Your browser has 'Cookies' disabled, alert boxes will continue to appear without this feature.

RACGP WA newsletter

19 November 2014

Chair report

Dr Tim Koh – Chair, RACGP WA Faculty

Just a day after being elected RACGP WA faculty Chair, I found myself caught up in a whirlwind of meetings and activities at GP14, the RACGP’s annual conference in Adelaide. Not wanting to bother outgoing WA Chair Frank Jones, who was busy beginning his journey as the RACGP president, I decided to seek out the sage advice of our WA faculty provost, Max Kamien.

Never shy about providing his opinion, Max and I enjoyed a quick bite as well as a rambling conversation in which he detailed some of the history of general practice in WA and the RACGP with its' successes and failures. Perhaps mindful of my need for advice, Max left me with two thoughts on my new position:

1. Know what you stand for

2. Get out and meet as many GPs as possible, because the chair must represent the members

Two great pieces of advice from Max.

Firstly, the question what do I stand for? I believe in excellence in our profession, a profession of service and care for patients, not just their diseases, systems or situations. That excellence must be supported by great teaching and education as well as advocacy and collegiality.

On the second point, my intent is to get out and meet you, our valued members. I have been fortunate already to have met many GPs in my time as assessment panel chair, as a general practice supervisor and in teaching and education. For those of you I haven't met (and also those who I have), I hope to chat soon so that I can ask you Max's question – what do you stand for?

I also have one question of my own – how can the RACGP represent you?

Tim Koh

Chair, RACGP WA Faculty


WA faculty education in 2015

The WA faculty is currently planning its 2015 education calendar. As usual, we will be offering a diverse package of clinical and non-clinical face-to-face and online education programs. Our most popular programs, including mental health, injuries and trauma, practice innovation, Clinical Emergency Management Program (CEMP) and CPR will be offered throughout the year.

If there are any topics in particular you would like to see us cover in 2015, please let us know by emailing or phone us on 08 9489 9555.

CEMP workshops in 2015

The RACGP Clinical Emergency Management Program (CEMP) is designed to build participants’ knowledge, skills and confidence when responding to medical emergencies. Workshops are delivered nationally and are facilitated by a team of highly trained intensive care paramedics. These workshops are highly interactive and are complemented by online activities in preparation for and as follow up to the workshop.

The CEMP program offers both intermediate and advanced levels of life support courses.

Perth - Intermediate (1 day course) - 26 November and 27 November 2015

Perth - Advanced (2 day course) - 28-29 November 2015

For more information please visit the RACGP website.

Cancer genetics and medical prevention for general practice – free evening webinars

The RACGP, in conjunction with Cancer Council Victoria, are delivering evening webinars to assist GPs improve their knowledge of cancer genetics and better understand the professional role they play in determining risk and referral to the appropriate services. Each webinar is accredited for 4 Category 2 RACGP QI&CPD points.

The next webinar, 'Cancer genetics and medical prevention for general practice – exploring lynch syndrome and other genetic conditions' will be held on Thursday 27 November 2014 from 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm.

For more information and to register visit the RACGP website.

Faculty news

2014 Fellowship ceremony

The WA Faculty board proudly presented 98 new Fellows with Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP) on Saturday 15 November at the annual WA Fellowship and Awards Ceremony.

This was a very special occasion for new RACGP Fellows, who were congratulated and acknowledged amongst peers and loved ones at the stunning Heath Ledger Theatre, at the State Theatre Centre of WA.

Award winners recognised on the night included:

The Edward Gawthorn Award

Dr Vanessa Hyde-Smith (2014.1)

Dr Ann Rosenow (2013.2)

The Edward Gawthorn Award is presented to the candidate who receives the highest exam result in Western Australia in the RACGP Fellowship examinations.

RACGP WA Faculty 'Legend'

Dr Jagadish Krishnan

Dr Krishnan received this award for his ongoing dedication to the support and development of international medical graduates (IMGs) in WA. Dr Krishnan, also known as ‘Jags’ has played a pivotal role in IMG study groups and exam preparation courses.

The Peter Mudge Award

Dr Alan Leeb

Dr Leeb won this award for his development of the innovative ‘SmartVax’ app, designed to monitor vaccine safety in children.

Long serving examiners

Dr Thomas Smalberger

Dr Venay Haripersad

Dr Geoffrey Emery

Dr Lynda Bates

Dr Rohan Gay

Long serving examiners are those who have dedicated their time as an examiner at 12 or more OSCE examinations for the RACGP.

The WA faculty would like to thank St John of God Pathology and WAGPET for their ongoing support of this momentous occasion.



Peter Mudge Award 2014 – Dr Alan Leeb

The RACGP Peter Mudge Medal is awarded annually to a presenter at the RACGP's Annual Conference who has advanced the discipline of general practice and goals of the RACGP, and whose original research has the most potential to significantly influence daily general practice. To be eligible for the Peter Mudge Medal, an individual must be an RACGP Fellow and a major contributor to the research study presented at the conference.

