Welcome to the latest edition of the College e-news. September was a busy month for the College Trainees, Fellows and staff. It’s been a few weeks since I updated you, so this message is a bit longer. Bear with me, it gets a bit political.
Trainees and SOTs across Australia and Aotearoa attended the SOT Trainee Education and Networking Day. Held as a hub and spoke event in 5 locations, attendees were given the opportunity to connect in person and virtually through group reflections, micro lectures and other practical activities. The dynamics of hybrid meetings are always a challenge to pull together, so I would like to thank Dr Manisa Ghani for her leadership in coordinating this innovative event, and the CICM Events Team for their support in its delivery.
The College is ensuring we are working towards the AMC/MCNZ curriculum standards which are informing our training program development. To this end, I’m pleased to report that the CICM Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Online Learning Resource Package is now available to all CICM Trainees, SIMGs and Fellows. The package aims to support culturally safe practice in our ICU context. This is one of a number educational and strategic steps that we are taking to support the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. More information can be found here. In the broader Australian context, the CICM Reflect RAP has been approved by Reconciliation Australia and will be officially launched soon. I would like to thank the contribution of the working group of staff and Board members who were involved in this work, especially Christopher O’Brien, the College’s Aboriginal Community representative, for his guidance and feedback in the process.
In Aotearoa, our NZNC Chair Jonathan Albrett was joined by Alex Browne to represent us for the first time at the Te Ora conference.
For our assessments, I want to wish the best of luck to all who are preparing to sit (and deliver) the in-person component of the upcoming First and Second Part Examinations. There is a significant body of work taking place to deliver, monitor, evaluate and refine our assessment processes - the details of which will be communicated by the College team.
The College has undertaken two massive building projects over 2022/23: The first was a physical build, the second, a virtual one. The physical build was big, but delivering a Member Digital Portal project that is secure, multi-faceted, integrated and (hopefully semi-automated) is arguably an even bigger undertaking. The MDP continues to be rolled out in stages. What we see as Fellows is only a small part of a much larger structure.
I have personally struggled at times to navigate the two-factor authentication, get used to the revamped CPD categories, and new dashboard. Although an enormous amount has been achieved, it’s fair to say that both I, and the CPD portal remain a work-in-progress. The College IT team have worked hard to incorporate your valuable feedback into staged improvements which will enable the interface we all use to meet our needs. I want to thank you all for your understanding - as the end of the year rockets towards us, I want to reassure you that refining the functionality of the CPD arm of MDP has been identified as a key priority by the College exec and staff. The staff rely on all of us to provide constructive feedback on what is working and what could be areas to develop. I want to thank Paul Brand, Jenny Do and the team for the huge amount of work that they continue to put into this huge body of work.
Sorry, I meant advocacy. These are interesting (fascinating/turbulent/concerning) times globally and locally. As College President I am a Director on the Australian Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, which is an important (but often diluted) voice to the government on matters of training, standards, accreditation and healthcare delivery. The collective challenge of Colleges is to work collaboratively with jurisdictions to be part of a solution to some pretty big healthcare challenges, rather than convenient scapegoats for long-standing systemic problems. We are working hard in an area that remains very much a work in progress.
In Aotearoa things are no less turbulent. As Aotearoa prepares for a General Election, many of our Fellows have been involved in sector-wide industrial action, as the sustainability of the NZ medical workforce dominates the health agenda. As a College, industrial matters are definitely outside of our lane, but I want to acknowledge that these issues place extra stress on an already pressed workforce. As a College, we remain engaged in advising Te Whatu Ora (and the government) on how the supply of ICM specialists can be optimised, dare we say, even enhanced. To this end, I particularly want to thank those involved in the Critical Care Advisory Group led by Dr Alex Psirides for this valuable work.
It's clear to me that for our College (and arguably a specialty), our lane may be narrow, but our view is wide.
We will continue to work hard on things in our control- training and accrediting excellent ICU specialists who work towards the best outcomes for our patients. As a College we work towards making our training program and our voice in the bigger discussions the best it can be. That’s all from me for now. My best wishes to you all.