The President's Message – 8 March
I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the traditional owners and custodians of the lands I am speaking on today. I extend my respect to all Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Māori people. Together, we restate our shared commitment to advancing Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori health and education as core business of the RACP.
I want to begin this month with a special message to our 2,400 Fellows and 1,100 trainees in Aotearoa New Zealand. My heart goes out to those of you who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the recent severe weather events. Some of you may have lost homes and possessions and may be facing a long and arduous clean up. Many of you will be managing the health-related impacts of the cyclone through your work with impacted community members. Please ensure you look after yourselves and your family in these difficult times.
In response to Cyclone Gabrielle, we postponed the Auckland Divisional Written Examination. The rescheduled exam will not count as an attempt for those candidates. We have also approved up to 10 working days of additional study leave for trainees sitting the exam. Your College is here to support you, and other members in communities affected by similar disasters, such as Lismore in New South Wales. The RACP Support Program hosted by Converge International/Vitae is free, confidential, and available 24/7.
The unique culture of Aotearoa and the viewpoint of our Aotearoa New Zealand Fellows and trainees bring valuable diversity and perspective to our College family. And diversity is something we should actively encourage. It means we better represent and serve our communities. Many of you will know of the numerous studies have shown that organisations and health services comprised of people with diverse backgrounds*. The experiences are more creative and innovative, and on balance make better decisions.
Recognising diversity is also the right thing to do. That’s why our College recognises and values both our nations’ Indigenous cultures. That’s why we proudly participated in World Pride Week here in Sydney recently. I particularly want to thank Hash Abdeen and Anne Tonkin for representing the College. We also champion causes such as Gender Equity in Medicine, and why we celebrate International Women’s Day. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is embrace equity.
For the first time in history, the College has a female President, President Elect, and Chief Executive Officer. We are proud of this milestone, but we also know more work needs to be done.
Thank you to those who joined us in Sydney for a panel discussion on International Women’s Day. It provided an open platform for members to connect and discuss topics such as how to break through the difficulties of being a woman in medicine. The event recording will be available soon, for those who missed out.
I want to see our College make more progress on diversity. Currently 45 per cent of our members are women. Just 60 members identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and 98 members as Māori. We don’t yet collect data on other aspects of diversity and are investigating doing so in future.
Our Member Diversity Advisory Group has a vision of embracing diversity and striving towards inclusion for all. In December the Board approved its principles and they are:
- Our members reflect the diversity of the community we serve.
- Our culture is inclusive, and people feel valued and are respected.
- Our leaders advocate for workplaces that support and are representative of our diverse community at all organisational levels.
The Group is developing an action plan to guide the College in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion of the RACP membership in all College activities. The plan will aim both to remove barriers that may prevent diverse participation in physician practice and leadership roles and will facilitate best practice in this area. Recognising diversity is essential in ensuring we have safe training environments for our trainees. Diversity is what will give us our ongoing strength and depth as a profession and a College.
Dr Jacqueline Small
To contact Jacqueline, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are pleased to release our new Member Health and Wellbeing Strategic Plan 2023–2026, which was developed by the Member Health and Wellbeing Committee (MHWC).
The MHWC developed the Plan using the following principles:
- The wellbeing of members is essential in all stages of their careers and lives.
- The individual, our College, and practice environments have a collective responsibility for member wellbeing.
- Wellbeing must be embedded into all College activities and culture, and modelled by leadership.
- Our College will advocate for and enable evidence-based practices to promote wellbeing.
We encourage you to read the Plan and look forward to rolling out the initiatives in the plan to better support you.
Read the Strategic Plan
Our thoughts are with those of you who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the severe weather events in Aotearoa New Zealand. We would like to remind you that the RACP is here to support you. The RACP Support Program hosted by Converge International/Vitae is free, confidential, and available 24/7.
In response to Cyclone Gabrielle, we postponed the Divisional Written Examination scheduled on Monday, 13 February 2023 for Auckland trainees. The rescheduled exam took place in Auckland on Tuesday, 7 March 2023 and will not count as an attempt for those candidates.
To acknowledge the stress and disruption that the postponed DWE caused, we also approved up to 10 additional working days of additional study leave for trainees sitting that exam.
