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The Quarterly


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The Quarterly 2011


The 2011 Australian Medical Association Trainee Forum

This year’s Australian Medical Association (AMA) Trainee Forum was held at the AMA House in Melbourne on 19 February. The Forum was led by the current chair of the AMA Council of Doctors In-Training, (CDT) Dr Michael Bonning. It was well attended by AMACDT state / territory representatives, representatives from most vocational training colleges / societies, as well as representation from the Australian Medical Student Association (AMSA). Dr Andrew Pesce and Dr Steven Hambleton, Federal AMA President and Vice President, were also in attendance.

Mr Mark Cormack, CEO Health Workforce Australia (HWA), was invited to address the Forum presenting information about progress on the projects currently undertaken by HWA. These projects are grouped into five key result areas: 1) HWA establishment, 2) workforce planning, information and analysis, 3) clinical education and training, 4) workforce innovation and reform, and 5) international recruitment. The presentation focused on key areas of particular interest to the AMACDT, such as training capacity, and update on the "Clinical Supervision Support" and "Simulated Learning Environment" projects. Further information about the HWA can be obtained at www.hwa.gov.au .

The AMC Specialist Education Accreditation Committee sponsored the Training Program Evaluation and Trainee Feedback workshop in November 2010 to address trainee feedback processes within training colleges and identify good practice in complaint / dispute resolution (Note: RACMA CEO Dr Karen Owen attended this workshop and presented RACMA's experience in program improvement in a college with diverse trainee backgrounds). This workshop was viewed extremely positively by the Forum delegates and the consensus was that best practice needed to be transparent and fair and the involvement of trainees in the processes was essential.

Other notable items of discussion included seeking college endorsement on the recently released Guide to Social Media and the Medical Profession, increasing training capacity in the private sector, proposal for a pilot program to support advanced vocational trainees in undertaking clinical placements in developing countries, and the ongoing AMA endorsement of the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) study (www.mabel.org.au).

In summary, this was a successful Trainee Forum, a unique environment for networking and promotion of college programs. There was a degree of interest amongst the Forum delegates on RACMA training programs, and potential opportunities may be set up with AMSA to promote medical management as an attractive career option. Many of the issues discussed are highly relevant to the practice of Medical Administration. It is important for RACMA to maintain its engagement in this type of medico-political forum.

Candidate Advisory Committee

In the Committee's first meeting in 2011, Dr Hwee Sin Chong, Candidate Representative on the Curriculum Steering Committee was invited to provide an update on the Curriculum Project. This was well received by all members of the Committee and the positive feedback given to Dr Chong and Michelle Barrett was appreciated. This led to an interesting discussion about the College name from a marketing / rebranding point of view – whether Medical Administrator is an appropriate term to define who we are as it carries a negative connotation that is often associated with bureaucracy. The Committee passed a resolution unanimously to include curriculum update as a standing agenda item.

Several members of the Committee raised serious concerns regarding the MPF, specifically about the lack of acknowledgement of receipts of tasks and lack of feedback from the College. As a way forward, the Committee agreed that Dr Wayne Hsueh, as the Chair of the Candidate Advisory Committee will work with the National Secretariat to gather more data from all Candidates to assess the extent of the problem with MPF. Then the issue will be raised with the Education and Training Committee to seek further investigation and resolution.

The Committee's next meeting will be on the 6th of May 2011.

Dr Wayne Hsueh
Candidate Representative, RACMA Board
Chair, Candidate Advisory Committee

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