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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.

The fine art of communication in general practice


Read about our new workshop exploring complex communication in primary care – breaking bad news, end of life conversation and more…

Communication skills are uniquely relevant in the general practice setting, because no other medical practitioner offers the continuity of care that GPs afford their patients. This workshop, conducted by the multiple award-winning Pam McLean Centre, will address some of the most challenging communications in the context of the long-term doctor-patient relationship – breaking bad news, open disclosure following an adverse event, and initiating discussions about treatment options at the end of life. The common theme is talking about things our patients really don’t want to talk about.

Models abound – SPIKES, ABCDE, BREAKS, ISBAR etc. And models have their place. But putting the models into practice can sometimes be surprisingly hard. This workshop allows us to put theory into practice through trial-and-error, working with a highly trained professional actor to negotiate step-by-step through the maze of emotionally-charged communication. Just like learning to intubate on mannequins, working with actors allows us to try various approaches to communication safe in the knowledge that no-one gets hurt. The workshop is based on rigorous research, including one of Prof Dunn’s PhD student’s projects, which measured heart rate and skin conductance in doctors whilst they told a woman that her husband had just died. The results will surprise you.

In this workshop, you will meet two patients (played by two of our most experienced actors) who present all these challenges in a panorama of multiple presentations. There are options to practise the delivery of bad news in different emotional contexts, and to explore appropriate responses to an angry relative when there has been a serious adverse event. Finally we will investigate ways of initiating and supporting discussions around disease progression. You will have the opportunity to stop the consultation at any time and seek feedback from the patient and from other workshop participants. And Prof Dunn will provide insights from the relevant literature to help us along the path.

Sign up to our Complex Communication in Health Care learning module here.

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.