Trainees who are unable to fulfill other training program requirements may be eligible for special consideration due to the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle. Impacted trainees should contact Member Services
to discuss how we can support you.
The upcoming Australian Federal Budget 2023–2024 is an opportunity to fund actionable pathways to wellbeing for all Australians. The RACP submission to the Treasury aims to inform the Australian Government of an actionable pathway to reducing the social and environmental drivers of ill health and building system capacity to respond to disease.
Recommendations specific to health system reform, disease prevention, improving equity for priority groups impacted by the social determinants of disease, and improving the sustainability of our environment informed the submission.
In line with College policy and advocacy priorities, improving access and equity for priority populations, including First Nations Communities, low income households, rural, regional and remote Australians, older people, people with a disability, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, was at the centre of our recommendations. Advocacy and social media over the coming weeks, up to and following the May Budget, will see the submission and its recommendations promoted widely to key stakeholders and decision makers.
The College has also produced an easy-to-read handout listing our Pre-Budget recommendations: Sustainable, resilient, future-focused: The path to equitable care and healthier communities. Please write to email@example.com with your suggestions and inquiries and please follow our social media accounts for upcoming advocacy.
Read our Submission Read our recommendations
In consultation with members, the RACP’s Kids COVID Catch Up and Healthy Climate Future campaigns have released a series of NSW policy recommendations, ahead of the NSW Election.
Your support for child health as well as the impacts of climate change on healthcare are crucial to the impact of these campaigns. Please join the Kids COVID Catch Up and Healthy Climate Future campaigns.
Please help spread the word on social media by sharing these social media posts:
Authorised by Louise McElvogue, Interim Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000.
The Aotearoa New Zealand 2023 General Election is coming up on 14 October 2023. Now is the time to make your voice heard. RACP members in Aotearoa New Zealand, please complete this quick survey. It is your opportunity to share your advice on where you would like your College to prioritise the issues you think can make the most difference.
The survey takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and closes Friday, 31 March 2023.
The RACP plays an active role in government election campaigns by advocating for policies that enable our patients to live longer, healthier lives. There are a wide array of issues that the RACP could advocate on in the lead up to the General Election. However, the more we can narrow our focus to a few key issues, the more likely it is that we will have a positive impact.
Thank you for your input on this important mahi.
Take the survey
This is a friendly reminder to log in to MyCPD and complete your 2022 MyCPD submission by Friday, 31 March 2023. Please record a minimum of 100 CPD credits for last calendar year (1 January to 31 December 2022) or contact the CPD Team to discuss a CPD exemption for 2022.
Remember, your MyCPD record is open for 2023. It is recommended you record activities as you go.
Further details about the MyCPD framework are available in the following handbooks, including changes to CPD requirements for 2023, and the transition from CPD credits to CPD hours:
2022 MyCPD Framework / 2023 MyCPD Framework
ATAGI recommends a 2023 COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for adults in certain groups. They are, if their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent) was six months ago or longer, and regardless of the number of prior doses received:
- all adults aged 65 years and over
- adults aged 18-64 years who have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or a disability with significant or complex health needs.
All adults aged 18-64 should consider getting the 2023 COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent) was six months ago or longer, and regardless of the number of prior doses received, based on an individual risk benefit assessment with their immunisation provider.
A booster dose is not recommended at this time for children and adolescents aged under the age of 18 years, who do not have any risk factors for severe COVID-19. With the upcoming flu season, ATAGI has advised that COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered with influenza and other vaccines.
For more information, please visit the recent ATAGI statement on the Department website.
The Department of Health and Aged Care has asked us to share correspondence from the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Professor Paul Kelly. It provides advice on seasonal influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) in 2023.
Find out more on the resource collection
and the program advice for vaccination providers
There is still time to register for the Tri-nation International Medical Symposium being held at the Amora Hotel Sydney this Friday, 10 March. Join leading voices from Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia for an in-depth discussion on providing equitable care to all our communities. Learn from shared experiences, successes and failures in searching for solutions to this pressing issue.
With a focus on this years’ theme of, providing equitable care to all our communities, this day promises substantive sessions with experiences, solutions and a way forward coming from not only specialists, but across multiple disciplines and countries.
