Can the redistribution of medical school solve the problems in training places shortage?

solution to medical training places shortage

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has provided strong comment on the Government’s assessment of the distribution of medical school places across the country, stating that greater funding is needed to ensure an adequate flow of fully-trained doctors, especially to rural and remote areas. The AMA has said that they are open to the redistribution of [Read More…]

Turnbull Government considering unfreezing Medicare rebates

Lifting the Medicare rebate freeze

Health Minister Greg Hunt appears to be considering a deal with the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to unwind the Medicare rebate freeze. Minister Hunt says he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will review the rebate in a move that could cost more than $3 billion. There’s a speculation [Read More…]

New index to examine geographic supply of clinical health workforce for Indigenous Australians

spatial distribution of clinical health workforce

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare utilised a new measure for its report, Spatial distribution of the supply of the clinical health workforce 2014: relationship to the distribution of the Indigenous population. The measure is Geographically-adjusted Index of Relative Supply (GIRS), which was developed to overcome limitations in using relatively simple provider-to-population ratios to [Read More…]

Should Australia introduce a sugar tax to combat obesity?

sugar tax to reduce obesity

To help recoup some of the costs of obesity to the community, Grattan Institute in its report, A sugary drinks tax: recovering the community costs of obesity, suggests that Australia should introduce a tax on sugary drinks. Excessive consumption of unhealthy foods, including sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), not only causes long-term problems for consumers, but also [Read More…]

Robot revolution: why technology for older people must be designed with care and respect

robots for dementia care

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Nola Ries, University of Newcastle and Taro Sugihara, Okayama University Many countries around the world have ageing populations and a growing prevalence of dementia. Japan, in particular, is a “super-ageing” society, with a population getting older faster than anywhere else in the world [Read More…]

Australian Dental Association shares concerns about MBS Review

MBS Review Taskforce

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has raised some matters of concern around the MBS review taskforce, including intravenous sedation in dental procedures, private insurance, and dental services for special needs patients. The ADA recommends: Restriction of the rebate payment for sedation services when suitably trained and endorsed dentists were not able to provide the sedation [Read More…]

APA statement on physio role in acute ankle sprain management

physio role in acute ankle sprain

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has reacted to a suggestion by a recent study that there is no evidence to support a clinically important improvement in outcome with the addition of supervised physiotherapy to usual care for acute ankle sprain. Despite the findings of the study and some reports with similar suggestions, APA strongly asserts [Read More…]

Pharmacists’ responses to codeine upscheduling decision

prescription only codeine

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced that products containing codeine will be available only with a prescription from February 1, 2018. Pharmacists are largely disappointed with the decision. They say that this is not the answer to misuse issues and, that it creates a new problem for patients who genuinely need them. According to [Read More…]

Identifying and eliminating biofilm in chronic wounds

identifying and eliminating bioflim

Some sources claim that almost 80% of chronic wounds are colonised with biofilm. Biofilm has a significant tolerance to antibiotics and biocides while remaining protected from host immunity. While awareness of the presence and impact of wound biofilm has advanced enormously, understanding of its pathogenesis is yet to be clarified fully. The International Wound Infection [Read More…]

Doctor shortages or oversupply? Conflicting headlines

oversupply or shortage of doctors

You could be forgiven for being confused about whether the is an oversupply or undersupply of doctors in Australia. In recent weeks, while the ABC has reported on a doctor shortage in rural Australia, the Australian Medical Association President has been talking about an oversupply of doctors and an undersupply of training places. The Australian [Read More…]

MedAugment won $10,000 for an app helping people take medication


Aiming to help people take their medication and use medical devices safely, MedAugment was the winner of the $10,000 Impact Innovation Group Services prize in this year’s $250,000 QUT Innovation Challenge MedAugment is a new interactive smartphone app currently in development. The prize allows MedAugment to continue commercialising the app, which is focusing initially on [Read More…]

Specialist in Life campaign for GPs


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is running a national Specialist in Life campaign to highlight the value of general practice, targeted to political decision makers of all parties on what GPs actually do on a daily basis. RACGP stated that the Federal Government’s actions are hitting GPs and their patients hard. They [Read More…]

General Practice Pharmacist Fundamentals education program has been launched


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has launched an education program called the General Practice Pharmacist Fundamentals. This is an online course which will provide expert guidance to pharmacists interested in this important area of practice. PSA National President Joe Demarte said that the course is backed by a suite of practice tools to help [Read More…]

Guidance for administering chloramphenicol for bacterial conjunctivitis


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has released a guideline on the provision of chloramphenicol for ophthalmic use for bacterial conjunctivitis. The guideline covers four steps to be taken by pharmacists in the dispensing of chloramphenicol. Meet professional obligations Pharmacists are obliged to the Professional Practice Standards (PPS) and the Code of Ethics for pharmacists Pharmacists [Read More…]

Almost half of nursing students and over a third of medical students not getting enough exercise


48% of nursing and 38% of medical students did not achieve recommended levels of physical activity, according to a questionnaire study from the UK . The study surveyed 193 nursing students and 168 medical students at a UK medical school over 12 months. Nursing students were less active than medical students. They perceived fewer benefits [Read More…]

U.S physicians prescribed particular brand-name medication after industry-sponsored meals


A study in the United States has found that physicians who received industry-sponsored meals tend to prescribe the brand-name medication that was being promoted. The study used industry payment data and Medicare prescribing records from 2013 which recently became publicly available in the United States. The most-prescribed brand-name medications in 4 drug classes are: rosuvastatin [Read More…]

Tackling antimicrobial resistance


The federal government has announced the implementation of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2015-2019. The strategy is developed under the Coalition Government’s new plan, in partnership with health professionals, research communities, veterinarians and agricultural industries. The implementation plan outlines specific focus areas for action to minimise the development of antimicrobial resistance and ensure the [Read More…]

Longitudinal carotenoids study results released


A longitudinal study has found an association between higher consumption of dietary carotenoids and a reduced risk of insulin resistance (IR). Carotenoids, the natural plant chemicals in vegetables, may halve the risk of insulin resistance in adults. The study involved 1106 Iranian adults, men and women, aged 19–74 years. Their eating habits were tracked over [Read More…]

Is losing vision the worst possible health outcome? Research says perhaps it is……


A study in the US has revealed that for Americans, losing vision is equal to or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech, or a limb. However, although vision was a priority, many Americans were unaware of important eye diseases and their behavioral or familial risk factors. The study involved 2044 survey respondents in an online [Read More…]

Cosmetic procedure guidelines for medical practitioners and vaccination statement for nurses


Boards of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency have been cracking down on unsafe conduct from medical practitioners and nurses. Effective on 1 October 2016, the Medical Board of Australia imposed new cosmetic guidelines to ensure patient safety. These guidelines appliy to medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures. The new guidelines require: [Read More…]

Dental care for people with dementia


The Australian Dental Association and Alzheimer’s Australia has partnered to support dentists treating people living with dementia through a series of videos, Partnership in Practising Care. The series aim to educate dentists and their team on best practice care for people living with dementia, with emphasis on the importance of continuity of care, using preventative [Read More…]

Multidisciplinary Teams – by Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford

Dr Judith O'Malley-Ford

So now you are qualified as an intern, a GP, or as a specialist in a certain field of specialised medicine. Are you a member of a multidisciplinary team? This is a rhetorical question, because whether you know it or not at this time, you will always be a member of a multidisciplinary team. If [Read More…]

Funding for preventative health initiatives reduced: Australia’s Health 2016 report


The Australia’s Health 2016 report has revealed that funding for prevention initiatives has reduced from 2.2% (2008) to 1.4%, contrary to the belief that prevention is better than cure. This goes against the expectation of 76% of Australians that investment in preventive health should be one of the top ten priorities. Public Health Association of [Read More…]

The rate of diabetes in patients presenting to emergency deparments


A team of researchers led by Dr Dr Tien-Ming Hng of Western Sydney Local Health District conducted a study to test whether targeted glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing of high-risk populations could enhance the detection of diabetes and prediabetes. The study was conducted in the Blacktown-Mt Druitt Hospital, which located in an area of high diabetes [Read More…]

ATAR or OP score for medicine in Australia

raining ATARS

There are medical schools in every state and territory in Australia. Undergraduate entry into medicine Please note that apart from your ATAR / OP, entry requirements for undergraduate medicine may also include a UMAT score, an interview, a portfolio, and a written application. Some universities also have different entry requirements for Indigenous students. Some universities [Read More…]

Typical Money Mistakes by Young Doctors – by Yves Schoof

Yves Schoof

“Typical Money Mistakes by Young Doctors” was a podcast by Perth based financial planner and principal of Yves Schoof, who works with surgeons and medical specialists. The podcast has been transcribed below. You can listen to the podcast here. “Today we will open a can of worms. We will talk about young doctors because [Read More…]

Exhilarating! My week with the Royal Flying Doctor Service – by Rebecca Irwin – medical student and NRHSN Chair

Rebecca Irwin RFDS week

The unique exhilarating experience of flying to remote communities and stations to provide health care is unparalleled by anything I have experienced thus far. I loved flying with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) to remote locations, hopping from station to station, community to community, providing health care as we went. Occasionally we were diverted [Read More…]

Telemedicine: A Fundamental Addition to Contemporary Medical Curricula – by Christopher Lemon

Christopher Lemon

“Medicine and technology are intrinsically linked. Many advances in health have been contingent upon synonymous advances in technology. This has become particularly clear in recent times when considering the extent to which to technology has helped to substantially improve not only understandings of disease processes, but also the ways in which they can be managed. [Read More…]

Deciding on an area of medical specialization can be difficult – by Dr Ashe Coxon (MBBS FRACGP)

Ashe Coxon GP

“I have learnt a lot in the 9 years that I have been a doctor. I have learnt that hard work gets you everywhere, support is essential and that deciding on an area to specialise in can be difficult. I have also recently realised that finding a supportive and inspirational mentor can make a huge [Read More…]

The impact of food and beverage consumption on rehydration following exercise.

food and drinks post-exercise

It has long been believed that the lost body fluid we secrete through exercise has to be replaced by either sport drinks or milk-based beverage. But which one is the best to optimise the fluid restoration after exercise? Are there any influences the food has in fluid recovery? Inspire magazine’s winter edition has featured a [Read More…]

Humble doctors, healthier patients

humble doctors have healthier patients

Humble, not arrogant, physicians are most effective at working with their patients, according to a study published on Patient Education & Counseling journal by Peter M. Ruberton et al. The study involved 297 patients across 100 physicians to investigate the relationship between physician humility, physician–patient communication, and patients’ perceptions of their health during a planned [Read More…]

Palliative care

Palliative care statistics Australia

In 5 years the Medicare Benefits Schedule payments for palliative medicine specialist services has increased by almost 80%, according to figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). In 2014-15, 13,000 patients received an MBS-subsidised palliative medicine specialist service, with around 71,500 of these services provided nationally at a cost of $5.3 [Read More…]

TGA AusPARs survey closes 31st July 2016

TGA AusPARs survey 2016

Australian Public Assessment Reports for prescription medicines (AusPARs) users have been invited to participate in a survey conducted by Therapeutic Good Administrations (TGA). The TGA wants to know what the users think about the AusPARs for prescription medicines. Survey responses may be lodged without specific identifiers, i.e. email address and organisational affiliation are optional. The [Read More…]

Child Oral Health – a hidden crisis

child oral health

The British Dental Journal Team has said that woeful children’s dental decay statistics are making headlines in the UK, and have suggested that the quickest way to address this could be influencing their parents and carers. We asked the Australian Dental Association what factors are at play for children’s oral health closer to home and [Read More…]

Health industry voices its opinions as the #healthelection2016 looms

health funding around federal election

Health organisations around the country have been lobbying for a greater share of the health spending dollar in the lead up to the election tomorrow. Federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, claims to have put patient outcomes at the centre of health reform in the Federal Budget released in May 2016, but many associations are [Read More…]

Skilled Occupations List submissions put workforce shortages and excesses in the spotlight

Skilled Occupation List 2016

The new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) comes into effect on 1st July 2016. There have been changes to the status of a number of health professions, and a large number have been flagged for consideration in 2017. Health professions being added to SOL from 1st July 2016: Orthotist or prosthetist Audiologist Health professions being removed [Read More…]

We’re frozen, there’s no provision for preventative health and it will be difficult for the poor to stay well – the aftermath from the 2016 Federal Health Budget

2016 health budget

The Minister for Health Sussan Ley has said that the 2016 federal budget puts patient outcomes at the centre of health reform, but there doesn’t seem to be much agreement from the health industry. One of the main reasons why the industry hasn’t supported the health budget is due to the freeze on the Medicare [Read More…]

61 recommendations for Choosing Wisely Australia

choosing wisely 61 recommendations

Sparking conversations between patients and clinicians about what care and management is truly necessary for specific conditions is the goal of the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative. The campaign has released 61 recommendations of tests, treatments and procedures that may not be necessary and could cause harm to Australian patients as the global healthcare initiative continues [Read More…]

Do OSCEs test little more than acting?

What are OSCEs really testing

A paper published on BioMed Central has looked at the use of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) on its level of validity for assessing communicative and interactional aspects of clinical performance. The debate review considers critically the evidence for the simulated consultation as a proxy for the real, as performance, as a context for assessing [Read More…]

The Myth of the Rich Doctor – by Yves Schoof

Yves Schoof

“The Myth of the Rich Doctor” was a podcast by Perth based financial planner and principal of Yves Schoof, who works with surgeons and medical specialists. The podcast has been transcribed below. You can listen to the podcast here. Kris: Hi Yves. Yves: Hi Kris, how are you? Kris: Good thanks. I’ve been afraid [Read More…]

Aged care facility with a palliative care committee, dementia program and open heart program

SVL AT14 201

We did a callout looking for inspiring workplaces, and Scalabrini Village Chipping Norton manager Fiona Kendall answered, letting us know that there’s something pretty special happening at this aged care facility……. Q: The lead up to and death of a resident is obviously a very emotional time. What do you do for residents and families? [Read More…]

Quadriplegic Barney Miller’s personal journey to walk again with exercise intervention

therapy after spinal cord injury

At the age of 20, northern NSW resident Barney Miller was a promising surfer who, after a car accident refused to believe what his doctor said. That his brain could not communicate with the rest of his body. Barney didn’t accept that as a quadriplegic and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest [Read More…]

Are you really listening? A view from the other side. By Gitte Backhausen – patient

Gitte Backhausen profile

Okay, so I know it’s practitioner month on My Health Career in May and that most of what we’re doing is sharing stories about the inspiring things health professionals are up to. When I got this article through from Gitte, I literally felt a bit sick in my stomach reading about everything she’d been through. [Read More…]

Appreciating Rheumatology – now that’s a phrase you don’t often hear! By Dr Maxine Szramka

Dr Maxine Szramka

Rheumatology is not an every day ordinary word. Let’s face it, it didn’t make the rounds on the school yard, and probably barely hits the office water cooler conversations. For years when people would ask me what I did I would resign myself to saying ‘oh just doctor…’ and wait for the conversation to move [Read More…]

Is the future of healthcare here? Dr Andrew Lin, co-founder of CliniCloud talks connected devices

Clinicloud phone

You may have heard of CliniCloud, the health-tech startup who recently received $5 million in funding. Business partners Dr Hon Weng Chong and Dr Andrew Lin met at medical school, and both had a passion for technology and the benefits it could bring to healthcare. CliniCloud is at the stage of shipping its first product, [Read More…]

Things change – by Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford


We can all be mindful that “things change.” This applies to the world at large, and not merely to the world of medicine. In the early 20th century, we went from horse and buggy to motorised vehicles, which represented a huge shift in thinking. It also resulted in a myriad of new industries that lead [Read More…]

Advice on starting a career in general practice

advice about being a GP

Dr Lindsay Moran has shared valuable advice on GPs Down Under (GPDU) forum about starting out a career as a GP. It outlines the answer to the question Dr John-Paul Kennedy posed to the GPDU community, “What is the most important tip that a GP starting out in their career should remember?” Among the collective [Read More…]

Antibacterial soap and regular soap: which one is more effective?

does antibacterial soap work

Antibacterial soap containing triclosan (0.3%) was no more effective than regular soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions, as concluded by research from Korea published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The researchers aimed to examine the in vitro and in vivo bactericidal effect of triclosan (the most widely used antiseptic agent [Read More…]

JDocs: career guidance for doctors interested in a career in surgery

RACS jdocs

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has initiated a JDocs website to provide career guidance to junior doctors in Australia and New Zealand during their early prevocational years. JDocs is a framework that describes the many tasks, skills and behaviours that should be achieved by doctors at defined early post graduate year levels and [Read More…]

Want to be a doctor or health science professional?


MedEntry, Australia’s leading UMAT prep organisation, have teamed up with My Health Career to share some tips on how to succeed in the UMAT and Interviews. Please note that this is a sponsored post representing the views of MedEntry, and that My Health Career recommends you do your own research before choosing a UMAT preparation [Read More…]

Cannabis products made legal for Australian patients

legalisation of cannabis-derived substances for medicines

Australian parliament has passed the Turnbull Government’s historic legislation to legalise the use of medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients, with the right procedures. Referred to as “missing piece”, cannabis now become a legal and reliable medication for the management of painful and chronic conditions. “This is an historic day for Australia and the many [Read More…]

We all want Doctors for Rural Communities, but will the proposed Murray Darling Medical School help?

Murray Darling Medical School

The latest wave of medical student opposition for the proposed Murray Darling Medical School (MDMS), a joint program by Charles Sturt University and La Trobe University has been featured in Wagga Wagga local newspaper The Daily Advertiser. The opposition comes as the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) has launched its proposal “Doctors for Rural Communities” [Read More…]

The first national approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability

early childhood early intervention NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has marked the first nationally-consistent approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability by the release of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach. Under the ECEI approach, a child and their family will be referred to a specialist early childhood access partner [Read More…]

UMAT 2016 will be held on 27 July. Register now!

UMAT 2016

The Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) is required for undergraduate admission to many courses throughout Australia and New Zealand in the fields of medicine, dentistry and optometry. The results from UMAT 2016 can only be used for undergraduate medicine or health science courses beginning in 2017. According to the National Institute of [Read More…]

Revised registration standards for 6 registered health professions

AHPRA revised registration standards published 2016

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has published revised registration standards for six registered health professions, these being medicine, medical radiation practice, nursing and midwifery, physiotherapy, podiatry, and psychology. The revised registration standards are for: Continuing professional development (CPD) Recency of practice Professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements However, they do not apply to renewals of [Read More…]

Tips for medical students on how to excel in 2016

Tips for medical students

The university year is well and truly underway for medical students. Here are some tips on how to excel in 2016. Dr Hon Weng Chong, co-founder and CTO of CliniCloud, a health-tech startup that has recently received $5 million in funding from Tencent and Ping An Ventures, inked a deal with Best Buy and partnered [Read More…]

The 10 commandments of patient-centred care

the ten commandments for patient-centred care

A team of UK researchers has transformed their paper, published in the British Journal of General Practice, into a website fully dedicated to covering the 10 commandments for patient-centred treatment. Although it is about general practice, the principles are similar for any health profession, particularly where the profession involves disgnostics, prescribing medications or giving medications [Read More…]

How to deal with bullying in nursing clinical placements

workplace bullying prevention

The Nurse Path founder Ian Miller says that bullying is the topic that comes up in his conversations both online and amongst other nurses more than any other. Laurie Bickhoff from Defining Nursing has also spoken of the infamous “eat our young” culture in nursing. So if you’re a nursing student embarking on your clinical [Read More…]

Over 40% of diabetics with a foot ulcer die within 5 years

diabetic foot ulcers mortality rate

A recently published UK study has confirmed long-believed association between diabetic foot ulcers and an increased risk of death. 414,523 people with diabetes enrolled in practices associated with The Health Improvement Network in the United Kingdom were analysed for this study to evaluate the effects of diabetic foot ulcers and the covariates on death. Among [Read More…]

Medical internship “not totally broken” but “doesn’t reflect modern health care”

review of medical internship

The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council has published the Review of Medical Intern Training which aims to examine the purpose and the role of internship in today’s health system and its effectiveness as well as in supporting graduates’ career choice. While stakeholders generally do not consider the internship to be totally broken, it is clearly [Read More…]

Healthy Food Partnership to tackle obesity and poor health due to nutrition

Healthy Food Partnership

The Healthy Food Partnership held its first meeting in Canberra on 13 November 2015. The meeting was chaired by Rural Health Minister Fiona Nash, and brought together preventative health groups, food industry bodies, and government. It was determined that initiatives under the Partnership would be voluntary in nature and that they would focus on making [Read More…]

Increased numbers of women in specialty medical training, an extra 344 commencing medical students in 2014

medical workforce data

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released Medical Workforce 2014 revealing that, among other statistics, there are strong increases in the number of women training as specialists. AIHW spokesperson, Dr Adrian Webster, said that the proportion of women in the medical practitioner workforce has been steadily increasing since 2004. In 2014 women [Read More…]

GradStats from the turn of the century…. What are health graduates getting paid? What’s the employment rate?

