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RACGP WA newsletter

14 November 2018

Chair report

Dr Sean Stevens – Chair report

GP18, the RACGP national conference, has come and gone and was another big success. GP19 will be in Adelaide and with it being a short trip from Perth, I hope to see you there next year.

The RACGP AGM was held during GP18, being held at the national conference each year. The AGM is an opportunity for members to ask questions of their office bearers about the RACGP’s business and for motions to be debated and decided upon. This year saw three constitutional issues decided. These changes are part of the progressive and incremental governance improvements that the college has embarked upon in recent years.

The first was a change in nomenclature of the RACGP Council to become a Board, and the Faculty Boards to become Faculty Councils. This may sound like semantics, but it brings these bodies in to line with what they actually are – the national Board is actually the board of the not-for-profit company that is the RACGP, and the people who sit on it are company directors with all of the responsibilities that come with it. The Faculty Councils (eg RACGP WA) are advisory and don’t have the same binding powers, nor responsibilities.

The second change constitutionally established the National Faculty of Specific Interests as a national faculty. Members voted in favour of including the Chair of RACGP Specific Interests on the Board. 

The third major item was director remuneration. Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of amending the Constitution to enable RACGP Directors to be remunerated for their work.  

It is my honour to be representing WA GPs – you – on the national Board of the RACGP, and I would like to sincerely thank the last Council for their hard work and dedication to the college and our profession.

RACGP WA news and events

From Hamish's desk

As we head into the Noongar season of Birak (December–January), it is tempting to start winding down. Faculty-led continuing professional development (CPD) activities are coming to an end for 2018, but the Examinations team is in full swing.

Having just finished another cycle of OSCE on Sunday 11 November, we are busily finalising exam preparation activities for the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Key Feature problem (KFP) exams, that will be held in early February.

More than a dozen study groups, webinars and weekend workshops will be held before we break for Christmas.

At the same time we are working hard on the 2019 education program – watch this space!

Hamish Milne

State Manager, RACGP WA

WA doctor awarded RACGP Rural Registrar of the Year

Dr Kate Fox, from Broome, was awarded the 2018 RACGP Rural Registrar of the Year Award.

This award is presented to a general practice registrar who has demonstrated a deep commitment to rural general practice, learning and education, and service to rural patients and rural communities.

Dr Fox was commended for her work in rural communities, currently across three clinical sites, her passion for patient care and her dedication to education and mentoring.

Dr Fox provides supervision support as needed to medical student rotations, takes on the care of her patients in a holistic and complete manner, and demonstrates an extraordinary ability to go above and beyond for her patients and team.

RACGP WA congratulates Dr Fox and the other award recipients on their achievements.

Visit the RACGP Rural website for further information on the 2018 RACGP Rural Award recipients.

Registrar committee representative

RACGP WA is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) from registrars who are interested in becoming the next Registrar Representative on the RACGP WA Council.

Eligible registrars need to be:

  • a financial member of the RACGP
  • living or working in Western Australia
  • working towards Fellowship with a regional training organisation or via the Remote Vocational Training Scheme
  • available to attend up to six RACGP WA Council meetings per year.

No prior experience is necessary; however, an interest in issues affecting registrars in WA and a desire to ensure that registrar perspectives are heard is required.

Your EOI must:

  • be 100–150 words stating why you would like to be the RACGP WA Registrar Representative
  • include a current curriculum vitae, and
  • be submitted by 5.00 pm, Monday 3 December 2018.

Submit your EOI to

Improving postpartum clinical care – Places are limited

Saturday 17 November 2018

Only a few places remain in the one-day, active learning module on ‘Improving postpartum clinical care’.  This workshop aims to provide the most relevant and up-to-date information for GPs regarding the major concerns of the 'fourth trimester'.

This workshop will also include an interactive session on the appropriate use of antenatal and postnatal Medicare item numbers, including the use of items 4001, 16407 and 16591. The correct use of Medicare item 16500 and antenatal billing will also be discussed. 


8.30 am – 4.00 pm


St John of God Hospital Mt Lawley, Thirlmere Road


RACGP member: $198 | Non-member: $265

This workshop is accredited for 40 Category 1 Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD) points.

Developed by the RACGP WA and St John of God Mount Lawley Hospital.

Find out more or register now on the RACGP website.

2019 Calendar

Planning is well under way for the 2019 education and events calendar. We invite you to save the dates for these upcoming workshops. View the RACGP WA events page for up-to-date listings of upcoming events.



QI&CPD points

ECG Masterclass

Saturday 23 February

6 category 2 points

Dermatology – Rural Health West pre-conference workshop

Friday 22 March

40 category 1 points

Registrar series event – Placements, preferences and approaching practices

Tuesday 26 March


Every breath you take – Lung health

Saturday 13 April

40 category 1 points

Cycle of life – Paediatrics 

Saturday 11 May

40 category 1 points

Cycle of life – Adolescents

Saturday 8 June

40 category 1 points

Cycle of life – Women’s and men’s health

Saturday 6 July

40 category 1 points

RACGP national news and events

End-of-year close down

RACGP offices across Australia will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period, from close of business Friday 21 December 2018 to Monday 7 January 2019.

