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19 September 2017

RACGP Victoria – September newsletter

Chair report

Dr Cameron Loy – Chair, RACGP Victoria

The Members Meeting and awards night was held on Thursday 31 August. Our Provost, Dr Trisha Boetto, announced the board for the upcoming year and we presented the RACGP Victoria award for General Practice of the Year to Atticus Health in Carrum. A large contingent from the practice were present and Dr Floyd Gomes described the ethos of his practice outlining their mission and goals. The excellence in our profession should be heralded more. Unfortunately, RACGP Victoria General Practitioner of the Year, Dr Ric Milner, was not able to attend. Those present discussed the Assisted Dying Legislation due for a vote in the Victorian Parliament, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) publications of check and the Australian Family Physician (AFP), soon to be renamed as the Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) and the narrative of how we, as general practitioners (GPs), are seen beyond our profession. 

Thursday 31 August was also International Overdose Awareness Day, carrying home the initiatives within RACGP Victoria to meet the challenge of pharmaceutical misuse and drug addiction in the community. Last month, the Minister of Health, the Hon Jill Hennessey MP, announced the commitment to implement a real-time prescription-monitoring program in Victoria. We have met with the Minister and been an integral part of the conversations that have been running for eight years. The Department of Health and Human Services have listened to the profession and to the many GPs from RACGP Victoria who have contributed. This will offer Victorian GPs a good tool that will help us better prescribe in order to help improve the health of Victorians. GPs want better outcomes and, aligned with real-time prescription-monitoring, we remain committed to the up-scheduling in February stipulating that codeine is to be prescribed. This will produce challenges in transition to both understanding the role of codeine in our treatment regimens and will also reveal the unknown number of patients that have developed dependence. We need to be thinking about how to manage this change within our practices. 

Please log into shareGP to discuss issues of general practice further. We welcome the input of GPs all over Victoria who can take the time to contribute to our college, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).  

RACGP Victoria events

Events in the spotlight

FREE webinar: Refugee Health – What you always wanted to know

Hosted by the New Fellows Committee. The 'nuts and bolts' of definitions, visa categories and implications on accessing healthcare, refugee health assessment and screening, and where to refer and seek assistance will be covered in this workshop.

Dr Tom Volkman (refugee health Fellow at the Royal Children's Hospital) will focus on the paediatric perspective, including childhood disability, growth, nutrition, immunisation, infectious diseases, screen time/behavioural difficulties, childhood trauma and language disorders.

Dr Kudzai Kanhutu (infection diseases physician and refugee health Fellow at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Victorian Infectious Diseases Service) will discuss common infectious diseases, sexual health and digital health innovations in refugee health.

This webinar will be accredited for three category 2 Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) points for the 2017–19 triennium.

Learning outcomes:

  • Identify the common issues affecting refugees and aslyum seekers
  • Recognise the psychosocial factors impacting on health and how this can be addressed from a GP perspective
  • Identify common problems specific to refugee children and the approach to their assessment and management
  • Identify local referral pathways and resources 
Date: Wednesday 20 September
Time: 7.00–8.30 pm
Price: Complimentary

Register now.

Psychodynamic principles for general practitioners – Part 1

The in-depth doctor-patient relationship, depression and addictions; a one-day workshop to develop a detailed understanding of psychodynamic principles and their application in the treatment of common problems via focused psychological therapies.

Introducing deep psychology or psychodynamics of the doctor-patient relationship, and important psychodynamic principles of transference and countertransference. Depression and addictions will be discussed leaving practitioners with a deeper understanding of what is happening at motivational and unconscious levels when considering these disorders. Knowledge of these principles can help prevent complications and assist with planning appropriate therapeutic interventions. Please note, this workshop is a pre-requiste for parts 2 and 3.

This workshop is accredited for forty Category 1 (QI&CPD) points for the 2017–19 triennium. 

Date: Saturday 14 October
Time: 8.45 am – 5.00 pm
Venue: RACGP House, East Melbourne
Cost: Members $250 | Non-members $360

Register now.


Calendar of events

FREE webinar: Refugee health – What you always wanted to know Wednesday 20 September
QI&CPD PLAN information session Thursday 28 September
Walk against obesity Sunday 8 October
Perform CPR – A workshop for GPs Tuesday 10 October
Psychodynamic principles for general practitioners – Part 1 Saturday 14 October
Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) – Module 2
Sunday 22 October
Walking on thin ICE: Methamphetamine on general practice Tuesday 31 October
Perform CPR – A workshop for GPs Tuesday 9 November
Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) – Module 2 Saturday 18 November
RACGP Victoria Fellowship and Awards Ceremony: Save the date – Invitations going out in September Sunday 26 November
Walking on thin ICE: Methamphetamine in general practice Tuesday 28 November
Perform CPR – A workshop for GPs Tuesday 5 December

Your QI&CPD CPR requirement

As part of the RACGP QI&CPD Program for the 2017–19 triennium, GPs are required to complete one cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course.