Explore the program and register
Listen to podcast
Medical and administrative records are normally collected to help the management of patients or institutions, but it can be time consuming to extract metrics useful for practice improvement. The field known as Practice Analytics seeks to transform these data and provide clinicians with a bird’s eye view of their case load and performance.
Practice Analytics can draw attention to cases that stood out from the trend, not for any regulatory purpose, but simply to help clinicians reflect and improve. This could even act a shortcut to meeting the new requirements for CPD imposed by the medical boards.
Professor Tim Shaw (University of Sydney; Research Director, Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre) and Dr David Rankin (Director Clinical Governance and Informatics, Cabrini Health)
To be among the first to find out about the latest Pomegranate Health podcasts, subscribe to email alerts. You can also search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, or any podcasting app. For a transcript and further references, please visit the Pomegranate Health webpage. You can also log in to MyCPD to record prefilled learning activity.
We are pleased to announce that the results of two important training surveys are now available. From August to November 2022, trainees across Aotearoa New Zealand and educators across both countries were invited to complete the RACP’s Physician Training Survey (PTS). Trainees in Australia were encouraged to complete the Medical Board of Australia’s well-established Medical Training Survey (MTS).
The survey results point towards a challenging year for both trainees and educators. While the majority of trainees in Australia and educators across both countries remained satisfied with their overall training/supervisory experience, trainees in Aotearoa New Zealand reported a marked drop in their overall satisfaction with training. Significant increases in workload, burnout and adverse impacts of COVID-19 were reported by both trainees and educators, while high quality clinical and educational supervision were maintained.
New data surrounding concerningly high rates of bullying, harassment, and discrimination highlights that the most common barriers to reporting these inappropriate behaviours are concerns about repercussions and the perception that nothing will be done as a result. While some of the concerning findings may be attributed to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the results signal persistent systemic issues that need addressing.
Physician Training Survey (PTS)
The Physician Training Survey ran from August- November 2022 and 18 per cent of eligible trainees and 13 per cent of eligible educators responded.
Explore PTS results via the:
Medical Training Survey (MTS)
RACP trainees in Australia were invited to provide their anonymous feedback through the Medical Board of Australia’s well-established Medical Training Survey, rather than the PTS. The MTS was open over the same time period as the PTS and 3,717 RACP trainees (approximately 47 per cent) responded to the survey. Explore MTS results via the 2022 MTS RACP summary report and the Interactive reporting dashboard.
Use of survey data and insights
The RACP uses the results of both the PTS and the MTS to:
- strengthen RACP training programs and activities
- drive improvements in training settings by providing feedback and identifying settings with results that indicate potential concerns and asking the training setting’s executives to respond to the feedback
- inform systemic change by using results in the development of strategic approaches to improve physician training, our services and the culture of medicine.
Thank you to all trainees and educators who took part in these important activities. Further details about the Physician Training Survey and Medical Training Survey are provided on their respective websites. If you have questions regarding the Physician Training Survey, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of 1 January 2023, all Australian medical practitioners will need to select a CPD home and meet the CPD requirements of that home. Your Fellowship means you belong to the RACP MyCPD Home.
There are plenty of benefits of completing your CPD through us, such as use of our MyCPD platform to record your CPD activities, access to helpful resources and learning tools, peer review opportunities on the RACP Online Community (ROC), and support from our CPD Team.
My RACP. MyCPD Home.
Find out more
Did you know that your membership gives you access to some excellent resources designed to help you build your cultural competence and ability to provide culturally-safe care?
Browse the curated collection or dip into the self-paced online course. We also recommend checking out the RACP’s Indigenous Child Health Statement, which provides a guide to understanding our role in the elimination of health inequity.
Don’t forget to claim CPD for time spent on RACP Online Learning.
Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA) helps rural specialists like you stay skilled, supported and engaged so you can provide the best care to your community.
Apply online for a grant of up to $10,000 to do CPD activities like conferences, workshops, clinical attachments and peer review. The application deadline is 31 March 2023.
To be eligible you must work rurally and be part of a (non-GP) specialist medical College as:
• a Fellow
• an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander trainee
• an International Medical Graduate under assessment.
To help spread the word about the grant, please SRSA grant poster and place it on your work noticeboard.
Find out more and apply now
Read other RACP eBulletins:
Join the conversation in the ROC