The President's Message – 6 April
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.
Many of you will be aware that our Annual General Meeting is on 5 May. This is an important part of the governance of the College, and I encourage you to attend. Voting is now open for a change to the RACP Constitution to add an Indigenous Object. Your Board recommends this change and I encourage you to read the Explanatory Memorandum and to vote. You can find out more by visiting the RACP website, where you’ll find a banner on the front page linking to the Notice of Meeting, which explains the change in more detail. You will have also received an email on 31 March with details.
Today, I’d also like to talk with you about specialty societies and the way we are working to improve our relationships. The 50 independent specialty societies we are affiliated along with the RACP play important roles in the way we work to improve the health of our communities. I recently convened a meeting to enhance and improve the relationships between us and the specialty societies and to explore common ground amongst our organisations.
Presidents of 37 specialty societies either attended or sent a delegate from across both our countries. Over 60 people attended on the day. Special thanks to Jane Lesslie, Michelle Gold, Claire Bennett, Vasi Naganathan, David Johnson, Nitin Kapur and Ann McCormack who co-facilitiated sessions.
As RACP President, I acknowledged and respectfully listened to concerns about our processes and ways we have been working. I know we need to and can do better. However, overall, the feeling in the room was one of collaboration and shared interests on key areas of training and education, professional development, workforce, and advocacy.
As a practising rheumatologist, Inam Haq, our Executive General Manager of Education Learning and Assessment, is keenly aware of the importance of specialty societies to education and professional development. He thinks the College has many ways we can partner together for mutual benefit, such as in curriculum content in our current Advanced Training renewal program.
We discussed issues in which the RACP can play a greater role. For example, there is a need to explore establishing a clinical academic training pathway to secure the future of physician research. A number of specialty societies are working closely with the College to promote useful educational content through Medflix, our online video library.
We are both about to pilot streamlining the recording of CPD activities for members attending identified specialty societies events. We aim to reduce the burden of recording CPD activities for our members.
The Societies have also suggested how we can help members meet CPD requirements in category two: reviewing performance, and category three: measuring outcomes. You can find more about CPD requirements on the RACP website, where there is a good webinar explaining the 2023 CPD Framework.
We have also just launched episode three of our Decoding CPD series, which focuses on how Fellows undertake category two and three activities in their everyday work. The latest episode features Dr Catherine D’Souza, a Palliative Care Specialist at South Canterbury Hospice in Aotearoa New Zealand. She focuses on effective CPD activities in category two including peer review, weekly complex case meetings, monthly consultant meetings and doctors’ meetings, or hui.
The Medical Board of Australia and Medical Council of New Zealand have introduced these new categories, and we are supporting members to meet the requirements. Some members have looked to the ROC to establish a peer group for these purposes.
The College has also been involved in workforce modelling and predictions of future trends. Our own data and data from other sources, can provide a basis for understanding where we are. Some specialty societies have also undertaken their own workforce modelling project, and there is scope for us to collaborate.
There is interest in workforce data at all levels including from the Health Minister, the Department of Health and Aging and Specialty Societies. There are multiple sources of data such as the Health Workforce Dataset and the data collected by the College via various mechanisms including the My Work Profile survey. We publish an annual member insights report highlighting key training and workforce trends across our membership. You can find the report in the Membership section of our website.
We are working with our stakeholders to provide information that helps understand the current workforce distribution and supports planning for the future. That’s why it’s important we all complete our My Work Profile via MyRACP.
In relation to advocacy, there were some divergent views in relation to priority areas. Workforce, research, equity in clinical trials, quality use of medicines, integrated and community care were some areas identified as important. We acknowledged that we have a lot to gain by working collaboratively and improving communication, especially on the part of the College. The support and engagement on the day was enriching and we decided to hold this forum on a yearly basis. In all, it was a valuable opportunity to connect for the benefit of our entire membership. I am very grateful for all who gave their day to work with RACP on improving the health of our communities.
Dr Jacqueline Small
To contact Jacqueline, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the leadup to the NSW Election, the RACP NSW/ACT Regional Committee developed and released the Prioritising Health Election Statement. It covered priority policy areas with recommendations for the incoming government. The College also prepared a media release, which focused on the recommendation for early childhood education to be extended to three-year-old children. It generated positive media coverage and social media engagement.
The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide was established to look into the high rates of suicide in defence and veteran communities and make recommendations to the government. The RACP's submission contains recommendations addressing key healthcare and wellbeing areas the Australian Defence Force provides to serving and ex-serving members. The RACP has had long-term involvement with defence and veteran matters, including mental health and suicide. This is particularly important to us, as many RACP members provide healthcare to these patient groups.
Read the submission
Your College made a submission in response to the Australian Treasury consultation on the Measuring What Matters consultation. It addresses the important work in measuring and tracking quality-of-life indicators. The RACP suggests key points and resources needed in a quality of life framework that reflect the social determinants of health, equity and considerations for priority populations.
Read the submission
In Australia, more than 9000 people living with acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) are registered with RHD control programs in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and the Northern Territory.
ARF and RHD are predominantly seen in Australia’s First Nations populations. Despite well-established opportunities for prevention on the disease continuum, up to 80 per cent of those diagnosed with RHD between 2016 and 2020 had no prior ARF diagnosis, and up to 14 per cent had severe RHD at diagnosis.*
The 2020 Australian guideline for prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (3rd edition) includes standards, recommendations and guidance for clinical care that is evidence-based and supported by a cultural safety framework.
Menzies School of Health Research provides free resources to support clinicians including:
More information, including RHD control programs and legislated notification of ARF and RHD is available on the ARF and RHF Guidelines website. If you have an enquiry, please email email@example.com.
*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022). Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Australia 2016 – 2020, catalogue number CVD 95, AIHW, Australian Government.
International Grants are back. Applications open 17 April 2023
Awards of up to $15,000 AUD are available to medical graduates or specialists from outside Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. These awards are for those who intend on furthering their knowledge in fields of medical education and research, to improve health outcomes in their home country.
For further information and eligibility criteria, please visit the International Grants webpage.
Educational Development (Study) Grants provide funding for further educational training or the development of educational initiatives. Grants include the Skilled Medical Scholarship for the Advancement of Indigenous Health. Applications for 2023 funding round one close Tuesday, 2 May 2023.
The RACP Foundation offers upwards of 50 Research Awards with a total value of approx. $2.5 million each year. The awards are offered in the following categories: Career Development Fellowships, Research Establishment Fellowships and Research Entry Scholarships. Applications for 2024 in these major categories open Monday, 1 May 2023. Applications for Research Development Grants and Travel Grants open Saturday, 1 July 2023.
Most awards are available to Fellows and trainees across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Please refer to the RACP Foundation website for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.
A new episode in the Decoding CPD video series has just been released. Watch episode three to hear how Dr Catherine D’Souza, a Palliative Care Specialist completes effective Category 2 CPD activities. This includes peer review, weekly complex case meetings, and monthly consultant meetings. Like most Fellows, Catherine already meets the Category 2 CPD requirements in her daily practice. Browse the Medflix video library and explore the huge range of educational videos available to you.
Your professional development is always evolving, which is why we are dedicated in supporting you to meet your CPD requirements.
There are many benefits of the RACP being your CPD Home, including access to:
You have never stopped learning. We’re here to make sure that continues. My RACP. MyCPD Home.
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