GradStats 2015

While starting salaries for new graduates from university health degrees have increased significantly since 1999, the percentage of graduates going directly into a full time job has dropped, according to GradStats data. Employment rate The GradStats figures show that there is now a lower full time employment rate for medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing (initial), rehabilitation, [Read More…]

$250 million for translating medical research into real benefits

Biomedical Translation Fund

The Australian Government will invest $250 million over two years to help translate Australian health and medical research into commercial reality as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). This investment will provide the funds to improve the quality of life of Australians. The Biomedical Translation Fund alongside the Medical Research Future Fund [Read More…]

Australian hospital statistics 2014-2015

emergency department report 2014-15

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH) has released Emergency department care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics, which reports on emergency department performances across the country. The most positive aspect highlighted in the report are that the majority of emergency department patients are seen on time for their urgency (triage) category. Here is a quick snapshot [Read More…]

Premature babies are more likely to develop psychiatric disorders

brain circuit abnormalities in premature babies

Babies born prematurely face a wide range of complications, and new research has suggested that this issue now includes a higher risk of developing neurological and psychiatric problems. The researchers found that some key brain networks linked to attention, communication and emotion were weaker in premature infants. This finding offers some explanation for why children [Read More…]

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s position statement on substitution of biosimilar medicines

substitution of biosimilar medicine

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has released a position statement supporting the Australian Government’s policies that encourage the use of biosimilar medicines to contain the cost of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). A biosimilar medicine is a version of an already registered biological medicine that has a demonstrable similarity in physicochemical, biological and immunological characteristics, [Read More…]

The revised accreditation standards for specialist medical programs come into effect from 1 January 2016

specialist medical programs standards

The Medical Board of Australia has approved the Australian Medical Council’s revised accreditation standards for specialist medical programs. The revised version, Standards for Assessment and Accreditation of Specialist Medical Programs and Professional Development Programs by the Australian Medical Council 2015 will come into effect from 1 January 2016.   The revised accreditation standards replace the [Read More…]

10 year road map for Closing the Gap

ten year road map to close the gap

Minister for Rural Health Fiona Nash has launched an Implementation Plan as a further commitment to Closing the Gap. The Implementation Plan is a ten-year road map: a strategy to better health for Indigenous children, Indigenous youth and Indigenous adults. The Coalition decided to adopt and build on the 10 year National Aboriginal and Torres Strait [Read More…]

Occupational therapy and driver assessment and rehabilitation

driver trained occupational therapists

Occupational Therapy Australia has released a position statement on driver assessment and training fitting within the advanced scope of occupational therapy practice. Assessing and rehabilitation or training of drivers with disabilities, age-related health declines or acquired impairments must be performed by driver assessor occupational therapists—OTs with post-graduate driver qualifications from an Occupational Therapy Australia recognised [Read More…]

Next steps on revalidation of doctors

revalidation model for doctors

The Medical Board of Australia has taken the next steps on revalidation of doctors by commissioning research and seeking expert advice to provide one or more models for revalidation and how these can be piloted. The decision not to adopt a specific model is essential to ensure that the revalidation is tailored to the Australian [Read More…]

16% decrease in notifications – AHPRA 2014-2015 statistics revealed

AHPRA annual report 2014 - 2015

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards has published the 2014/ annual report. The annual report outlines and highlights AHPRA and the National Board’s activities in 2014/15, as follows:   1.   Improving performance and services 637,218 health practitioners are registered from 14 different professions representing overall growth of 2.9% 16% [Read More…]

Protest long raised by the ADA on private health insurance

private health insurance dictate healthcare

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) has been raising many objections regarding private health insurance throughout the year. Recently they welcomed the government’s announcement of roundtable discussions about private health insurance. June 2015 Following the concerns raised by the opposition in the House of Representatives about the Private Health Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Bills, the ADA urged [Read More…]

Parents with drones vs qualified practitioners – who should be extracting kids’ teeth?

tooth extraction by drone

USA Today has reported that parents are pulling kid’s loose teeth out with drones. If the loose tooth becomes bothersome to the child, the parents are tying a string around it and attaching the string to a drone. So essential a remote-controlled drone has replaced the old tying the string to the doorknob routine. Looking [Read More…]

There is life after stroke

7 steps to stroke recovery video

Stroke Recovery Association of British Columbia has released “7 Steps to Stroke Recovery” educational video to answer often asked questions about what’s next for stroke survivors. The video features stroke rehabilitation professionals such as doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech pathologists. They give detailed and helpful suggestions for each step according to their expertise.   [Read More…]

AMSA’s submission on the future of scholarships for rural students and rural placement

medical scholarships for rural students and rural placement

The Australian Medical Students’ Assciation (AMSA) submission to the Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) Consultation emphasizes that rural recruitment and retention is more successful in people who are from a rural background or have had a positive rural experience during their study. Therefore, AMSA suggests that proposed scholarships should: Support rural-background students in ongoing costs [Read More…]

The health industry responds to “Wasted” – the 4 Corners report on overdiagnosis and treatment in medicine

4 Corners Wasted health care system

Following the airing of the Four Corners report “Wasted” on 29th September, which featured commentary on the over diagnosis and over treatment of common health complaints including back pain, knee pain, chest pain and prostate testing, the conversation about inappropriate tests and procedures has gone well beyond the medical profession. “Wasted” implied that doctors are [Read More…]

Are patients becoming more open to pharmacists being in general practice?

Pharmacists’ access to GP records

A recent study published in the Pharmaceutical Journal found that 80% of 7,154 patients would grant access for pharmacists to see their GP record. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham on community pharmacy vaccination services. Ninety eight per cent (98%) said that they would be happy if the pharmacist tell [Read More…]

What’s the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist

Psychologists and psychiatrists are two of the key experts in mental health care. Both psychiatrists and psychologists are trained to provide treatments for mental health problems, however, the type of treatments they deliver and diagnose methods they use are very different.   Training pathways – the difference for psychologists and psychiatrists The Royal Australian & [Read More…]

Becoming a health practitioner – registering with AHPRA

AHPRA health practitioner registration fees

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has recommended that students who are about to graduate as health practitioners apply for registration 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. For many students, that is NOW!!! About to graduate as a health practitioner? Apply 4-6 weeks before finishing your course. More: — AHPRA (@AHPRA) September 4, 2015 [Read More…]

49% of RACS Fellows, trainees and international medical graduates experience discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment – so what now? Expert Advisory Group releases final report

RACS EAG final report

Release of the Expert Advisory Group Final Report The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Expert Advisory Group (EAG) released its final report on discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment this week. The final report includes some minor amendments and points of clarification, as guided by feedback on the draft report released on September 10. The term [Read More…]

Music in the operating theatre improves the efficiency of surgical would closure

surgeons perform better when listening to music

Music in operating room improves efficiency of wound closure, which may translate to healthcare cost saving and better patients’ outcome. The conclusion is a result of a study by a team of researchers from the University of Texas with the aim to evaluate the effect of music on simple wound closure. The researchers asked 15 [Read More…]

Researchers found the association between management following self-harm and suicide

suicide following self-harm

A UK study led by Professor Nav Kapur from University of Manchester found that psychiatric admission following self-harm was associated with the highest risks for both suicide and all-cause mortality. The study followed 38,415 adults who had self-harmed and presented to five emergency departments in Manchester, Oxford and Derby between 2000 and 2010. It found [Read More…]

4 areas of health sector change in the NAB Health in Focus Report

NAB Health in Focus report

A new Australian health ecosystem, new frontiers for practitioners & medical specialists, developments in the pharmacy sector and the future of aged care have featured in Health in Focus – Health Sector Insights which was released by the National Bank of Australia’s NAB Health recently. Here is a summary of the 4 areas: 1.   [Read More…]

How do you want to be when you grow up? Rewriting an age-old question…

pathway to medicine

When we are born, there is such a presence about us. We need physical caring and nurturing to tend to our needs, as we are unable to provide them for ourselves. As we grow, as any parent would attest, the little one’s personality begins to emerge, and certain qualities are brought out into the world, [Read More…]

What’s the ATAR or OP score for medicine in Australia?

ATAR for medicine

The information in this article has been superseded by our 2016 article. There are medical schools in every state and territory in Australia. Undergraduate entry into medicine Please note that apart from your ATAR / OP, entry requirements for undergraduate medicine may also include a UMAT score, an interview, a portfolio, and a written application. [Read More…]

AMA submission to address unacceptable behaviour towards health professionals

eliminating bullying discrimination and harassment in medicine

Australian Medical Association (AMA) has made an extensive submission to the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment, which was established in April this year by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). AMA President, Professor Brian Owler recognized that discrimination, bullying, and harassment are prevalent across the whole of society, not just [Read More…]

AHPRA welcomes report of 3 year independent review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme which regulates 14 health professions in Australia


The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency recently welcomed a report following an independent three-year review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) and the Health Ministers’ response to its recommendations. ‘Such positive and constructive feedback reflects the focus and commitment to improvement of everyone who works at AHPRA, all members of national, state and [Read More…]

Under-reporting of self-reported symptoms in post-concussed athletes

Athletes reporting of symptoms post-concussion

Athletes’ self-reported symptoms post-concussion related to sport are underreported, according to a study which was published in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport recently. Symptom reporting in concussed athletes was examined in two different testing environments. Athletic team trainers used the ImPACT Post-Concussion Scale to collect data on self-reported symptoms, which were compared to [Read More…]

Dietitians Association Australia raises diet of ATSI people as a key area in Closing the Gap – by Amanda Griffiths

will diet policy help Close the Gap

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is calling on the Federal Government to get serious about improving food and nutrition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The call comes after University of Newcastle researcher, Dr Mark Lock, recently exposed the failings of the Federal Government to address this crucial public health issue. Robyn Delbridge [Read More…]