The CPR requirement ensures that GPs use their CPR skills in the event of an emergency where they need to perform the procedures on a patient or member of the community.

To submit your CPR activity online, please follow the below steps.

Note: You will need an electronic copy of your CPR certificate.

1. Log in to myCPD
2. Select Submit a self-directed activity
3. Select and complete the CPR online form
4. Complete all details and attach a copy of your certificate.
5. Click Submit.

Alternatively, download the Word docx form, complete and email it to your local QI&CPD office with a copy of your CPR certificate attached.

If you are yet to complete your CPR requirement, visit the RACGP website to find a local course.

To ensure your CPR training is approved, please check that it meets the ARC Guidelines.

The RACGP is available to support your ongoing professional development. Start your planning, learning and need (PLAN) via myRACGP login.

If you require assistance, please contact your local QI&CPD department.


Review: Women in General Practice Leadership Networking Forum

The mellow tones of the marimba greeted us is we entered the John Murtagh Centre on the ground floor at RACGP House at 100 Wellington Street, East Melbourne. The room was transformed into an elegant setting with black tablecloths and stylish, bronze-patterned lamps and candles on each table. Greta Chen’s hauntingly beautiful and gentle music with the wooden percussion instrument filled the room – a prelude to a very special evening: Women in General Practice Leadership Networking Forum. 

We were fortunate to hear from four very talented, multi-faceted and passionate women, Dr Jane Collins, Prof Jane Gunn, Assoc Prof Leanne Rowe and Dr Mrin Nayagama.

Jane Collins described how she set up a general practice that reflected the values that she and her partner shared and how they have supported others in this venture.

‘What do we do really well that we can share?' asked Jane Gunn, and ‘How do we deal with the challenges we face?’ ‘Reprioritise, recharge and review’, suggested Leanne Rowe. And more of 'Am I experiencing joy?’

We were challenged by this quote from Mary Oliver ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with this one, wild and precious life?’

We were also reminded of the different seasons of our career: a time for studying, a time for full-time, a time for part-time, a time for mothering, a time for teaching and a time for reflection.

Mrin Nayagama shared the qualities of a leader with a presentation based on the acrostic of LEADERSHIP. She just launched a book on stories about her patients, Silver Linings, with all proceeds going to a charity for the homeless and disadvantaged.

We mingled and caught up with old friends and made new ones. We shared anecdotes and talked about the challenges we face as GPs. We talked about the soul of general practice, about the importance of finding beauty and meaning in our work and in our lives.

It was a very special evening with shared storytelling about the highs and lows of our work and above all, our passion and commitment. It was an inspirational evening and the Women in General Practice Committee are to be commended for organising such a superb event.

National news and opportunities

Walk to Support World Obesity Day – Sunday 8 October

RACGP Specific Interests Obesity Management Network is hosting a walk and morning tea to show its support of World Obesity Day (Wednesday 11 October). 

Starting at the RACGP House (100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne) on Sunday 8 October at 10.00 am, the walk seeks to highlight the health issues associated with obesity and the importance of the GP's role in the care and management of people who have obesity or are above a healthy weight. Following the walk all participants are invited to stay for a morning tea. 

Register to take part here

Announcing the winner of the RACGP GP17 Facebook competition

Congratulations to our RACGP Victoria member, Dr Kirby White, for winning the RACGP Facebook competition. Dr White has won flights, accommodation and registration to GP17. We look forward to welcoming Dr White to GP17 from 26–28 October at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Sydney.

GP17 will be delivering an exceptional line-up of speakers, education and networking opportunities.

For more information regarding GP17, visit

Members have access to a collection of Taylor and Francis (T&F) full-text e-journals

Members have access to a collection of T&F e-journals offering full-text articles, including current issues, and a comphrehensive archive of back issues. Titles include: 

  • Annals of medicine
  • Education of primary care
  • The European journal of contraception & reproductive health care
  • Medical teacher
  • Scandinavian journal of rheumatology
  • Teaching and leaning in medicine

The T&F e-journals platform allows browsing by subject area, searching by keyword and author, and search filtering to full-text availability, specific titles and date ranges. Register for a T&F account and receive alerts about new content and to save your searches. 

Find out more and explore T&F e-journals – a member-only resource (RACGP website login required). 

Win 1 of 5 scholarships to GP17 – the RACGP conference in Sydney

The RACGP is giving International Medical Graduates (IMGs) the chance to WIN 1 of 5 scholarships to GP17 – the RACGP conference in Sydney. 

