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RACGP WA newsletter

13 December 2018

Chair report

Dr Sean Stevens – Chair report

Welcome to the final Chair report for 2018, a year filled with frenetic activity. Throughout the last 12 months, we’ve delivered 76 educational and collegial events to more than 2500 GPs. We’ve examined more than 870 candidates who undertook the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), Key Feature Problem (KFP) and Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) with help from over 270 examiners across eight exams.

We also had a number of firsts. The first New Fellows Conference in September, our first 'Electrocardiography (ECG) masterclass' workshop, our first live podcast – a controversial one on euthanasia –, the first registrar’s series of educational events and the new series on clinical conversations with a structure that allowed for a highly interactive format. 

None of this would have been possible without the thousands of hours of work contributed by you, our members, so this is the time of year to say thank you.

Our achievements would not have been possible without the dedicated RACGP WA staff either; a highly competent team of Sharon, Leza, Suzanne, Suzie, Lisa, Julia, Lucille and Leanne, superbly led by our state faculty manager, Hamish Milne.

Your RACGP WA Council is starting next year with a strategic planning day to refine where we intend to head forth with some exciting ideas on collegial events, new technology and regional education being just some of the things in the pipeline.

I wish you all a safe and enjoyable festive season and, as always, if you would like to contact me, please email me on

Dr Sean Stevens



RACGP WA news and events

From Hamish's desk

The Noongar season of Birak is upon us (already!) and, like every year, that means we have just completed another OSCE. These bi-annual exams are significant in the life of the RACGP. In Perth, it involves 80 members sitting the exam, 100 members examining, and a staff team (enhanced by casuals) to ensure all bases are covered. The support and commitment of all involved in this high-stakes activity is marvellous.

As Sean indicated, 2018 was a full year, including a number of firsts. The 2019 calendar is not looking any less full so far – we continue to look for better ways to deliver education, services and events for all WA members.

I do hope that you enjoy the break. We look forward to welcoming you to an RACGP WA event in 2019.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there’s anything you need or would like to discuss. We welcome your email or call on 08 9489 9555.

Hamish Milne

State Manager, RACGP WA

The year in review

As the year draws to a close, we have taken the opportunity to look back over the past 12 months and reflect on some of the highlights of the year.

Fellowship and Awards Ceremony

Last August, 93 new Fellows crossed the Heath Ledger Theatre stage in front of 370 family, friends and peers as they were acknowledged for achieving Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).

In recognition of excellence in general practice, three state awards were also presented to Dr Natalia Bovell for WA General Practice Registrar of the Year, Lakes Medical Centre was awarded WA General Practice of the Year, and Dr William ‘Bill’ Sands was awarded WA General Practitioner of the Year.

A number of other achievements were acknowledged on the evening, including Dr Georgina Stevenson and Dr Chung Jian Tan for completing their Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP). Dr Jennifer Smith was awarded the Sam Bada Medical Educator Award for her dedication to supporting Fellowship candidates. Finally, Dr Jack Christodulou was awarded the RACGP WA Legend Award for his contribution to the state faculty.

Fellowship Award Winners Fellowship Welcome To Country Wafac RACGP Graduation New Fellows Ceremony New Fellows


Beyond the bump – Improving postpartum clinical care

For the last active learning module (ALM) of the year, the RACGP WA teamed up with St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital to deliver ‘Beyond the bump – Improving postpartum clinical care’.

The workshop was attended by 44 GPs, where the highlights of the day included workshops on lactation, the art of breastfeeding, understanding Medicare, East meets West in the puerperium period and the interactive panel session to close the informative day.

One attendee explained that the event was ‘informative, interesting and well worth the time. I feel more equipped to take care of my patients during their "fourth trimester"’.

RACGP WA looks forward to continuing this partnership with St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital in 2019. The next workshop ‘The aging patient: Mr Potter has a fall’ will be held on Saturday 16 March.   

Beyond The Bump session (1) Beyond The Bump Physio 2 (2) Beyond The Bump Physio (1)


RACGP Open Day

In March, the RACGP WA office opened its doors to members for the RACGP WA Open Day. Ninety-seven GPs explored the faculty building, met the RACGP WA staff and Council, and connected with peers.

Highlights included presentations on the benefits of working in a rural setting, forming of the RACGP Standards, what it’s like to be an examiner and making the most of RACGP membership, as well as a live recording of ‘The Good GP’ podcast. We must not forget to mention the ever-popular gelato cart.

Open Day Reception Open Day Open -day


New Fellows Conference

Last September, the New Fellows Committee hosted the inaugural WA New Fellows Conference at Mandoon Estate. More than 60 new Fellows and early career GPs attended the full-day conference. Highlights included discussions on Medicare, medical documentation, common ear, nose and throat issues, a panel session and a sundowner.

We are delighted to announce the 2019 New Fellows Conference will be held at the Vines Resort on Saturday 7 September. Further details will be communicated in the new year.

New Fellows Conference - Morning Tea (1) New Fellows Conference Networking New Fellows Conference Workshop 2


ECG masterclass

This year, for the first time, RACGP WA delivered an ECG masterclass workshop that was held at the new University of Western Australia Library on the Sir Charles Gardiner Health Campus. This event was immensely popular with 50 GPs taking the opportunity to improve their knowledge in interpreting ECG patterns in the state-of-the-art training facility.

Due to increasing popularity, the RACGP WA, along with Prof Rukshen Weerasooriya, will be running two ECG masterclasses in 2019; a standard masterclass workshop in February followed by a more in-depth session later in the year.

Watch this space for more information.



Laughter is the best medicine

Achieving work-life balance: Reflections from a GP/stand-up comedian

6.30–8.30 pm, Thursday 7 February 2019

Start the new year right and take a moment to reflect on the importance of work–life balance and your own wellbeing as we welcome GP and comedian, Dr Ahmed Kazmi, for the first event of 2019.

Join us for an evening of education, comedy and storytelling, while connecting with colleagues and peers at this not-to-be-missed event.

About the presenter

Dr Ahmed Kazmi is a GP who splits his time between England and Australia. He is passionate about his job as a doctor and loves to weave that into his performance work. He debuted as a comedian in 2016 and since has gone on to hold several sold-out seasons at prestigious festivals, including Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

His moto is 'humour with a point' and he enjoys using humour as a vehicle to canvass serious issues, such as bereavement, Islamophobia and, of course, health. He also attests that laughter really is the best medicine! 

Register now.

Dr Ahmed will also be performing at the Perth Fringe World Festival on 18–20 January. You can find out more information about this performance on the Fringe World website.

2019 calendar

Up-to-date event listings are available on the RACGP WA events page.

Event Date

Achieving work-life balance: reflections from a GP/stand-up comedian

Thursday 7 February


Saturday 9 February

Registrar series – Common GP problems

Tuesday 19 February

ECG masterclass

Saturday 23 February

The aging patient: Mr Potter has a fall

Saturday 16 March

Dermatology – Rural Health West pre-conference workshop

Friday 22 March

Registrar series – Placements and approaching practices

Tuesday 26 March

Lung health  – Every breath you take 

Saturday 13 April

Paediatrics and adolescents – 'Cycle of life' series

Saturday 11 May

Fellowship corner

Assessment calendar 2018–19

2018.2 OSCE results released

Monday 17 December 2018

2019.1 KFP exam (enrolments are closed)

Friday 1 February 2019

2019.1 AKT exam (enrolments are closed)

Saturday 2 February 2019

2019.1 AKT results released

Wednesday 20 March 2019

2019.1 KFP results released

Wednesday 27 March 2019

2019.1 AKT and KFP preparation workshops

RACGP WA hosted a number of preparation exam workshops for the AKT and KFP exams in recent weeks. The KFP webinar series continues to be popular with 86 attendees over the three-week series. Due to increased demand, three full-day AKT and KFP workshops and one half-day KFP only workshops were held hosting 114 candidates.

Access to the AKT and KFP practice exam is now available to all enrolled candidates. All candidates are encouraged to access the practice exam as it provides timed online practice and an opportunity to become familiar with the online exam format.