Delay of medication availability in Australia

delay of new medicines in Australian market

A panel of 3 independent experts have found that although the Therapeutic Goods Administration is on average 90 days faster that world-leaders Europe in approving new medicines as safe, Australians are being forced to wait up to 15 months longer than the US and Europe to access the medicines because drug companies delay making them [Read More…]

Thriving versus only just surviving medical school – by Stephanie Pommerel – first year medical student

surviving medical school

I started medicine at the beginning of 2015 as prepared as I could be. GAMSAT preparation was itself a three-month intensive, punctuated by work and guided by a self-directed schedule not unlike that of an athlete, albeit academic instead of physical. Moments where I wasn’t looking at textbooks were spent avidly reading articles in the [Read More…]

A radiologist answers “should you go into radiology?”

should I become a radiologist

Dr. Saurabh Jha was once a surgical resident in the U.K and then decided to change course to go into radiology. An article Dr Jha wrote on the topic of whether or not a junior doctor should go into the profession of radiology has appeared on popular blog The pros and cons are summarised [Read More…]

Burnout in health professionals – Q&A with Dan Martin, a psychologist who has worked in rehab with doctors, pharmacists and nurses

Burnout in health professionals

Q. Can you please give us an overview on your experience working with health practitioners requiring rehabilitation?  A. For several years I worked at a rehab program that specialised in treating doctors with addiction and mental health issues. We also had a nurses and pharmacists program. Having treated hundreds of healthcare professionals who weren’t able [Read More…]

Doctor burnout begins younger than we think – by Dr Maxine Szramka

Dr Maxine Szramka

“Looking back, I now know that I was burnt out when I started medical school, let alone what happened within the first few months of medical school which only made it all worse. I remember looking around at all of my classmates on day 1 of medical school, we all looked really tired – we [Read More…]

The Undergraduate Medical Interview 


The third and final step in your journey into an undergraduate medical degree is the medical interview. This step is paramount and just as important as the required ATAR and UMAT scores (click here see our previous article on doing well in the UMAT). However, applicants quite often overlook this step, as they assume that [Read More…]

UMAT preparation – how can UMAT NIE and UMAT Australia help?


How can UMAT NIE & UMAT Australia help you with the UMAT? Many students underestimate the UMAT (Undergraduate Medicine & Health Sciences Admission Test) and consider that it is just another academic assessment along the way to achieving their dream career. Nothing could be further from the truth. On average about 18,000 candidates sit [Read More…]

Catalyst statin broadcast proven to have impacted drug dispensing rates

catalyst did change statin use in Australia

It is estimated that more than 28,000 Australians ceased statin treatment after the airing of a Catalyst series in 2013, according to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia. However, there was a return to the average levels of statin use after 18 weeks. The two-part Catalyst special edition, titled Heart of the [Read More…]

General Practice: The best job in the world or a career for those who fail?

Is general practice a good or bad career

General practice is not a popular career choice for medical graduates in the UK. It could be blamed on a number of factors including bad press, but shockingly, one of the causes is because some med students are being taught to believe that general practice is a career for students with poor marks. According to [Read More…]

Allied health misses a guernsey in the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce – by Amanda Griffiths

Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Taskforce

It’s been about a month since Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced the members of the Federal Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce and the Primary Health Care Advisory Group (PHCAG). Although the PHCAG is made up of members from a number of health professions including physiotherapy, medicine and pharmacy, it is blatantly obvious [Read More…]

Do walking groups really have health benefits?

Are walking groups effective

So, do walking groups really have health benefits? The answer is yes. Researchers from Norwich Medical School in the UK have performed a systematic review of the evidence on outdoor walking groups, and have found that they have wide-ranging health benefits with good participant adherence. The review was of papers published in English, focusing on [Read More…]

#WhyWeDoResearch campaign – by Cheryl Prescott and Claire Gibbs

Claire Gibbs and Abby Greaves

“The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was conceived and launched via Twitter by Claire Gibbs, Senior Clinical Research Nurse (@ClaireGibbsUK) and Abby Greaves, Research Administrator, (@JPUHResearch) at the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in December 2014. Their intention was to use the hashtag #WhyWeDoResearch as a way to introduce core research team members to the public, [Read More…]

Should I become a surgeon? Traits for aspiring surgeons

should I become a surgeon

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has published a series of questions designed to help medical students to identify whether a career in surgery might be the right path to follow: Do you appreciate working as a team member? Do you enjoy watching your patients improve daily after major injuries or surgical procedures? Do you [Read More…]

Over prescribed and under used: corticosteroid inhalers in Australia

use of asthma inhalers in Australia

The Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM) has reported that prescription respiratory medications are being over-prescribed and under-used in Australia. The report shows that in 2013, prescription respiratory medications were dispensed to over 2 million people (about 9% of the population) but most only used them occasionally. Professor Guy Marks, Director of ACAM said, [Read More…]

Revalidation of doctors

revalidation of doctors in Australia

The Medical Board of Australia has commissioned international research into revalidation of doctors to make sure doctors in Australia maintain the skills to provide safe and ethical care to patients throughout their working lives. The conversation about revalidation in Australia started in 2012. Evidence from Canada indicated that 1.5 per cent of medical practitioners were [Read More…]

Nurse leadership from the ward to the board makes a significant contribution to health care – by Debra Thoms – CEO Australian College of Nursing

Debra Thoms ACN

“Our health truly is our wealth, and the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) firmly believes that access to good health is the right of every single Australian, regardless of background or health status. However there are a number of major challenges currently facing the health care system such as caring for an ageing population increasingly [Read More…]

6th CPA finally signed – what are the Guild, the PSA, the CHF and the AMA’s views?

6th Community Pharmacy Agreement signed

Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley this week revealed that the government had signed 5 year agreements with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, that is, the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) and also with the Generic Medicines industry Association (GMiA). The Department of Health have touted the agreements as “landmark deals benefiting consumers,” citing that [Read More…]

At Their Mercy – the 4 Corners report about sexual harassment and bullying in surgical training

At Their Mercy 4 Corners

4 Corners aired a report At Their Mercy about sexual harassment and bullying in medicine on Monday night. It has played an important role in keeping the conversation going regarding a culture shift that some believe is long overdue in medical training.   At Their Mercy 4 Corners interviewed a number of people who have [Read More…]

Medical students go rural to get a professional edge

Medical students go rural to get a professional edge

The variety and opportunities presented by rural medical training may give medical students an important professional edge, a recent report has found. The report, commissioned by Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA), involved in-depth interviews with 25 medical students and 41 junior doctors from Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne. Greg Mundy, CEO of RHWA says: “The next [Read More…]

How phytoestrogens decrease symptoms of menopause – by Melanie McGrice AdvAPD

Melanie McGrice Headshot

Melanie McGrice (AdvAPD) is one of Australia’s best known dietitians. She is a highly respected author and health presenter on nutrition and dietary issues – and a lover of great food! Learn more about dietary recommendations for menopause or other health conditions or join her free nutrition and wellbeing network at   Did you [Read More…]

New medical schools – part of the problem or part of the solution? Q&A with NSW Medical Students’ Council Chair Neel Gobin and Public Relations Officer Christopher Lemon

Curtin University Medical School

In mid-May, the Commonwealth Government announced its support of Curtin University’s medical school, pledging a contribution of $20 million. The new medical school will commence in 2017 and will be fully operational by 2022, graduating 120 students each year. My Health Career has had Neel Gobin (NSWMSC Chair) and Christopher Lemon (NSWMSC Public Relations Officer) [Read More…]

Could a gene therapy be developed for “colour blindness?”

Cure for colour vision deficiency

Avalanche Biotechnologies has an exclusive license agreement with the University of Washington (UW) to develop products based on Avalanche’s proprietary Ocular BioFactory™ Platform for the treatment of colour vision deficiency (CVD), commonly known as red-green colour blindness. On the same day, Avalanche also announced that Drs. Jay and Maureen Neitz, faculty in the UW’s Department [Read More…]

Call for health professionals to be more aware of signs of child sexual abuse surfaces during royal commission

child sexual abuse in institutions royal commission

The ABC has again reported on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They recently published revelations by psychologist Terence Kirkpatrick that he was sexually abused by a psychologist at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) in 1967 when he had been referred to the clinic to be treated for what was [Read More…]

How to avoid burnout – for med students and doctors

burnout in doctors

It is no secret that studying medicine and becoming a doctor is rewarding, but stressful and ridden with pressure. beyondblue’s National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students found that more than 40% of medical students and a quarter of doctors are highly likely to have a minor psychiatric disorder, like mild depression or [Read More…]

In grade 12 and want to apply for medicine, dentistry, optometry in 2016? You might need to sit the UMAT. Registrations close 5th June.

Getting into medicine dentistry optometry

In light of the fact that I attended careers expos recently and came across excellent prospective health students who are currently in grade 12 and didn’t know they would need to sit the UMAT as part of the entry requirement, here is another UMAT article. The Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) is [Read More…]

Advertising health services is about so much more than the AHPRA guidelines

advertising laws for health professionals

Health practitioners need to be aware that their advertising must comply not just with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) guidelines where appropriate, but also with national law. Consumer Law The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the authority who enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Act covers areas including false [Read More…]

New medical school in Western Australia the “worst decision in decades”

Infographic made available by AMSA.

The Australian Medical Association’s Western Australian branch has called it the “worst decision in decades.” The Australian Medical Association National President A/Prof Brian Owler has been criticised for his colourful language in opposing it by Treasurer Joe Hockey. The Australian Medical Students’ Association has called for the Federal Government to redirect funding towards increasing positions [Read More…]

The health industry’s reaction to the 2015 Federal Budget

health industry federal budget

As usual, the federal government’s health budget has been a mixed bag for the industry. Professional bodies representing practitioners including podiatrists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, medical practitioners, optometrists, dentists, nurses and medical students have all had something to say about the budget. Here’s a summary……   Building a Healthier Medicare The Government has announced that they [Read More…]

Physiotherapy Board developing a case for physios to prescribe scheduled medications

prescribing rights for physiotherapists

The Physiotherapy Board of Australia is continuing to develop a case as to why it is in the best interests of the public for physiotherapists to be able to prescribe scheduled medications. The board has applied for approval to endorse the registration of physiotherapists for scheduled medicines under the National Law. The Board is engaging [Read More…]

My rant following the most recent round of careers expos….