To enter, upload a photo to show us why you chose GP training in Australia, but you need to be a member to enter!

Visit the website for more information and to enter now! 

Competition closes Monday 25 September. 

External news and opportunities*

Review of Public Health notifiable conditions

The Victorian Department of health and Human Services is proposing changes to the reporting requirements for prescribed notifiable conditions in the public health and wellbeing legislation.

Notifcations of infectious disease and other medical conditions by medical practitioners and laboratories protect the health of Victorians as they allow the department to control public health risks, minimise the spread of disease and monitor disease patterns. The proposed changes aim to streamline reporting and modernise the scheme. 

The department is seeking feedback on the proposed changes until Friday 6 October. Visit the website for more information.


Supporting the families of veterans: Understanding the impact of veterans' mental health on their families

Thursday 5 October, 7.15–8.30 pm AEDT.

Register now to attend this webinar to hear the discussion of an expert panel, including a lived experience panel member, who will share her experience as the partner of a veteran, in what is sure to be a thought-provoking and engaging discussion. Through this discussion, you will increase your understanding of the impact of veterans’ mental health on their families, partners and children, and have increased confidence in supporting the families of veterans. Appropriate referral pathways will also be covered. RACGP QI & CPD points will be awarded. Learn more and register now

This webinar is the final in a series of six, produced by the Mental Health Professionals' Network and funded by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. 


FREE GP resources now available to help prepare for thunderstorm asthma

Download the free practice resources on thunderstorm asthma, including practice posters.

A major Victorian community awareness campaign is running from September to December to help prevent and manage potentially severe thunderstorm asthma events. 

The focus of the community-based message is on people suffering from hay fever and wheeze and who require an asthma action plan, thus increasing community knowledge about asthma first aid. 

In addition to these free resources, social media continues to promote these two key messages over September to encourage patients to update their asthma treatment before October when historically thunderstorm asthma is most likely to occur in South-eastern Australia. 

A concise RACGP 'Thunderstorm asthma overview' (Tempo) and optional thirty-minute education activity is now available.

The update focuses on understanding the phenomenon, identifying environmental and patient risk factors; identifying, managing and providing education for those at increased risk; and managing the practice’s preparedness for such events.

As this campaign covers some new areas, GPs are encouraged to recommend to patients to access information on the Better Health Channel. Newer patient information, such as first aid in thunderstorm asthma, may not be available online yet.

Use updated anaphylaxis plans and print in colour

GPs are alerted to now use the appropriate 2017 updated anaphylaxis action plans from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology.

The 'Anaphylaxis Action' Form should be printed in colour as the plans are different for each condition. The colour coding is an important part of their design.

Current changes include when administering the EPIPEN®:

'Hold leg still and place orange end of EPIPEN injector against outer mid-thigh, push down hard until a click is heard or felt and hold in place for 3 seconds.'

In older guidelines, this was held in place for 10 seconds – please note, this important change.

The 'Anaphylaxis Action' plans are regularly updated by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and a new edition is published each year. Please ensure that stocks of action plans and are up to date.

Access the 'Anaphylaxis Action' plans are available for a variety of conditions

SANE Australia's Suicide Prevention workshops return to Melbourne 2017

Working with a suicidal client can be confronting, even for experienced mental health professionals.

SANE Australia is conducting full-day workshops to encourage health professionals to reflect on suicide prevention in a recovery-oriented framework. This dynamic, interactive program aims to increase confidence and awareness of suicide and mental illness, and reflect on barriers to working with suicidal clients.

For people working in the South East Melbourne region, the workshop is free. For people outside this region, registration is offered at a discounted rate of $190 per person (inc GST).

Register now

Controversial conversations – Ethical issues in organ and tissue donation and transplantation

This workshop is a one-day educational symposium for health professionals, policy makers, and community advocates, to be held on Friday 27 October. This will be followed by an open public forum on Saturday 28 October, where key ethical issues in organ and tissue donation and transplantation will be discussed with a variety of stakeholders exchanging perspectives and ideas.

The program’s primary sponsor is the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority. The program has been convened to promote informed decision-making by Australian clinicians, policy makers and members of the public on ethical issues in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. You can read more about the program and speakers on the website.

GPs have a vital role to play in informing the public about organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Perhaps more than any other specialty, doctors working in general practice need to be familiar with a range of ethical issues that can arise in a variety of decision-making contexts. We are hopeful that the educational symposium will equip general practitioners with a solid understanding of a several important issues of relevance to their work.

Get your message to our members

The RACGP Victoria newsletter is distributed to more than 7000 members each month with a target audience of GPs, academics, general practice registrars, medical students and practice managers.

Email Nicoll Heaslip at RACGP Victoria for information on how you can be seen here.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.


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