Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) is an initiative of the Committe of Presidents of Medical Colleges and the Australian Government.
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Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) is an
initiative of the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Each Specialist College contributes to the operation and management of the scheme.

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Continuing Education (RHCE)

Email RHCE
Phone 02 9256 5419
Visit the RHCE Web Site

Welcome to the first RHCE Newsletter

for 2013

RHCE Stream One Program extended

In November 2012, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) approved the proposal made by the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) to extend the RHCE Stream One Program beyond the original end date of July 2013 to December 2013.

Existing RHCE funded projects were also given the opportunity to apply for additional funds. Priority was given to those projects that were shown to strengthen collaboration between the Colleges and deliver sustainable benefits to medical specialists working in rural and remote parts of Australia.

14 projects were successful in receiving additional funds. One of the most significant being The Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency Online Portal. Spearheaded by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), this project is a collaboration of all the Specialist Medical Colleges, including  the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and also the two Indigenous health organisations; The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). 

For more information on this and other RHCE funded projects please visit the RHCE website.

Working Group for Aboriginal Health in Adult Medicine

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) launched the RHCE funded Australian Aboriginal Child Health Modules in 2012.

These four online modules focused on cultural competency using specific examples from the Fitzroy Valley in Western Australia, as well as case studies of many diseases and issues common to Aboriginal Children.

The RACP will expand these modules in 2013 to include two additional modules with a focus on adult health, as well as broadening the section on cultural competency.The College is seeking to appoint interested members to a working group to assist in achieving this.

Working with an Instructional Designer, the working group’s key responsibilities will be to:

• Contribute to content development of case-based scenarios, expert opinions and other learning resources to be included in the new modules;
• Review topic storyboards of the learning design for the new modules;
• Pilot and evaluate the new modules when available. 

If you are interested in participating or would like further information, please email or phone Sarah Champion on (02) 8247 6249.

Image: Coolibah and Dr John Boulton

Focus Group on Australian Aboriginal Child Health Modules : Expressions of Interest

Did you complete some or all of the Australian Aboriginal Child Health Modules offered through the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) in 2012?

A series of one or more focus group discussions (depending on interest) is being organised for March and April 2013, via teleconference. 

These discussions will focus on:
• Comments on the modules, both positive and negative
• What was done well
• Suggested areas for improvement
• The topic area(s) that interested you the most
• Additional development to enhance or improve the modules
• The impact the modules have had on your practice as well as interactions with patients.

It is anticipated that the focus group will run for 45 min to 1 hour.
For more information or to register your interest, please email or phone Sarah Champion on (02) 8247 6249.

Management and Professionals Essentials

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiology (RANZCR) has been working diligently on the release of Phase Two of the e-learning courses in non-medical expert areas of Management and Professionals’ Essentials.

The first phase of the Learning Portal went live on 8 August 2012, and the courses have continued to roll out steadily throughout January 2013, with another seven courses scheduled as listed below:

  • February - Professionals' Essentials x 3
  • March - Management Essentials x 3
  • April - Work, Health and Safety Act 2012.

It is expected a CD with the additional courses (x 9) will be provided to the Network of Medical College Educations (NMCE)  by end of May 2013.

The Director of Education and Research, Sharon Messina, says " the feedback from our membership on the RANZCR e-learning courses has been very positive and we hope that this will continue."

Feedback to the Phase One CD, distributed to the NMCE in November last year, will be accepted until 28 February, 2013.

For more detailed information about the courses visit the project page on the  RHCE website or email

Rural psychiatry practice visits - a first hand account

During 2011–12 RHCE provided funding to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) to facilitate 20 practice visits for psychiatrists working in rural and remote communities, with a view to strengthening networks and collegial relationships between psychiatrists.

A practice visit usually involves two visits: an initial in-person visit and a follow-up, which can be in person, via phone, etc. It is a peer review activity which has been part of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program since the CPD program was first established.    

Soon after the initial rollout of the program I applied for and received a practice visit. I was in private practice and I sought to be visited by another psychiatrist in private practice. I found the experience extremely useful, as it allowed me to look at the way I ran my practice and also provided the opportunity to gain a colleague’s encouragement.

Meeting this way with colleagues has been useful, but it is time-consuming, especially as a rural psychiatrist, travel has meant one or more overnight stays.

This year I have been a visitor. I have been a member of a College committee overseeing the project with RHCE funding, designed to support rural practice visits by meeting the expenses of the visitor. However, the time issues led us to wonder about a ‘virtual’ visit, so on a Thursday morning in March 2012, Dr Daniel Mossler from Adelaide ‘visited’ me.

Over two hours he looked at Grafton on Google Earth. We discussed Grafton and the Clarence Valley and the issues facing the area, we reviewed how the practice was run, and he reviewed sample medical records.

We used the College’s access to Webex to facilitate the video conference and, because I had my patients’ records on the computer, I could allow Dr Mossler to share my desktop and review records.

My experience was that while we missed out on the extra time of having a meal together after the visit, the visit delivered the positives of an in-person practice visit without the travel time.

Subsequently we applied to the RANZCP's Committee for Continuing Medical Education (CME), who approved virtual practice visits being undertaken as part of the project, to be accredited for CME credits.

So how do you receive a visit?

Firstly, contact the College and request one. The CPD Program staff will organise a visitor who will contact you and arrange a mutually satisfactory time. Our suggestion is to also have Skype on a mobile device such as a phone or iPad, to allow a walk-through of the physical rooms. It will be two to three hours well spent.

Dr Peter O’Brien
Committee member, Special Interest Group in Rural Psychiatry

RACP Physicians Telehealth Support Project website launch

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians telehealth support project team has launched a telehealth website for RACP members.

The website, funded under the Australian Government’s ‘Connecting health services with the future’ initiative, is a valuable resource for physicians who would like to commence telehealth, and for interested patients.

Site visitors can download important RACP telehealth resources such as:

  • the Guidelines and Practical Tips for Telehealth,
  • access the "Introduction to Telehealth" CPD module and
  • get up-to-date information on upcoming telehealth news and events

As well as offering members a suite of resources to ensure the seamless implementation of telehealth into clinical practise, the website is also an interactive forum, enabling visitors to comment on telehealth articles on the site’s news blog.

Visit  the Telehealth Website or contact the Telehealth Support Officer  to find out more about the RACP telehealth project.

Bushtrack to Boulevard - a Rural update

It's on again! - the annual seminar/workshop meeting held by the College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) at Byron Bay, Thursday 28 February - Friday 1 March 2013.

The workshop program, which has proved very popular, has been developed with a clinical focus. The content developed and lead by clinicians with a good understanding of the need of rural practitioners.

This clinical update on intensive care medicine is intended to suit both CICM Fellows and non-CICM specialists who are currently practising intensive care medicine in regional, rural and metropolitan hospitals.

Further information available here or to register your interest contact Stephanie Gershon

12th National Rural Health Conference - Adelaide

The 12th National Rural Health ConferenceStrong Commitment: Bright Future.

Adelaide Convention Centre 7 - 10 April, 2013

One of the most important public events for organisations interested rural, regional and remote health in Australia.

For more information email or contact the Alliance 02 6285 4660 

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Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges