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What do you want from your CPD?

 

Have you completed your Training needs and Analysis Survey yet? Complete the survey by 10th of January and provide us with your training requirements.

Although continuing professional development (CPD) is a requirement of your medical registration, it’s not always easy to fit it into a busy practice life. At doctorportal Learning, we want to get a clearer idea of how we can best tailor our comprehensive CPD offering to your needs. To do that, we’ve put together a medical education survey that you should have already received in your inbox.

The survey should only take you around 15 minutes to complete. It will help us understand your CPD motivations and preferences in terms of access, pricing, learning interests and other key areas. We’ll use this information to better match our offering to your needs and help you meet your medical education requirements as easily as possible.  An example of how new content responds to feedback is doctorportal Learning’s soon to be launched online CRANA Plus Advanced Life Support course. Requested by members, it’s the only completely online, accredited delivery of ALS certification in Australia and supports time poor and remotely located professionals who need to access this often mandatory piece of learning.

We’d appreciate if you could complete the survey by 10th of January, 2018. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at memberservices@ama.com.au, or by phone on 1300 133 655.

What the Medical Board’s revalidation reforms mean for doctors

 

Last week, the Medical Board of Australia announced a major shake-up in the way doctors’ professional performance will be assessed and monitored.

In response to a report on revalidation from its Expert Advisory Group, the Board released its Professional Performance Framework, which it says will “ensure all registered medical practitioners practise competently and ethically throughout their working lives”.

The Board says its Framework has been five years in the making and will be implemented progressively, with some elements ready to go, while others still need significant planning, consultation and development. “Nothing is going to change tomorrow for doctors in Australia,” cautions Board Chair Dr Joanne Flynn.

With that caveat in place, here are the key changes the Board says it will progressively implement:

Added scrutiny of older doctors

Medical practitioners over the age of 70 will undergo mandatory competency and health checks, which will include cognitive screening. The Board says there is strong evidence on age-related risk of poor performance and that addressing this issue to keep patients safe is a “must”.

Doctors over 70 will also need to have their performance peer-reviewed every three years. This review will involve observation of the doctor at work, a review of the doctor’s medical record and feedback and discussion with the doctor. The results of this review will not be transmitted to the Board unless the doctor is deemed to be a risk to his or her patients.

The Board says even problems are identified, it won’t necessarily mean that the doctor would have to stop practising. There could be other solutions, such as reducing work hours, not being on call, or not performing complicated procedures.

At the same time, the Board has explicitly rejected the idea of a mandatory retirement age for doctors.

In Australia there are around 6,600 registered doctors over 70, including 800 doctors over 80.

Peer review of doctors with a high number of complaints

The Board’s Expert Advisory Group report found that around 3% of doctors account for nearly half of all complaints made to regulatory authorities.

In its Framework document, the Board proposes a pilot scheme in which doctors with several substantiated complaints against them are obliged to undergo a formal peer review, the results of which would be reported to the Board for further action.

The Board says it is looking at whether the threshold number of complaints that would trigger such a process should vary by specialty, noting that some disciplines, such as cosmetic surgery, tend to attract many more complaints than others.

Isolated practitioners

The Board says that doctors who practise on their own rather than with colleagues, or who practice outside clinical governance structures, may be at higher risk of poor performance.

It says it will strengthen its CPD system for these doctors, and increase its peer-review component. This could involve practice visits from college-designated doctors.

New CPD requirements for all registered practitioners

All doctors will need a “CPD home” and will be required to complete at least 50 hours of accredited CPD, some of which must include peer-reviewed work. Doctors will also need a professional development plan, similar to the one already required by the RACGP’s CPD program.

The Board says a broad scope of CPD is important. A quarter of CPD hours should be devoted to developing skills and knowledge, a quarter to reviewing performance and a further quarter on measuring outcomes. The final quarter should involve a combination of the above.

Improved performance monitoring of medical graduates

The Expert Advisory Group in its report noted that risk of complaints is related to poor performance in medical school or specialty training.

It has proposed early intervention for medical students or junior doctors suspected of a lack of professionalism or of integrity issues, such as dishonesty.

“A proven and irremediable lack of professionalism may preclude entry to the profession of individuals who are unfit to practise,” its report says.

 

You can access both the expert advisory group’s validation report and the Professional Performance Framework proposals here.

What do you want from your CPD?

 

Although continuing professional development (CPD) is a requirement of your medical registration, it’s not always easy to fit it into a busy practice life. At doctorportal Learning, we want to get a clearer idea of how we can best tailor our comprehensive CPD offering to your needs. To do that, we’ve put together a medical education survey that you should have already received in your inbox.

The survey should only take you around 15 minutes to complete. It will help us understand your CPD motivations and preferences in terms of access, pricing, learning interests and other key areas. We’ll use this information to better match our offering to your needs and help you meet your medical education requirements as easily as possible.  An example of how new content responds to feedback is doctorportal Learning’s soon to be launched online CRANA Plus Advanced Life Support course. Requested by members, it’s the only completely online, accredited delivery of ALS certification in Australia and supports time poor and remotely located professionals who need to access this often mandatory piece of learning.

We’d appreciate if you could complete the survey by 10th of January, 2018. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at memberservices@ama.com.au, or by phone on 1300 133 655.

What you need to know about your CPD requirements

 

It’s hardly a secret that doctors are incredibly busy professionals. On top of all the clinical work, there are ever-increasing bureaucratic demands on practitioners, coupled with diminishing windows of opportunity to keep up with the latest advances in medical knowledge. It’s all too easy to put continuing professional development (CPD) on the backburner, leaving it for one of those mythical days when you have “more time”.

Do so at your own peril, however. There is the clinical imperative: many medical fields are moving so fast that if you don’t know about the latest developments, you won’t be able to offer your patients best practice. For example, one of the most common heart conditions, atrial fibrillation, is now being treated with a class of drugs – the so-called novel oral anticoagulants – that were pretty much unheard of not so long ago. Similarly, in just a few short years, the choice of drugs to treat type 2 diabetes has expanded considerably.

And then there’s the regulatory imperative. Many doctors are still unaware that AHPRA conducts random audits of doctors’ CPD activities. And if you haven’t fulfilled your requirements, there can be consequences. The Medical Board of Australia can impose conditions on your registration, or even outright refuse to register you. And although failure to undertake the required CPD is not a legal offence, it could be used in disciplinary proceedings against you as evidence of inappropriate practice or conduct.

Particularly vulnerable to being caught out are doctors who are not affiliated with a college – IMGs, doctors in training and non-vocationally registered doctors – don’t get the same prompts that other doctors get from their college to do their required CPD.

Doctors who do belong to a college need to meet the CPD standards set by their own college. For example, the CPD program of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has a mandatory Planning, Learning and Need (PLAN) activity which involves doctors looking at their practice, their patients and their patients’ demographics to work out the future CPD activities they should do over the next three years to support their skills and practice. GPs must then accumulate 130 CPD points, which must include one Category 1 activity and one CPR activity.

Doctors in training or who are non-vocationally-recognised must also demonstrate that they have fulfilled full CPD requirements. This involves a minimum of 50 hours of CPD per year, which can be self-directed. Any self-directed program must include one mandatory self-assessment reflection activity or peer review, clinical audit or performance appraisal. Activities to enhance medical knowledge, such as participation in courses, conferences or online learning, are also required.

Trainees need a signed letter or report from their supervising hospital to confirm their participation in training and education programs.

If you are randomly selected for audit, you will be sent an audit notice, and have 28 days to demonstrate that you’ve met the Medical Board of Australia’s registration requirements. These include not only your CPD requirements, but also declarations about indemnity insurance, recency of practice and criminal history. If you are found to be in breach in any of these areas, you can be reported to the Board.

See here for more information on CPD requirements for doctors who are not affiliated with a college.

Sign up to Doctorportal Learning to access mobile-friendly medical education, track all your CPD points and activities in one place, and get assistance in meeting your Medical Board of Australia CPD reporting obligations.

CPD audits: what you need to know

 

Although it’s been three years since AHPRA started randomly checking medical professionals’ declarations about their CPD activities, many doctors are still unaware that they can be audited.

Particularly vulnerable to being caught out are IMGs, doctors in training and non-vocationally registered doctors, who are not affiliated with a college and so don’t get the same prompts that other doctors get from their college to do their required CPD.

Here’s some key information about the auditing process:

  • Doctors under audit are sent an audit notice, and have 28 days to demonstrate that they’ve met the Medical Board of Australia’s registration requirements.
  • This includes not only CPD requirements, but also declarations about indemnity insurance, recency of practice and criminal history. If found to be in breach in any of these areas, doctors can be reported to the Board.
  • Doctors who belong to a college need to meet the CPD standards set by their college. But those who are not on the specialist register – whether they are in training or are simply non-VR doctors – must also demonstrate that they have fulfilled CPD requirements.
  • For non-VR doctors, this involves a minimum of 50 hours of CPD per year, which can be self-directed. Any self-directed program must include one mandatory self-assessment reflection activity or peer review, clinical audit or performance appraisal. Activities to enhance medical knowledge, such as participation in courses, conferences or online learning, are also required.
  • Trainees will need a signed letter or report from their supervising hospital to confirm your participation in training and education programs in the year being audited.

See here for more information on CPD requirements for junior medical officers, IMGs and non-VR doctors.

Sign up to Doctorportal Learning to access mobile-friendly medical education, track all your CPD points and activities in one place, and get assistance in meeting your MBA CPD reporting obligations.