The dark side of career expos

I have just returned from a series of 4 careers expos in the New South Wales towns of Young, Forbes, Dubbo and Bathurst. Although this website was started especially for high school students considering a career in health and has lots of resources such as videos from real health practitioners and pathways information, there are [Read More…]

Non-medical prescribing in the UK

non medical prescribing

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that only “appropriate practitioners” can prescribe medicine in the UK. There are two categories of the said practitioners: Independent prescribers, who are healthcare professionals responsible for assessing patient and making clinical decisions about how to manage the patient condition and prescribing medication. They include doctors, dentists, [Read More…]

Consultation about cosmetic procedures

cosmetic procedure consultation Medical Board of Australia

The Medical Board of Australia is seeking feedback on the best way to protect consumers who seek cosmetic medical and surgical procedures. The 4 possible outcomes moving forward are doing nothing, boosting consumer education, providing less explicit guidance, and specific guidance for registered medical practitioners who provide cosmetic procedures. New guidelines are being proposed to [Read More…]

Google awarded patent for smart contact lens to measure blood glucose

Google smart contact lens for diabetics

United States Patent & Trademark Office has awarded a patent to Google Inc. for a “smart contact lens having an uneven embedded substrate and method of manufacture”. It has been reported that the smart contact lens patent could be used to monitor a wearer’s blood sugar level. Google believes that it is a less invasive [Read More…]

Would you spend 30 hours a month with older folk to get free accommodation during uni?

Live in aged care facility during uni

According to a report in The Journal in Ireland, a nursing home in Deventer in the Netherlands is opening its doors for uni students to live with the elderly as housemates. Why would any young free uni students wish to live with the pensioners instead of partying with fellow college roommates? The rent is free. [Read More…]

Pre-budget submission from DAA, ESSA and ADEA calls for no change to Medicare for diabetes care

Diabetes model of care Australia

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA), Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) are calling for no changes to be made to the current model of care for health services for patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. This has come following the suggestion from the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association [Read More…]

Reducing death of breast cancer through BreastScreen Australia

BreastScreen Australia data dictionary

The BreastScreen Australia data dictionary version 1.1 has been released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The document has been developed to meet the need for national consistency in the data collected for the BreastScreen Australia program. In 1991, BreastScreen Australia was introduced as a national screening program which aims to reduce [Read More…]

Polio Australia: Improving Health Outcome for Australia’s Polio Survivors

Polio Australia

Many thanks to Mary-ann Liethof, National Program Manager of Polio Australia for contributing this valuable information for health professionals. Acute Polio Australia experienced waves of polio epidemics throughout the 20th century. However, with the introduction of the Salk and Sabin vaccines, polio was an uncommon infection in Australia by the early 1960s. According to the [Read More…]

Announcement of successful applicants for Primary Health Networks

Medicare Locals to Primary Health Networks

Minister for Health Sussan Ley has announced the successful applicants to run the 31 Primary Health Networks which will replace the 61 Medicare Locals from 1st July. In a statement from The Department of Health, the Primary Health Networks will “replace Labor’s flawed Medicare Local system of 61 fragmented regions, which were found by an [Read More…]

Male nutrition and how it can improve fertility – by Melanie McGrice AdvAPD

Melanie McGrice Headshot

Current reports indicate that fertility problems affect approximately 15% of Australian couples. There’s a lot of focus on women improving their diet and lifestyle but dad’s-to-be should aim to improve their diet just as much as their partners. Sub-optimal diets can contribute to low sperm outputs and/or sperm abnormalities. Three key dietary changes that men [Read More…]

Mentoring in Medicine – by Dr Rachel Collings

Di and Rachel Book launch

Following its recent release ‘Mentoring Doctors’ has gained widespread interest as the first book of its kind globally. Mentoring Doctors provides the tools and knowledge on how to design and implement a mentoring program specific to the needs of junior doctors within a hospital-based settings. One of the co-authors of the book Dr Rachel Collings [Read More…]

Are surgeons really arrogant, or is it just that they aren’t “agreeable?”

personality traits of a surgeon

Surgeons do tend to get a bit of a bad rap when it comes to their personality traits. When we interviewed Mimi Le, who was at the time a final year med student, she described her first rotation with a surgeon who was “one of the most intimidating people” she had ever met in her [Read More…]

5 reasons why lists of alternative careers for doctors can be dangerous

alternative careers for doctors

Former doctor Evgenia Galinskaya, has spent many years of struggling to find what the right alternative career for her. Despite of thousands search results from google, nothing seemed right for her passion and interest. She is now a career coach, and has a website Evgenia has shared 5 reasons why list of alternative careers [Read More…]

“Below the Belt: Experiences with Prostate Cancer” anthology released


He may not know it, but former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan was one of the catalysts that brought about the book Below the Belt: Experiences with Prostate Cancer. Brisbane GP and Former Editor of the Queensland Prostate Cancer News (QPCN) for the state chapter of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Dr [Read More…]

Medical schools in Australia

Medical schools in Australia

The Medical Board of Australia has released a list of approved programs of medical schools across Australia. We have divided the courses into undergraduate and postgraduate programs, according to the states and territories. Undergraduate 1. Australian Capital Territory: Australian National University 2. Queensland: Bond University Griffith University James Cook University University of Queensland 3. Victoria: [Read More…]

The effectiveness of tailored hand exercises for the rheumatoid hand

hand exercises for arthritis

The Lancet has published a study by the Strengthening and Stretching for Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand (SARAH) Trial Team in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) on tailored exercises to improve the function of the rheumatoid hand. The study estimated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of tailored hand exercise in addition to usual care for [Read More…]

The power of a smile – oral health as a part of overall wellbeing

dental health and general health

In a TEDx video titled The Power of a Smile, Dr Steven Lin talks about the association between oral health and overall wellbeing. For instance, a simple act of regular flossing once a day can prevent gum disease. And it has been shown that gum disease linked to more serious diseases, including heart disease, stroke, [Read More…]

If we can Go Rural, you can too! Dr Gerry Considine & Dr Melanie Considine

Dr Gerry Considine and Dr Melanie Considine

With the national campaign promoting rural medical careers underway, rural GP couple Dr Melanie Considine and Dr Gerry Considine have said that if they can Go Rural, you can too. In their guide to going rural, they say there are three big things you need to do to make it work: Community: integration into the [Read More…]

Please don’t look at the latest Department of Employment projections and think it’s all rosy in the health industry

Department of Employment health industry projections

Once again the federal government’s industry employment projections data show that the Health Care and Social Assistance sector will be the leading provider of new jobs in the Australian labour market. However, just because the sector as a whole is performing well, do not interpret this to mean that all students who study degrees in [Read More…]

College of Surgeons forms an advisory group to deal with reports of bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination

RACS advisory group

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has appointed an expert advisory group to deal with concerns of bullying, harassment and discrimination in the health sector, with RACS President Professor Michael Grigg saying that the College has zero tolerance for such behaviour. Prof Grigg has stated that “Bullying and harassment must be notified and must [Read More…]

I decided to Go Rural and it helped me smash my med school exams and advance my career

Patryck Lloyd-Donald

Fifth year Monash University medical student Patryck Lloyd-Donald has said rural placements were advantageous during medical school as having small class sizes and strong relationships with both junior and senior medical staff meant that he was better prepared for his senior clinical years. He also said that as a group, the students in his cohort [Read More…]

President of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons denies sexual harassment is rife as Dr Sally Cockburn encourages trainees to talk to a #safeDIT

RACS sexual harassment

President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) Professor Michael Grigg has released a statement saying that it is disappointing that media reports suggest it is preferable for female surgical trainees to silently endure sexual harassment. RACS Prof Michael Grigg on 3AW radio On Melbourne radio station 3AW, Prof Grigg has said that if [Read More…]

UMAT 2015 registrations are open

UMAT 2015

Students who are interested in applying for undergraduate programs in medicine, dentistry and health science commencing in 2016 will have to complete Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) 2015. Is UMAT required for the course you wish to apply for? The test is used specifically to assist with the selection of students into [Read More…]

Sexual harassment in medicine – it’s one thing to come forward anonymously to the media, but another altogether to make formal allegations against your boss

will female doctors come forward about sexual harassment

Following on from my article yesterday congratulating Dr Gabrielle McMullin for starting the conversation about the sexual harassment of female doctors in training, it’s time to think about where to from here. If you were a female trainee experiencing sexual harassment while completing a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, would you report [Read More…]

Why I would like to congratulate surgeon Dr Gabrielle McMullin for her suggestion that female trainees give in to sexual harassment in the workplace

sexual harassment of female doctors in training

Please be warned that this article and those it links to discuss some explicit material. Vascular surgeon Dr Gabrielle McMullin has issued a warning to women considering a career in surgery that giving in to sexual harassment is an easier path than pursuing the perpetrators, because of entrenched sexism amongst many male surgeons. The comments [Read More…]

Glaucoma co-management information for optometrists that was published in an ophthalmology journal

co-management of glaucoma

I recently attended a conference for optometrists where one of the speakers was Dr Andrew White PhD FRANZCO, the author of a “perspective” paper which was published in March 2014. The title of the paper was Guidelines for the collaborative care of glaucoma patients and suspects by ophthalmologists and optometrists in Australia. In a room [Read More…]

We need to take physical inactivity as seriously as smoking and alcohol abuse

take physical activity as seriously as smoking

Physical inactivity should be given equal priority to smoking and alcohol abuse, according to leading doctors at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. In 2012, the medical journal The Lancet has labelled a lack of physical inactivity as a “pandemic” which accounts for more than five million deaths around the world every [Read More…]

Sleep patterns and sports performance

sleep pattern and sports performance

A research team at the Univesity of Birmingham found that sporting ability is impacted by the circadian phenotype. That is, the internal body clock. The study led by Dr Roland Brandstaetter took 20 female hockey players who asked to perform a series of 20m runs at six different times of day between 07:00 and 22:00. [Read More…]

Movement of the human foot in 100 pain free individuals

normal feet

The Journal of Foot and Ankle Research has published a study by researchers from the University of Salford, UK about the movement of human foot in 100 pain free individuals. The study was based on understanding that the motion in a normal healthy foot is a prerequisite for understanding the effects of pathology on foot [Read More…]

APS, RACP, RANZCP and RACGP call for children to be released from detention

children in detention

In recent days the Australian Psychological Society (APS), the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) have all spoken out about the mental health of children held in detention. APS The APS President Professor Mike Kyrios stated [Read More…]

