning and are designed to foster excellence and equity in leadership across Australia.
Find out more
The Department of Health (the Department) is pleased to inform you that the draft National Mental Health Workforce Strategy is now open for public consultation and will close on Thursday, 30 September.
The Australian Government is funding the development of a 10-year National Mental Health Workforce Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy will consider the quality, supply, distribution and structure of the mental health workforce, and will identify practical approaches that could be implemented by Australian governments to attract, train and retain the workforce required to meet the demands of the mental health system in the future.
ACIL Allen is managing the consultation process on behalf of the Taskforce. If you would like the view the draft Strategy and make a submission, please visit the Strategy website.
The Strategy is being informed by an independent Taskforce, which is co-chaired by Ms Jennifer Taylor PSM and Mr Tom Brideson, and includes representatives from across the mental health sector. The Australian Government has engaged ACIL Allen to assist the Taskforce to develop the Strategy.
The differing insights, experiences, expertise and perspectives of interested stakeholders are essential to ensure a Strategy is produced that is representative of the entire mental health workforce and helps build a system that better meet the mental health needs of all Australians.
If you have any questions regarding the consultation or submission process, please contact email@example.com.
View the draft Strategy and make a submission
The Medical Board of Australia’s Medical Training Survey (MTS) will be running for another month. Eligible participants are all doctors in training, including RACP trainees in Australia. Don’t miss this chance to have your say.
A survey link is provided after you renew your registration. If you miss it, you’ll find it in your Ahpra confirmation of registration email. An update on how last year’s results are being used to strengthen training is available on the Medical Training Survey website.
About the Medical Training Survey
The MTS is a national survey of all doctors in training in Australia. Results provide a snapshot of the quality and experience of medical training in Australia.
The survey is independently administered by research company EY Sweeney. The MTS is anonymous and your answers will be handled in line with the privacy policies of the Medical Board of Australia, Ahpra and EY Sweeney. Only de-identified survey data will be provided to Ahpra and the Medical Board of Australia.
Further details can be found by visiting the Medical Training Survey website. If you have questions regarding the MTS, please email MTS@ahpra.gov.au.
Read other RACP eBulletins: