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RACGP Tasmania newsletter

30 July 2018

Tasmania in action

Chair report: Dr Jennifer Presser

I would like to begin by welcoming Ginita Oberoi to the Tasmania Board. Joining us with a wealth of liaison experience, Ginita will represent her New Fellows cohort.

Congratulations to Dr Collie Mullins for her well-deserved RACGP Tasmania 2018 General Practitioner of the Year Award and to Port Sorell Medical Practice for their significant achievement in winning the RACGP Tasmania 2018 General Practice of the Year Award. I look forward to seeing you all at Celebrating General Practice: Fellowship and Awards Ceremony in September.

Late last June, I attended the Tasmanian General Practice Forum (TGPF) meeting. Representatives from the RACGP, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Australian Medical Association Tasmania, Rural Doctors Association Tasmania and Primary Health Tasmania make up the TGPF. There was a great feeling of collaboration among the participants who are keen to lobby effectively for improvements on crucial issues concerning GPs and the care general practice is able to provide for Tasmanian patients.

Currently, the Tasmanian Health Service (South) is reviewing referral pathways and service models to improve integration across hospital and primary care settings. Enhanced relationships and communication with GPs to improve pathways are a focus and new models of service delivery are being considered. We hope that the best elements of the models trialled elsewhere in the state can inform any new service delivery and ensure the Tasmanian General Practice Forum can provide a strong united voice to government.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators Conference in Hobart. The theme of the conference was ‘Sustainability’ and included several excellent keynotes and sessions regarding the important role that medical practice plays in sustainable living. 

Assoc Prof Katherine Barroclough, a nephrologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, gave an alarming and inspiring talk that included discussion on medical waste, the major cost savings, as well as environmental improvements that can be made by implementing simple changes, such as choice of anaesthetic gases. The effect of more active transport choices has the dual benefits of improving physical health and reducing the impact of pollution that has a health cost estimated to be over 11 billion dollars annually. Assoc Prof Barroclough is a committee member of the Victorian Doctors for the Environment.

Good Practice had a great article on this topic in the April 2017 edition and the ABCs ‘War on Waste’ program is a popular and timely indicator to the often-unseen effects of our lifestyle on the environment.

Perhaps it's time for a reboot or a rebike?

Please don’t hesitate to email me with your observations and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jenny Presser
Chair, RACGP Tasmania

Tasmania news and events

Introducing our newest Board member, Dr Ginita Oberoi

The RACGP Tasmania Board is delighted to welcome Dr Ginita Oberoi to the position of New Fellow representative. Ginita is a respected member of the RACGP in Tasmania achieving the Tasmania 2017.1 Exam Medal and was awarded the 2017 RACGP Tasmania Registrar of the Year. 

Ginita grew up in Hobart graduating from the University of Tasmania before moving to the North West Coast to begin her general practice training. Currently working at Victoria Street Clinic in Ulverstone and Family Planning Tasmania in Burnie, she is also a medical educator with General Practice Training Tasmania. In her spare time, Ginita explores her passions for all things edible and likes to cook up a storm.

‘During my training, I was a registrar liaison officer, which is in essence a bridge for communication between registrars and their training providers. I talked to many registrars about their thoughts and concerns about starting out in general practice and these conversations helped me reflect on what can help make a new GP's career more rewarding and enjoyable.

'I feel that social and professional networks encourage a sense of cooperation between colleagues in a profession where we can sometimes feel isolated from each other and the wider hospital-based medical system. I hope that as the New Fellows representative I can help to foster a network that will inspire solidarity and provide a conduit to share our cohort’s experiences and insights with the Tasmania Board’, she comments.

Ginita welcomes your comments and suggestions. Please contact her via email with any questions or feedback. 

Celebrating general practice: Fellowship and Awards Ceremony

Saturday 1 September

Celebrating general practice: The Fellowship and Awards Ceremony is a significant annual occasion for members of RACGP Tasmania. The presentation ceremony is designed to applaud the achievements of our New Fellows, honour award winners and to celebrate collegiality.

All members of the general practice community are warmly invited to witness the official presentations together with their colleagues, family and friends. A celebratory reception will follow the official program. This significant occasion will be held at Country Club Tasmania, Prospect Vale, Launceston.

Registration is now open.

RACGP Tasmania Member Meeting

We are delighted to invite members to attend the 2018 RACGP Tasmania Member meeting. The meeting will be led by Dr Jennifer Presser, RACGP Tasmania Chair. 


 Saturday 1 September


 11.00 am – 1.00 pm


 Country Club Tasmania or RACGP Tasmania, Hobart

Members are also invited to stay and observe the proceedings of the new Board's first meeting and, at conclusion, join us for light refreshments.

For members in southern Tasmania who would like to participate in the meeting, a video conference link will be available at the Hobart office. 

To register your attendance in Launceston or Hobart, please email or call 03 6212 5888 by Friday 24 August.

Congratulations Tasmanian award winners

RACGP Tasmania 2018 General Practitioner of the Year – Dr Columbine Mullins

Dr Mullins is an outstanding GP. She approaches her work with enthusiasm, an openness to new ideas and genuine humility. Her colleagues and her patients comment on her generosity, patience, knowledge and skill.

In 2016, Dr Mullins joined a government-funded pilot after-hours general practice service, offering care to vulnerable Tasmanians. This service often collaborates with St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army’s mobile food vans to access the homeless and ensure they receive appropriate health care. Her proactive approach has made this initiative a success in tackling the social determinants of heath ‘at the coalface’. She is also a passionate advocate for GP peer support.

RACGP Tasmania 2018 General Practice of the Year – Port Sorell Medical Practice

Established to service patients in the Port Sorell, Shearwater and Hawley Beach areas of norther Tasmania, this purpose-built, family-friendly practice provides optimum patient-centred care, excellent registrar and medical student supervision and training, and a wide range of allied health services.

Thank you to the committee

RACGP Tasmania expresses our sincere thanks to Dr Stewart Gardner, Dr Susan Hodgman and Dr Christopher Hughes for their support of these significant awards in general practice in Tasmania.

PLAN ahead: Individual sessions for members

RACGP Tasmania will host free individual sessions to assist GPs in using the new Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) planning, learning and need (PLAN) activity.

PLAN is an electronic portfolio designed to assist you in mapping and documenting your learning needs. PLAN is a mandatory QI&CPD requirement for the 2017–19 triennium and attracts 40 Category 1 QI&CPD points.

Book your free individual session now – we will step you through the process and support you with beginning or continuing your PLAN.

Fifty-minute sessions are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10.00 am – 4.00 pm. Additionally, evening sessions will be held on Thursday 6 September from 5.00 pm.

Session options available are face-to-face in Hobart or by phone. 

Please contact RACGP Tasmania by email or phone 03 6212 5888 to book your place.

Women in general practice series

Saturday and Sunday 18–19 August

RACGP Tasmania is pleased to announce that the 2018 weekend retreat will be held at Freycinet Lodge. This year’s workshop, 'Celebrating diversity', explores the challenges and triumphs of working in a multicultural society.

The program has been developed by a local committee of enthusiastic GPs and offers a unique style of delivery that welcomes an open exchange of ideas and information. Additionally, the workshop provides a valuable opportunity for participants to share experiences, tips and tools with their colleagues.

Join us for excellent education, broad debate and great conversation in a beautiful rural Tasmanian location. The workshop attracts 40 QI&CPD Category 1 points.

Registration is now open.

Contact Julia Ray for further information.

FRACGP pre-exam workshops

RACGP Tasmania is pleased to offer the following workshops to support Fellowship examination candidates who plan to sit the 2018.2 OSCE, the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Key Feature Problem (KFP) examinations. 

OSCE pre-exam workshop        Saturday 15 September         
AKT and KFP pre-exam workshop        Saturday 8 December

Intermediate and advanced Clinical Emergency Management workshops – Hobart

Friday 7 September (Intermediate)
Saturday and Sunday 8–9 September (Advanced)

Places are still available in the intermediate and advanced Clinical Emergency Management Program (CEMP) workshops.

CEMP workshops are designed to teach you the skill set required to stabilise patients in the first 30 minutes of an emergency.

CEMP workshops are eligible for the Rural Procedural Grants Program.