Polio resources for health professionals

polio resources for health professionals

Polio Australia has compiled a clinical practice resource module for health professionals as a broader information in support and health care for polio survivors, management of the Late Effects of Polio and/or Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS). The module has drawn from polio specialist, polio survivors, and evidence-based literature. On the website, there are also other resources [Read More…]

Cardiologist in a truck becomes the Heart of Australia

Heart of Australia

The Heart of Australia is a 25 metre clinic on a truck that is the brainchild of Dr Rolf Gomes, a Brisbane cardiologist. He had been moved by his concern about the lack of cardiac care in rural and remote areas, and the difficulties undertaken by rural people to access adequate health service. Compared to [Read More…]

Ovarian cancer symptoms and prevention still misunderstood

Teal Ribbon Day ovarian cancer

Teal Ribbon Day is being held today in an effort to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. And with good reason. The statistics are pretty scary. Research says that: over a quarter of Australians know someone who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer only half of Australians know that ovarian cancer exhibits symptoms ovarian cancer has [Read More…]

Will physiotherapists be routinely using lung ultrasound for critical care in the future?

physiotherapists and lung ultrasound for critical care

A paper published in Physiotherapy Research International has looked at the physiotherapist’s respiratory assessment in critical care, and in particular, identifying parenchymal pulmonary pathology. The paper notes that the limited diagnostic of tools such as auscultation and chest X-ray might may not for allow the accurate differentiation between conditions such as lung collapse, consolidation and [Read More…]

Are plain cigarette packs really making a difference?

plain cigarette packaging study

On 1 December 2012, Australia became the first country in the world to introduce mandatory plain cigarette packaging. Cigarette manufacturers were required to produce plain cigarette packs with a large of coloured graphic health warnings (GHW). The purposes of the legislation are: Reducing the appeal of tobacco products to consumers Increasing the effectiveness of health [Read More…]

AHPRA to introduce further drug screening procedures for practitioners with substance related impairment

AHPRA drug testing for health practitioners

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be introducing mandatory hair testing for all practitioners with a substance related impairment. Under the screening protocol, all health practitioners who have restrictions on their registration linked to previous substance abuse will have routine hair testing in addition to the urine drug screening as per the interim [Read More…]

Upskilling online made possible by Monash University

Monash Online courses for health professionals

The health industry is incredibly rewarding yet can be a mentally draining area to work in. Take it from Natasha Jennings of the Alfred Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Centre, who shared her typical day online at Health Victoria. Her exhausting day begins at 5am and she is seeing patients as soon as she steps into [Read More…]

What’s the best diet? Free public event in Brisbane run by Dietitian Connection

Dr Joanna McMillan

Dietitian Connection has put together a world-class program of speakers so that your patients / clients and any member of the public can go along and hear about what they should REALLY be eating. With the theme “What’s the best diet? Paleo? Gluten-free? Sugar-free?” the event is sure to do some major myth-busting about what [Read More…]

Rolling out multiple specialist ear clinics – by Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw qualified as a Specialist Eye & Ear Nurse in 1982, and worked in the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for close to 25 years. From ward nursing to Deputy Director of Nursing, she had done it all. In 2006 she had an idea about establishing the first Ear Hygiene Clinic in Australia. [Read More…]

Pharmacist disqualified for 30 years….

pharmacist disqualified for 30 years

A pharmacist, Mr Frank Balestra, has disqualified for 30 years by the The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia for professional misconduct of dispensing drugs for non-therapeutic reasons. At the tribunal hearing, Mr Balestra admitted that he has dispensed clomiphene, androgenic steroids, stimulants and human growth hormone to patients even though he knew the risks [Read More…]

Are your clients gluten free for the right reasons? by Sally Marchini APD

Sally Marchini dietitian

Accredited Practising Dietitian Sally Marchini was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 40 years ago and then coeliac disease 13 years ago. It was that second chronic disease diagnosis that inspired her to go to university to become a dietitian, both to benefit her own health and lead by example to help others to enjoy [Read More…]

The role of the clinical radiologist

role of a radiologist

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) has released a position statement on the role and value of clinical radiologists. In their contribution to the best practice patient care, clinical radiologists have three central roles: Image acquisition using their comprehensive knowledge of anatomy, pathology, physiology, clinical medicine and expertise in image capture [Read More…]

Australian Doctor’s Spouse Network meetups in the park in February

Australian Doctor's Spouse Network Amanda Low

We love what the crew at the Australian Doctor’s Spouse Network are doing, so we thought we would get co-founder Amanda Low to let you know what social events they have coming up around Australia in February. “The Australian Doctor’s Spouse Network (ADSN) is a platform for social networking and helpful resources for medical and [Read More…]

Too few exercise physiologists in Australian hospitals

Exercise physiologist workforce in hospitals

Less than 5% of Australian Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are employed in Australian hospitals, and industry body Exercise & Sport Science Australia (ESSA) has called on the hospital sector to increase engagement with AEPs. ESSA released its Exercise Physiology Health Service & Workforce Planning Document 2014 in December, and following its release, ESSA is calling [Read More…]

Rural Clinical School of Western Australia effective in producing rural medical workforce

Rural Clinical School Western Australia report 2014

There are multiple factors that influenced medical graduates’ career destination, and there are also multiple initiatives and attempts to improve recruitment and retention in rural practice. In 2002, the Australian Government initiated Rural Clinical School (RSC) with a mandate to produce rural doctors. The report of the RCS of Western Australia (RCSWA) showed a substantial [Read More…]

What do patients think about digital health? By Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 4

technology in health

This is the fourth and final post in my series from the Digital Health Summit at CES 2015, following on from posts on wearables, disrupting the doctor visit, and how pharmacy can avoid its own Kodak moment. It was fantastic to see the program include a session on the patient perspective, as all too often [Read More…]

Disrupting the doctor visit – by Cathie Reid – Digital Health Summit post 2

Cathie Reid DHS 2

“This is the second of my posts from the recent Digital Health Summit at CES2015. The first covered broader aspects of wearables, sensors and data collection, but in this one I want to explore how the traditional doctors visit is being disrupted, why it’s a good thing, and how it’s going to deliver long-term change [Read More…]

General practice dodges Medicare bullet…. for now

General Practice Medicare

While the Australian Medical Association has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to take the Medicare changes that were scheduled to start on Monday off the table, doctors and the wider health industry should stay tuned. After the announcement of the decision, Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley also mentioned that we spend $20 billion (per annum) [Read More…]

GAMSAT 2015 registrations close soon


If you are looking at applying for post-graduate courses in medicine, dentistry, optometry or podiatric medicine in 2016 or 2017, you may need to sit the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) this year. Is GAMSAT required for the course you wish to apply for? If you hold a Bachelor’s Degree, GAMSAT is at least [Read More…]

Antibiotic resistance featured by….. an economist on TED!!!

antibiotic resistance

Over the past 70 years, antibiotics have been transformed from life-saving drugs into drugs “which have been used rather frivolously in some instances” according to Ramanan Laxminarayan an economist who is researching drug resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource. In this following video, he calls on every sector, patients and doctors [Read More…]

Becoming a Specialist Ear Nurse – by Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw

Shelley Straw qualified as a Specialist Eye & Ear Nurse in 1982, and worked in the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for close to 25 years. From ward nursing to Deputy Director of Nursing, she had done it all. In 2006 she had an idea about establishing the first Ear Hygiene Clinic in Australia. [Read More…]

Becoming a medical writer

medical writing career

Medical writing is the term used for a field that can include journalists who specialize in writing in healthcare and medicine as well as doctors, nurses and other health professionals who go into the areas of writing and editing. Medical writing is a small profession, with the peak body, the Australasian Medical Writers Association having [Read More…]

1/6 of 2015 commencing medical students won’t be able to become fully qualified doctors

undersupply of medical training places

According to new projections released by the Department of Health, unless there is an increase in the number of post-medical school training positions available, around one in six students entering medical school in 2015 will not be able to complete their medical training and go on to become a fully qualified doctor. Why is this [Read More…]

Medical Career planning statistics for future doctors in New South Wales

NSW medical career planning

New South Wales Health has released information about its plans for the future of its medical workforce. They are looking to match the service needs with the career plans for future doctors. They have released details of the workforce characteristics, demand and geographical distribution across NSW for 48 different areas of specialisation in medicine. The [Read More…]

Optometrists no longer able to independently manage glaucoma

optometrists managing glaucoma

The Optometry Board of Australia’s revised Guidelines for use of scheduled medicines was released on Monday 8th December 2014 with the amendments made to the treatment of glaucoma by optometrists effective immediately. Under the guidelines, optometrists are still able to assess patients for glaucoma, make an initial diagnosis and commence treatment where appropriate, but must [Read More…]

Over 75% of medical students change their first career preference during med school

medical student vocational preferences

The results of the Medical School Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking (MSOD) project have been published, and show that between starting and finishing medical school, 75.7% of students will change their vocational preference. The most popular preferred vocations for students entering medical school are surgery, paediatric and child health and general practice, and for those [Read More…]

Expansion of practice pharmacist role depends on remuneration

Practice pharmacist role expansion

Remuneration is being touted as one of the major issues involved in integrating more pharmacists into general practice settings. According to a paper published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, of the 26 practice pharmacists who completed a questionnaire, most worked as independent contractors in providing services. Practice pharmacists were most commonly conducing [Read More…]

#EZDrugID petition aims to reduce drug errors in Australia


Melbourne anaesthetist Nicholas Chrimes has launched a petition on in an effort to reduce the risk of drug error and increase patient safety. The campaign, which has the social media hashtag #EZDrugID, was started on 9th December, and has had over 280 supporters sign the petition in the first 72 hours. Should ability to [Read More…]

AHPRA stats include more notifications of health professionals

AHPRA 2014 report

There was a 16% increase in notifications made about health practitioners in 2014, with more than 10,000 notifications (called “complaints” in Queensland). The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has released these details in its 2013/2014 annual report. Key statistics in the report include: 10,047 notifications were received in 2013/2014, up from 8,648 in 2012/2013 [Read More…]

Optometrists will no longer be able to independently manage glaucoma when new guidelines are released

Optometry guidelines for managing glaucoma

If you have followed the development of the glaucoma treatment saga this week, it’s been confusing times. The basic plot is that after about 18 months of court action, the Optometry Board of Australia will be modifying its guidelines on glaucoma diagnosis and management. While the current guidelines allow therapeutically qualified optometrists the scope to [Read More…]

Last-minute Victorian election promises include 24 hour pharmacies with night nurses