The RACGP offices will be closed from Monday 24 December and will reopen on Monday 7 January 2019. No exam support, including feedback on the practice exam will be available during this time. If you have any queries, please contact prior to Friday 21 December.

Exam panel news

Thank you to all the examiners who participated in the 2018.2 OSCE. Almost 100 examiners participated in the exam with nine new examiners participating in their first OSCE.

RACGP WA is proud of our strong examiner pool and their commitment to supporting WA candidates in their Fellowship journey.

Any members interested in being an RACGP examiner should email

RACGP national news and events

RACGP John Murtagh Library holiday closure

The Library will be closed from 12.00 pm AEDT, Friday 21 December and will re-open Monday 7 January 2019.

Please submit any requests for loans, articles and searches early to avoid disappointment.

You can still access e-books, online databases and e-journals  directly anytime, day or night.

If you need help or guidance to access resources before the holiday closure, please contact or phone 03 8699 0519.

External news and events*

Practitioner Online Referral Treatment Service (PORTS)

PORTS is a virtual mental health service designed for people in Western Australia. Many people in WA struggle to access mental health services.

By providing services via telephone and/or online, PORTS aims to provide high-quality and accessible care to people across WA.

PORTS provides free psychological treatment for eligible patients, 16 years and over, with symptoms of low mood, depression, stress, anxiety or substance use problems. GPs can refer patients to PORTS to receive expert clinical assessment and treatment.

A registered mental health clinician will contact the patient for an assessment and match them to the appropriate levels of care.

  • Health treatment options include brief interventions and structured treatment courses.
  • Treatment will be aligned to the patient and may be delivered by telephone, online or face to face.
  • Service providers will provide regular structured reports on patient progress to the GP.

For referral information, please access HealthPathways WA.

New toolkit from the Australian Digital Health Agency: Selecting secure IT vendors

A new toolkit to assist healthcare providers in selecting secure information technology (IT) vendors has been released by the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency). It is available from the Digital Health Cyber Security Centre webpage.

The toolkit comprises:

The Agency has developed the toolkit to support health professionals in their discussions with IT vendors about the security aspects of their products and services. The toolkit is not intended to be a comprehensive list of information security requirements. It provides some key discussion items for healthcare providers to start a more in-depth conversation with their IT vendors.

The new toolkit has been designed to accompany the simple steps outlined in the Agency’s Information security guide for small healthcare businesses. This supplements the range of existing security guidance materials that are offered by the Agency.

Research corner*

Do you or your practice provide any kind of care for patients in their last 12 months of life?

The University of Western Australia is conducting 10-minute online surveys with GPs across Western Australia to explore the kind of care that is provide to patients in the last 12 months of life.

All participants will receive $65 reimbursement for participating in this project.

If you are interested in finding out more about this study or would like the online survey link, please call Professor Angus Cook on 08 6488 7805 or email

Have your say on outpatient reform

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) regularly hears that GPs have concerns about the State’s outpatient system, including the Central Referral Service (CRS), and that they can see significant opportunities for improvement.

WAPHA has been invited by WA Health to facilitate engagement with GPs in respect to the Outpatient Reform Program in its first phase – you have an opportunity to provide your input into the review of the CRS. In turn, WA Health has committed to reflect your input into its CRS review process.

We expect the review will lead to better integration of care, facilitate more appropriate access to specialist services, improve information flow and deliver a better overall experience for your patients. Your input into this consultation process is, therefore, critical.

We encourage you to complete the survey that is available until Sunday 23 December 2018.

If you would like more information on the program or the GP survey, please email WA Health or call Caitlin Hynes on 08 9222 6854.

Australian GP views and experiences of revised National Cervical Screening Program

Are you a GP, obstetrician, gynaecologist or an OG trainee working in Australia?

Researchers at the University of Sydney are interested in hearing about clinician’s views and experiences of the revised Australian National Cervical Screening Program (NSCP).

Research involves completing a short online (or paper-based) questionnaire and a one-off face-to-face Skype or telephone interview.

Findings will be used to guide strategies for clinicians to effectively implement the NCSP changes, and develop educational and other support resources to promote women’s informed uptake of cervical screening.

To find out more and to be a part of the study, visit the Sydney Public Health website.

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.


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