At GP14 in Adelaide this year, we were privileged to witness one of our own GPs win this honourable award. Dr Alan Leeb was inspired to develop an innovative paediatric vaccine safety monitoring system, following the suspension of seasonal influenza vaccine in children in April 2010. 

His practice, Illawarra Medical Centre, had been unaware that more than 100 of their children had experienced adverse reactions. The 'SmartVax' app uses SMS and smartphone technology to monitor vaccine safety in real time, collating the data and sending it to the WA Health Department whose role is to monitor for increased rates of reaction.

Congratulations Dr Alan Leeb!

RACGP WA Practice Owner's Network

The WA Faculty's 'Practice Innovation Network' offers a series of practice owner meetings throughout the year, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences between practices. Discussions revolve around practice innovations and management issues. The network is open to RACGP members who own practices, allowing for open and honest conversations about sensitive and high level information in a safe environment.

For more information or to express interest in joining this network, please contact the WA faculty on 9489 9555 or email

National news and opportunities

Ebooks for members

RACGP members have access to a collection of eBooks on the RACGP Library’s ebook Library (EBL) platform. With a registered ebook library account, you can browse the available titles, read online or download items to your desktop via the free Adobe Digital Editions program, or iPad using the Bluefire Reader app.

Recent evidence-based titles added to the collection include the The Discontented Little Baby Book by Pamela Douglas, Indigenous Australia for Dummies by Larissa Behrendt, Understanding medical education: evidence, theory and practice by Tim Swanwick and Clinical uncertainty in primary care: the challenge of collaborative engagement by Lucia Siegel Sommers and John Launer.

For more information and to access the EBL collection, visit the RACGP website

International Medicine in Addiction conference 2015

Call for abstracts for the International Medicine in Addiction conference 2015 (IMiA15) are now open. 

IMiA15 provides a great opportunity for delegates to hear from leading local and international addiction clinicians and researchers, update their skills and knowledge, and network with colleagues and peers.

IMiA15 is presented by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ (RANZCP) Section of Addiction Psychiatry and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ (RACP) Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine.

Please note, early bird registrations close Thursday 18 December 2014.

For more information on the conference program, conference speakers, how to submit an abstract and to register, visit the IMiA15 website.

2014 MBS Fee Summary now available

The RACGP’s 2014 Medicare Benefits Schedule fee summary is now available.

The fee summary assists GPs and staff in billing appropriate services without the need to go through the entire MBS schedule, while also helping them locate item numbers that they might be unfamiliar with. Many RACGP members have indicated that this resource is an invaluable tool, frequently utilised in their everyday practice.

The fee summary can be freely accessed from the RACGP website. To request a hard copy, email

Changes to the General Practice Experience Pathway Handbook

The RACGP has updated the General Practice Experience Pathway Handbook. The handbook can be accessed via the RACGP website.

Section 3.1.1 ‘Eligibility for enrolment in the Fellowship assessments’ has been updated.

To sit the Fellowship assessments, applicants must have their general practice experience assessed. Applicants require four years full time (or part time equivalent) in general practice over the last ten years, which must include:

  • one year full time equivalent completed in the last four years; and
  • one year in Australian general practice. Of this at least six months full time equivalent must be in ‘fully comparable’ general practice.

Changes have also been made to section 2 ‘Requirements for the General Practice Experience (GPE) Pathway’.

In order to obtain Fellowship (FRACGP) via the General Practice Experience (GPE) pathway, candidates’ general practice experience must include at least one year of ‘fully comparable’ Australian general practice at the time of applying for Fellowship.

For further information contact Claire Priestley, Policy and Reviews Coordinator on 03 8699 0511, or Lisa Walsh, Team Leader, Policy, Exceptions and Analysis on 03 8699 0416.

External news and opportunities*

GPs alerted to children overdue for immunisations

Last month, WA Health sent GPs across WA lists of children under 24 months overdue for scheduled vaccines, in a push to increase childhood immunisation rates across the state.

The data was generated by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) and WA Health plans to send updated statements quarterly.

While immunisation rates for children aged 24-27 months in WA have risen from 90.6% in 2012-13 to 91.0% in 2013-14, they remain below the national average of 92.4%, with some areas still significantly lagging.

To learn more, visit WA Health’s public health website.

GPs and practice nurses online resource guide

The Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services website provides GPs with guidance around timely recognition and management of cognitive decline, current assessment and referral practices. It also covers topics such as types of dementia, delirium, driving, financial/legal concerns, behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, and links to local WA services.

This resource aims to assist Western Australian Health Services to manage the predicted growth in dementia through:

  • improved access to information and support for the general public and professionals in the Primary Health Sector relating to dementia
  • earlier recognition and improvement in assessment care planning and management of the person with behavioural symptoms associated with dementia.


RACGP WA Faculty Classifieds

View the RACGP WA Faculty classifieds on the RACGP website.

Click for more information
Click for more information