Victorian election health promises 2014

As Victorians go to the polls today, last-minute election promises have been in full swing in the lead up to the state government elections. Health is always one of the hot political topics, and the two major parties have not disappointed, both coming up with last-minute plans for the health system being released this week. [Read More…]

Are you illegally taking clinical images with your mobile device?

taking clinical images with your mobile device

Whipping out your mobile phone, taking a quick photo of that suspicious rash and texting it to a colleague might not be the way to go according to the Australian Medical Association (AMA). This week the AMA has released a document Clinical images and the use of personal mobile devices which provides doctors and medical [Read More…]

Shortage of addiction medicine specialists in Australia

addiction medicine

The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) has said that the area of addiction medicine is in desperate need of more doctors to train and practice in this area. Apparently there are currently 230 Fellows of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine in Australia and New Zealand (AChAM). The average age [Read More…]

Aussie blokes under 35 who play footy – the likely patients in hospital due to sporting injuries

sports injuries causing hospitalisation

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new report “Australian sports injury hospitalisations 2011-2012.” It is estimated that 36,000 people aged 15 and over spent a total of 79,000 days in hospital due to injury sustained while playing sport. According to the report, around one third of all sports injury hospitalisations [Read More…]

Bonded Medical Places (BMP) and Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) 2015


Update – on 12th May 2015 when the Federal Budget was handed down the government announced that the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) program was closed to new entrants. At that time there were over 1,300 participants continuing in the scheme. Click here for details of the announcement. This is separate to the Bonded Medical [Read More…]

GPs provide over 4 times more MBS subsidised mental health services than psychologists

mental health GP and psychologist statistics

According to information from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), psychologists in Australia provided more than 3.7 million MBS-subsidised mental health services to almost 806,000 patients in 2012-13 and psychiatrists provided about 2.1 million MBS-subsidised services to almost 323,000 patients. It is estimated that there were 15.8 million GP encounters that were mental-health [Read More…]

Very early and extremely accurate diagnostic test for prostate cancer

Dr Judith O'Malley-Ford

You may know Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford from her videos, as the author of The Australian Medical Dictionary or for her work as the editor of the Queensland Prostate Cancer News. She is also the co-author of a paper “Fibre Diffraction Analysis of Skin Offers a Very Early and Extremely Accurate Diagnostic Test for Prostate Cancer” [Read More…]

Optometry Board of Australia’s Chair questions if the way the profession is viewed has changed in 100 years

optometry and ophthalmology

Colin Waldron, Chair of the Optometry Board of Australia, has questioned whether optometrists are viewed any differently by ophthalmologists today compared with 100 years ago. He highlighted this in a recent Chair’s report due to the legal action commenced in the Queensland Supreme Court by the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO) and The Royal Australian [Read More…]

AHPRA seeking health practitioner members for 11 of its 14 boards

AHPRA national board applications

AHPRA is seeking to fill 102 practitioner and community member vacancies on 11 of its national boards. Professions which have board vacancies for health professionals are Chinese medicine, chiropractic, dental, medical, nursing & midwifery, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology. The functions of a national board include the registration of students and practitioners in [Read More…]

How a Short Rural Placement can Change Medical Students’ View about Rural Practice

rural placements change views on rural practice

An article recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia has looked at whether a short-term placement of Melbourne-based metropolitan medical students in a rural environment significantly improves their knowledge of, and their attitudes to rural health issues. Since 2004, all the medical school students of the University of Melbourne have to undergo the compulsory [Read More…]

A chance for med students to WIN a rural placement to the value of $2500

ACRRM President's Prize

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is opening an annual competition, named The President’s Prize, for medical students who dream of experiencing remote practice in rural areas, Aboriginal Medical Service, or local communities. The winner will be given the opportunity to have one to two week placement with a doctor, practice or [Read More…]

$5,000 grants for doctors in training – applications close in November

MIGA grants for doctors in training

The Medical Insurance Group (MIGA) is offering the 2014 Doctors in Training Grants Program for four individual doctors in training of $5,000 each. The grants will be awarded to applicants who submit the most outstanding application, and the funds are provided to assist doctors in training to meet the expenses incurred in their training opportunities [Read More…]

Home Medicine Reviews every two years

Home Medicine Reviews every two years

The Primary Health Care Research & Information Service (PHCRIS) has produced a review of the Home Medicine Review (HMR) program. The main change to the program in 2014 was the requirement of a minimum two year interval between reviews to be conducted for a particular patient. This change has come following the increased uptake of [Read More…]

Life as a Surgeon’s Spouse

Australian Doctor's Spouse Network

My Health Career is pleased to present a guest article from Amanda Low. She is a Registered Nurse, and currently a stay at home mother. She is wife to a Plastics Surgical Trainee (Nelson Low). Amanda is co-founder of Australian Doctor’s Spouse Network – a platform for connecting spouses of doctors for support, advice and [Read More…]

Is another intern crisis on the cards for 2015?

intern crisis

Australian Medical Students’ Association president Jessica Dean has spoken of concerns about the dismantling of the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program having the flow-on effect of reducing the number of intern places for 2015. Australian Doctor has reported on the expectation that 181 intern places will be lost in 2015. It seems that Australia could [Read More…]

The shift in medicine and how future doctors should be prepared

The future of medicine

A recent study by Martyn R Partridge, published in the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians has highlighted the need for the doctors of the future to be trained in accordance with the health burden that has changed across the globe. This shift included the: Changing patterns of disease and the need to change [Read More…]

Doctors accuse pharmacists of planning to “plunder primary care” with 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement

6th Community Pharmacy Agreement

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has made no secret that one of the objectives for the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) is for pharmacies to step up and provide a broader array of health services to their patients. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has hit back at the Guild proposing that pharmacies provide government funded [Read More…]

Peripheral artery disease

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is an example of a condition that can be associated with serious systemic complications and be picked up by a podiatrist. Here are some of the basics about this condition: Definition –  Peripheral artery disease is a circulatory problem whereby there is reduced flow of blood to the limbs as a [Read More…]

The Role of GPs in Australia – by Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford

Dr Judith O'Malley-Ford

My Health Career is pleased to present a guest article by Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford, a general practitioner on Brisbane’s north side. She is the author of the Australian Medical Dictionary, and has a website “Recently, I spoke to a group about the role of the General Practitioner in the community, about the complexity of [Read More…]

Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge 2014….. and the winners are….

Team UQ

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Master of Ceremonies at the Australian HealthFusion Team Challenge. Being offered such a great opportunity is a bit of a privilege, and although I was keen to take part in the day, I was also a bit daunted as it is such a full [Read More…]

Two Australian medical students win a private meeting with Bill Gates!

Microsoft Corp Imagine Cup World Champion

Two medical students from the Monash University, Jennifer Tang and Jarrel Seah, have won the 2014 Imagine Cup World Finals in World Citizenship category, presented their screening tool for anaemia, called Eyenaemia. Eyenaemia is a mobile application to diagnose anaemia. It is worked by screening our eyes on the camera phone and analyses the conjunctiva [Read More…]

You’ve Been Subpoenaed – tips for doctors in making it through this nerve-wracking time!

junior doctor witness court

My Health Career would like to thank rural GP Dr Melanie Clothier for allowing us to re-publish this post on our site. It was originally published on Mel’s blog Green GP as “You’ve been subpoenaed.” This article is not intended as legal advice. “As a medical student, you hear about doctors having to give evidence [Read More…]

How long does it take to become a doctor?

How long does it take to become a doctor

We are well and truly in the middle of “careers expo season”, and at many of the events I attend, there are high school students who are surprised by how long it takes to become a doctor. It’s an absolute minimum of 10 years following entry from high school….. but it’s not unusual to take [Read More…]

Call for real-time recording on all benzodiazepines and opioids

benzodiazepines real time reporting

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has recently published two media released about opioids and benzodiazepines and the need for real-time reporting. The first was Pharmacists hail NSW Coroner’s call for real-time recording; calls on Health Minister to act and the second was Opioid report highlights urgency for real-time recording. The NSW Deputy State Coroner [Read More…]

Treating Macular Degeneration – could injections replaced with drops?

Eye drops for macular degeneration

How would you feel about having to see an eye specialist to have injections in your eye on a regular basis in an effort to save your central vision? I’m sure it’s not pleasant. As an optometrist, I have more patients that I can count having injections every 4 to 12 weeks to help resolve [Read More…]

AMA Updates Website Information for Interns and Residents

medical interns and residents

The Australian Medical Association has recently updated the information on their careers advisory service website. The information is for intern and resident positions in 2015. The AMA have advised to go to their careers advisory home page, click on the “graduate information” link and then open the “interns & residents tab” (that can also [Read More…]

Would you have a “health check” in the aisle at Woolworths?

Woolworths 1

Woolworths is set to rollout “health checks” in its stores. The checks are to be carried out by pharmacy students, graduate pharmacists and nurses. So far it has been trialled in six stores in New South Wales and Queensland. And yes, we are talking about blood pressure and cholesterol checks in the aisle at your [Read More…]

Scholarship applications open for rural & remote doctors

Remote Vocational Training Scheme

The Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) has opened up two streams of scholarships, with applications open now and closing on 13th July 2014. The two streams are: 1.    A program for doctors working in rural & remote Australia – 22 places annually 2.    An extension program for doctors working in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services [Read More…]

Support for med students and doctors who are more likely to have suicidal thoughts

Doctors and med students mental health

Thousands of Australian doctors and medical students were surveyed regarding their mental health problem, coping skills, and stress levels. According to the beyondblue study, doctors and med students were more likely to experience psychological distress and suicidal thoughts. Some survey respondents even reported that they were bullied or experienced racism. Chairman of beyondblue Hon. Jeff Kennett [Read More…]

Tamsulosin and other alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists may cause eye surgery complications

alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists floppy iris

This week I went to a continuing education event for optometrists where one of the speakers, ophthalmologist Dr Joshua Hann showed images of complications encountered during cataract surgery due to the patient having a floppy iris. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. He mentioned that alpha-1 adrenergic receptor antagonists were the cause, and [Read More…]

Heel pain – and yes there’s a spur, but it’s not the sole cause of the pain……

Heel pain case study

With two teenage girls and a busy home, Fiona, 43, always had her hands full. Although she had a busy life, in the past six months she had made time for her health by returning to the gym. She was really enjoying her return to exercise and fitness, until she started experiencing excruciating pain in [Read More…]

headspace – why are young people presenting for mental health care?

youth mental health Australia

headspace is Australia’s national youth mental health foundation. It provides young Australians aged 12-25 with mental health, general health, education, employment, and alcohol and drug services. It is expected that there will be 90 headspace centres throughout Australia by 2015. A recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia provided statistics about 21,274 headspace clients [Read More…]

How much do you know about palliative care – really?