Complimentary webinars

Real life ‘locuming’: Challenges, anecdotes and adventure

4.30–6.00 pm AWST, Wednesday 28 November 2018

Back by popular demand, RACGP Rural is hosting a second webinar in the series for rural and remote GP locums and GPs interested in rural locum work.

Our experienced facilitators, Dr Adam Brownhill and Dr Wendy Sexton, return to guide more discussions on the challenges and issues associated with GP locum work. Discussion topics include drugs of dependence, critically unwell patients, education and continuing professional development, getting paid, staff dynamics, illness and family or personal emergencies, and more.

For more information email or call the RACGP Rural team 1800 636 764.

Register now on the RACGP website.


Optimising outcomes when working with interpreters

12.30–1.30 pm AWST, Wednesday 5 December 2018

Australia is an increasingly diverse society – close to a third of people were born overseas.

Many patients presenting to GPs may not be proficient in English. GPs need to be comfortable working with interpreters and understand the importance of discouraging family interpreters. Using professional interpreters has been shown to improve patient satisfaction and compliance.

This complimentary webinar will assist GPs in:

  • reviewing the role of culture and language in the healthcare setting
  • discussing the importance of working with professional interpreters
  • reviewing how to get the most out of the consultation when working with an interpreter.

Presented by Dr Aesen Thambiran, Director, Humanitarian Entrant Health Service, and Ms Khin Myo Myint, Burmese Interpreting and Translating Services.

Register now on the RACGP website.

Information security in general practice

From 1 November 2018, all general practices in Australia undergoing accreditation will be required to meet the Standards for general practice (5th edition) (the Standards).

The RACGP resource Information security in general practice is designed to assist general practices in meeting their legal obligations for information security and the requirements necessary for accreditation against the Standards. This resource replaces the former Computer and information security standards (CISS).

Information security in general practice reflects the changing technology environment, new security risks and threats. Information security involves prevention of inappropriate access, protection of personal information and preservation of practice data.

New content within the Murtagh Collection

Content from the latest of John Murtagh’s general practice (7th edition) is now available within the RACGP John Murtagh ebook collection.

Covering a range of traditional and modern practice, the book emphasises the importance of clinical reasoning, early diagnosis, strategies for solving common problems, continuing care, holistic management and tricks of the trade.

Included in the Murtagh Collection is Susan Wearne’s popular text Clinical cases for general practice exams, which is designed to help students and doctors practice clinical cases seen by Australian GPs. Guidance on exam preparation and how to use the cases, including as part of group study, is provided.

Each of the 80 cases include:

  • instructions for the doctor and student, and the role-playing patient
  • a suggested approach, a case commentary, references and recommendations for further reading.

To find out more and to access this valuable, member-only resource, visit the Murtagh Collection and select John Murtagh's general practice (7th edition). Login to the RACGP website is required.

External news and events*

Before the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Rural Health West and RACGP WA invite you to attend a wonderful night of Western Australian medical history and help raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Western Australian Medical Museum. 

Hear from the contemporaneous diary entries of Dr Joe Holland on his mercy dash from Perth to Halls Creek, by cattle ship, model T Ford, horse and foot.

This fundraiser is hosted by Emeritus Professor Max Kamien and presented by Dr Joe Holland's grandson, Peter Holland. 

The story

On July 29 1917, Dr Joe Holland, a West Perth GP, is called to the Murray Street post office to consult with Fred Tuckett, the postmaster at Halls Creek (population 20).  Mr Tuckett told Dr Holland that a stockman called Jimmy Darcy could not pass urine for 68 hours after he was accidentally crushed by a horse when it fell on top of him. 

Dr Holland diagnosed a ruptured urethra and through morse code, instructed Mr Tuckett, on placing a supra-pubic catheter into Jimmy Darcy's bladder.  The operation, done with a pocket knife, was successful. Mr Tuckett says he would be grateful if Dr Holland could come to Halls Creek to take charge of Jimmy Darcy's care.

It took Dr Holland 26 days to arrive at Halls Creek. His mission of mercy attracted national attention.  It was an important link in the chain of events that led to the establishment of an outback aero-medical service, now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Event details

Date: Tuesday 27 November 2018

Time:  6.30–9.30 pm

Venue: Perth Modern School Auditorium, 90 Robert Road, Subiaco

Cost: $75

To register, visit the Rural Health West event website.

All proceeds from the event will be proudly donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Western Australian Medical Museum.

Exercise right for doctors week

Monday to Friday 19–23 November 2018

Exercise and Sports Science Australia together with Exercise is Medicine® Australia have partnered to create ‘Exercise right for doctors week’.

The purpose of this week is to encourage doctors to include a physical assessment as part of their interaction with every patient on each visit.

To support doctors in delivering this message to patients, a free continuing professional development workshop has been developed to educate healthcare providers about the role of physical activity in the prevention and management of chronic disease, and advocate for multidisciplinary care. 

Visit the Exercise is Medicine website for further information.

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 a 10-minute online survey with GPs across Western Australia to explore what kind of care they provide to their patients in the last 12 months of life.

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

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

*Inclusion does not imply RACGP endorsement.


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