Medical Training Review Panel: thirteenth report

Royal Australasian College of Physicians

Page last updated: April 2010

Training Program

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) provides vocational training programs in adult medicine and paediatrics and child health through its Division of Adult Medicine and Division of Paediatrics and Child Health. The college also incorporates the faculties of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Public Health Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine, the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (JFICM) with ANZCA, and the Chapters of Palliative Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Sexual Health Medicine. Each of these has separate training programs that are described in separate sections in this appendix.

Basic Training - Adult Medicine and Paediatrics and Child Health

The new Physician Readiness for Expert Practice (PREP) program includes three years basic training designed to provide trainees with a multi-specialty foundation by introducing and developing the range of core knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required to become a competent physician or paediatrician.

Advanced Training - Adult Medicine

The subspecialty areas for advanced training in adult medicine are cardiology, clinical genetics, clinical pharmacology, endocrinology, gastroenterology and hepatology, general medicine, geriatric medicine, clinical haematology, clinical immunology and allergy, infectious diseases, medical oncology, nephrology, neurology, nuclear medicine, palliative medicine, respiratory and sleep medicine, and rheumatology.

There are also six specialty areas for advanced training in adult medicine conducted jointly with other specialist colleges:
  • haematology, immunology and allergy, endocrinology and chemical pathology and infectious diseases and microbiology, with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA);
  • nuclear medicine with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR); and
  • intensive care medicine with the JFICM.

Advanced Training - Paediatrics and Child Health

The subspecialty areas of training in paediatrics and child health are cardiology, clinical pharmacology, clinical genetics, clinical haematology, community child health, endocrinology, gastroenterology and hepatology, general paediatrics, infectious diseases, medical oncology and haematology, neonatal and perinatal medicine, nephrology, neurology, nuclear medicine, paediatric emergency medicine, palliative medicine, respiratory and sleep medicine, and rheumatology. There are also six specialty areas for advanced training in paediatrics and child health conducted jointly with other specialist colleges:
  • child and adolescent psychiatry with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry;
  • haematology, immunology and allergy, endocrinology and chemical pathology and infectious diseases and microbiology with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia;
  • nuclear medicine with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists;
  • paediatric emergency medicine with the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine;
  • paediatric rehabilitation medicine with the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine; and
  • intensive care medicine with the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

Trainee Selection

Applicants for basic training must have successfully completed a medical degree and an internship year, and be currently employed in a suitable training position in an accredited hospital, as confirmed by the Director of Physician/Paediatrician Training within the hospital.

Selection into advanced training in a subspecialty is contingent upon the trainee successfully completing basic training requirements and securing a suitable advanced training position in a hospital prior to submitting an application for approval by the relevant training committee. The college facilitates an online centralised application process for a number of advanced training specialties.

Trainee Assessment

Basic trainees undertake a range of compulsory workplace based formative assessments during training, including significant incident analyses and mini-clinical evaluation exercises. Completion of learning needs analyses, progress reports and regular meetings with educational supervisors are also required. Centrally administered written and clinical examinations must be successfully completed before progression to advanced training.

Advanced trainees are required to submit regular progress reports and complete any additional training and assessment requirements of the subspecialty training program.

On satisfactory completion of all training requirements, trainees are admitted to Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP). Fellowship is undifferentiated; that is, it is not awarded in a subspecialty. Those trainees enrolled in joint training programs with other specialist colleges must complete the training requirements of both colleges before fellowships are awarded.

Overseas Trained Specialists

Applications from overseas trained physicians or paediatricians for specialist recognition in Australia are assessed by the college via the AMC. Assessment of the applicant’s qualifications and experience, including at least three detailed referee reports, against the relevant college curriculum determines whether they are eligible to proceed. Almost all applicants are interviewed to assess their comparability to Australian-trained physicians and paediatricians. Representatives from the relevant subspecialty are involved at every stage of the process. The documentation and interview report are assessed by the relevant Overseas Trained Physician/Paediatrician (OTP) Sub-Committee (Adult Medicine or Paediatrics and Child Health), which determines one of three possible outcomes to the assessment:
  • OTP is deemed to be substantially comparable to an Australian-trained physician/ paediatrician.
  • OTP is deemed to be partially comparable to an Australian-trained physician/paediatrician.
  • OTP is deemed to be not comparable to an Australian-trained physician/ paediatrician and is advised to complete the AMC examination and apply to join the RACP training program
If deemed 'substantially' or 'partially comparable', the applicant is required to complete a minimum of 12 months of prospectively approved professional supervised peer review before being eligible to apply for fellowship. If deemed ‘partially comparable’, they may also be required to satisfactorily complete the written and/or clinical examination before peer review, and/or a practice visit at the end of peer review and /or other further requirements.

Accreditation

The college accredits hospitals and training facilities that provide a suitable environment for physician education. Site visits are undertaken periodically to verify that criteria relating to the environment for teaching and learning are satisfied. Basic training and advanced training specialties all have customised accreditation process with levels of accreditation depending on the teaching and learning opportunities available at the facility.

Further Information

www.racp.edu.au