National Palliative Care Week

Palliative Care Australia is conducting the National Palliative Care Week between Sunday 25 May, 2014 and Saturday 31 May, 2014 to raise awareness about this growing sector of the health industry. The theme for this year is Palliative Care Everyone’s Business: Let’s Work Together. Palliative Care Australia is inviting everyone, from doctors to specialists, nurses [Read More…]

What sort of doctor do you want to be?

medical specialties

Thinking about studying medicine and want to know what medical specialties are out there? Let’s start at the beginning…..The Australian Medical Association has a page on their website that outlines the pathways to medical school and to become a doctor. For a list of medical specialties that are acknowledged by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation [Read More…]

How will the federal budget affect health professions?

federal health budget 2014-2015

The federal government handed down its 2014-2015 budget on Tuesday 13th May 2014. Click here for the expense measures for health. The government intends for budget savings from health to be diverted to the Medical Research Future Fund to help keep Australia at the forefront of the medical research sector. The budget has not been [Read More…]

Time is running out to register for UMAT

umat exam

The Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admissions Test (UMAT) will be held in testing centres throughout Australia on 30th July 2014. Registrations close at 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time on 6th June 2014. 14 universities in Australia and New Zealand require UMAT for entry into some of their courses. Generally it is medical, medical laboratory [Read More…]

Patients with chronic diseases – which health practitioners are they being referred to?

Chronic disease referrals

The percentile statistics for the use of the allied health item numbers for patients with a chronic condition who are being managed by their GP under an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) plan have been released on the Medicare website. Under this plan, Medicare rebates are available for a maximum of 5 allied health services per [Read More…]

A med student’s first experience with the death of a patient


“The bleeping of the machines had ceased. The ICU was cold and sterile, its pale, washed-out decor reflecting the often bleak outlooks of patients contained within. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the doctors in the medical team I was shadowing, we watched a family saying their goodbyes. But our patient was still alive. For weeks, [Read More…]

Queensland might just #keepourdoctors after all

Keep Our Doctors

A recent report published by the Medical Observer suggested that Queensland doctors are on the verge of agreeing to move to individual contracts. It follows from a media release from stating that negotiations between doctors and the Queensland Government had resulted in an in-principle agreement on the individual contracts. The ignorance of CM readers [Read More…]

Health Fusion Team Challenge registration open to uni students

Health industry report

University students studying a health degree in an Australian university are now able to register a team for the 2014 HealthFusion Team Challenge (HFTC). The HFTC is an award winning program aimed at educating students from different disciplines in the area of collaborative patient care. There are 4 basic steps to being involved in the [Read More…]

Advertising guidelines for health professionals changed… just waiting on official AHPRA documentation

AHPRA Action

AHPRA Action, a campaign led by Melbourne surgeon Dr Jill Tomlinson, to have the Guidelines for Advertising Regulated Health Services changed, has had some success, but is still looking for the guidelines document to be changed. The part of the guidelines in question is in section 6.2.3, where it states that: A practitioner must take [Read More…]

Want to fly to the Northern Territory to inspire the next generation of health practitioners?

NT Rural High School Visits

The Northern Territory Medicare Local is now taking applications for university health students to fly to the Northern Territory to connect with high school students to promote health careers. Participating uni students will have the opportunity to present workshops to high school students to demonstrate the challenges and rewards of health careers, and also share [Read More…]

New framework for medical internships to be implemented in 2014

medical internship

The Australian Medical Council has developed a national standards framework for intern training. The Medical Board of Australia has said that the framework is a major step towards national consistency in intern training, which is necessary as the number of medical interns in Australia has doubled in the last seven years. From 2014, the Medical [Read More…]

Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship program suspended?

Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship

Update – on 12th May 2015 when the Federal Budget was handed down the government announced that the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship program was closed to new entrants. At that time there were over 1,300 participants continuing in the scheme. Click here for details of the announcement.  Update – on 30th October 2014 My Health [Read More…]

Demand for flexible surgical training

Surgical training

In Australia, the demand for part-time surgical trainees is still thought to be markedly unmatched by the actual number of trainees who would like their training to be part-time. In a study conducted through surveying 659 students of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in 2010. From the batch, 31% expressed interest in part-time [Read More…]

Learning to manage medically unexplained symptoms

medically unexplained symptoms

Earlier on in 2013 I went to the PHC RIS conference, and one of the speakers was Dr Louise Stone. She presented a paper she had written in the Australian Journal of Primary Health, titled “Being a botanist and a gardener: using diagnostic frameworks in general practice patients with medically unexplained symptoms.” During the presentation [Read More…]

Concerns about a lack of medical training positions in the future

Medical training positions in Australia

Reports such as Health Workforce Australia’s Doctors in Focus are not the first source of information reporting a maldistribution of doctors in Australia, with more doctors practising in major cities than regional and remote locations. With some universities such at Charles Sturt and Latrobe pushing for a new medical school in a regional location to [Read More…]

2013 international medical graduates from Australian med schools – get in quick for an internship!!

Medicine- international student internships

The federal government has given full fee-paying international medical graduates finishing their studies in Australian medical schools in 2013 a lifeline…. the opportunity to apply for an intern place for 2014 if they have not yet accepted an internship. But these graduates will need to act quickly. Applications for the Commonwealth Medical Internships open on [Read More…]

Being an anaesthetist

Craig Mitchell anaesthetist

Keith is in trouble. He developed sudden belly pain this morning and is now very ill. He has low blood pressure, looks grey and mottled, and his doing his best to cope with his sore, rigid abdomen. He needs an operation now if he is to survive. “We’ll look after you.” Catherine administers a measured [Read More…]

My decision to take a Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS)

Rural bonded GP Penny Wilson

Update – on 12th May 2015 when the Federal Budget was handed down the government announced that the Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship program was closed to new entrants. At that time there were over 1,300 participants continuing in the scheme. Click here for details of the announcement.  Following is the original article as it was [Read More…]

Attention medical students – much needed careers advice as competition for training positions heats up!!

Careers advice for medical students

My Health Career is fortunate to have a guest post from Fay Libman, who is is a qualified professional Career Development Practitioner with over 25 years’ experience in resume writing, recruitment, career reinvention and career coaching. Fay is well aware of the challenges facing local and international medical students regarding training positions as they look [Read More…]

Hot tips for GAMSAT and getting into post graduate medicine!!

Getting into medicine

Are you considering graduate entry into medicine? Or did you sit GAMSAT in 2013 and have concerns about your results? Not sure if you will receive an offer into your preferred course? Recently I was at the Allies for Better Primary Health Care conference, and caught up with Dr Gerry Considine, a current General Practice [Read More…]

Immunisation – why the controversy?!?!


It seems that news stories about immunisation seem to be making headlines every 5 minutes….. and it’s been going on for quite a while now!! On the 21st May 2013, new laws were introduced in New South Wales to prevent children who haven’t been immunised from attending pre-schools and child care centres. Dr Steve Hambleton, [Read More…]

A quick summary about telehealth


Over the years the health arena has experienced drastic changes across the board mainly driven by an increasing rise of medical sub-specialization in the medical field. While general practitioners (GPs) are still regarded as the cornerstone of the health system in Australia, the role of the GP has changed. Previously, GPs mainly depended on their [Read More…]

Australian Medical Association junior doctor survey

Medicine - doctors in training survey

In March 2013, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) released its report titled the “2012 AMA Junior Doctor Training, Education and Supervision Survey”. The survey took responses from junior doctors working in public hospitals across Australia from 18th June to 20th July 2012. There were 1,112 responses from interns, resident medical officers, registrars and fellows.   [Read More…]

National Medical Intern Summit

National Medical Intern Summit

The National Medical Intern Summit was held in Sydney on Friday 22nd February. It brought together the Federal Government, State and Territory Health Ministers, Deans of Medicine, the Australian Medical Association, Catholic Hospitals Australia, the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA). According to a media release from AMSA, they were [Read More…]

Healthy doctors have healthy patients

healthy doctor healthy patients

A recent article in the Medical Journal of Australia’s careers centre has reminded doctors that medical schools and boards have been promoting the concept that ‘healthy doctors have healthy patients’ (and ultimately a healthier bottom line) for many years. Statistically, doctors have the same risks for chronic diseases as anyone else in the community, and [Read More…]

Rural bonded med student loses long-winded battle to switch to regular enrolment

Medicine - MRBS

Shall we start with the moral of the story first?!?!?! If you are accepted into a Bonded Medical Rural Scholarship and want to transfer to an un-bonded place after commencing the course…… be warned….. someone before you has tried and failed. Although…. he did go to court without legal representation…. he chose to represent himself. [Read More…]

What do Gen Y doctors want from a medical career?

Med Gen Y

Medical students and recent medical graduates in the Gen Y age bracket were surveyed or participated in a focus group recently, and  it showed that if they were interested in a career in general practice, it tended to be because if fit well with a desire for work and lifestyle balance. The focus group participants [Read More…]

#interncrisis for Med Students

Medicine - internship crisis

Following is a guest blog post by Dr Gerry Considine, who is currently working as a General Practice (GP) registrar in country South Australia. He has an interest in General Practice policy and reform, and rural GP work.  Gerry’s blog is at My Health Career would like to point out that in 2013, all [Read More…]

A med student answers…. why do you want to do medicine?

Brooke Sachs med student

Following is a guest blog by Brooke Sachs, a med student at the University of Sydney. Brooke encourages you to say ‘HI’ to the health innovations of the future: HIAvenir is an online platform for inspiring innovation in health students and creating change in the health world.   “Inspired by some unwittingly deep questions [Read More…]

Doctors for the bush

Doctors for the bush

Currently, most of the medical training schools in Australia are located in cities. New government efforts will be directed towards developing not only universities for health training, but also better hospitals in rural areas. For wannabe doctors, this would mean two things: a job at the end of your training and an option to work [Read More…]

AMSA calls for an end to UMAT prep courses


The Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) issued a press release in July 2012 calling for an end to commercial Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test (UMAT) courses. AMSA president Mr James Churchill said that some high school students were being charged up to $2,000 for courses making unsubstantiated claims about helping students gain entry into medical degrees. [Read More…]