For more information, visit the RACGP TAS events webpage, email or call the RACGP National Events team on 03 8699 0557.

Palliative care ALM

Saturday 22 September

The provision of palliative care is a significant challenge for general practice. Care setting, stage of illness and patient preferences all add to the complexity of effective assessment and management.

The workshop will consider:

  • effective assessment
  • management of pain
  • management of other symptoms
  • Advanced Care Directive and medical goals of care
  • end-of-life conversations
  • availability of resources, referral pathways and support networks in the Tasmanian context.

For more information or to register, visit the RACCP website

National news and opportunities

Webinar: The art of rural 'locuming', how your skills are transferable

8.00–9.00 pm, Thursday 9 August

Are you looking for a sea or tree change? Are you looking for new experiences or a bit of an adventure?

This free 'locuming' webinar provides insight into what rural GP locum work involves and the tools to successfully locum in rural and remote communities. Experienced GP locums will discuss the challenges and rewards and will answer your questions.

For more information, view the flyer, contact RACGP Rural via email or call 1800 636 764.

Are you interested in acquiring advanced mental health skills without having to leave your practice?

RACGP Rural is now taking registrations for the September intake of the Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training (FPS ST). This modular training was developed to address a demonstrated need for GPs to extend their mental health skills in an accessible and flexible manner. The program blends online and peer-group learning in four modules and will take approximately 14 weeks to complete.

The FPS ST is accredited for 120 Category 1 QI&CPD points. Two Category 2 QI&CPD points has been accredited by the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaboration as FPS skills training.

Participants who successfully complete the program can apply for FPS provider status with Medicare and gain access to additional Medicare Benefits Schedule items for FPS services provided in their general practice.

For more information, please visit the RACGP website.

DynaMed Plus

For the past ten years, members have enjoyed accessing DynaMed, the evidence-based clinical reference tool that provides clinically organised evidence summaries for more than 3400 topics.

Members now have access to DynaMed Plus – the premium version of DynaMed. In addition to the latest evidence, alerts for topic updates and full text content designed for use during the consultation, DynaMed Plus also provides recommendations for practices using the gold standard Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Developmentand Evaluation (GRADE) 
system that includes thousands of images and graphics, and additional specialty content, including allergy, sports medicine, emergency medicine and primary care.

Access to DynaMed Plus is a member-only resource. Log in using your RACGP member ID login via the RACGP John Murtagh Library's web pages. An app is also available for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and devices. Find the DynaMed Plus Mobile App link in the ‘Spotlight’ section on the DynaMed Plus website and follow the instructions.

A number of user guides are available introducing DynaMed Plus. These include features, functionality and some videos that use clinical scenarios to describe patient presentations, search strategies and results.

Practice Experience Program – New pilot program to support non-VR doctors

The RACGP has launched a new education program to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors on their pathway to Fellowship. The Practice Experience Program (PEP) will provide targeted educational support for non-VR doctors, primarily international medical graduates to assist them in preparing for RACGP Fellowship and delivering quality general practice care to their patients.

The PEP will commence as a pilot for 400 doctors in January 2019 and will be delivered in partnership with the Regional Training Organisations. The pilot is Commonwealth Government supported resulting in a reduced cost to participants.

For more information, please visit the PEP pilot website.

External news and classifieds*

Improving integration of mental health services in southern Tasmania

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Better integration of mental health services in southern Tasmania is a state government commitment towards better mental health care. An expert taskforce of around 40 people was convened to provide advice on improving integration, including service providers, peak organisations, and consumer and carer representatives. Dr Aaron Groves, Chief Psychiatrist Tasmania, has been appointed as Chairperson.

Have your say

GPs play a central role in Tasmania’s mental health system, both in direct service provision and linking people with appropriate services.  

While GPs are represented on the taskforce, it is essential we understand and use the experiences and needs of a broad range of GPs to help inform the recommendations of the taskforce.  We invite GPs to join the forum to participate in the discussion of this important issue.

The forum will be held at Rydges Hotel in Argyle Street North Hobart. Join us for dinner at 6.30–9.30 pm Tuesday 14 August.

Please register your attendance by Tuesday 7 August. For more information, contact Narelle Butt by email or phone 03 6166 0770.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.


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