Stethoscope is a weekly blog created by AMA Victoria. It aims to help members stay up to date on medical news and policy, and provide opinion and profiles on people of interest in medicine.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for updates.
#242 New heart and diabetes research centre
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has established a unique, community-based research facility in Melbourne’s outer west.
#241 Little support for GP role in mental health care
A proposal to scrap GP mental health treatment plans would undermine the holistic approach needed to care for patients.
#240 Feedback wanted: Health information sharing legislation
The DHHS is requesting feedback on proposed amendments to legislation on the sharing of clinical information between public hospitals and health services.
#239 Feedback wanted: Inquiry into COVID-19 contact tracing
The Legal and Social Issues Committee is requesting evidence for an inquiry into the Victorian Government’s contact tracing system and testing regime.
#238 NotYoga 2020: Online health and wellbeing symposium for doctors
A one-day symposium with inspiring speakers to build a community, tackle the big issues and improve conditions.
#237 TAC patients and when to seek approval
The TAC has announced that it is providing greater clarity about when doctors need to seek TAC approval for treatment and services.
#236 Companionship phone service run by healthcare students
Conversation in Isolation is a grassroots organisation that matches trained health student volunteers with community members.
COVID-19: Information and resources for doctors
This is a rapidly changing situation and the information here is updated regularly.
#235 Workplace Relations Update: 29 October
Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria’s Workplace Relations team is working on for our members.
#234 Encouraging kindness in the healthcare sector
The Gathering of Kindness is a movement that encourages a culture of kindness within healthcare workplaces.
#233 TAC Opioid Management Plan trial
The TAC is now trialling an Opioid Management Plan to identify and support those at risk from high-risk prescription medicines.
#232 Cancer Care Never Stops communication resources
The VCCC is running an awareness campaign after recent data has shown a significant drop in cancer pathology notifications, screening, appointments and procedures.
#231 New national framework to support mental health and wellbeing of Australian medical professionals
The Every Doctor, Every Setting: A National Framework has been launched as part of a national commitment to prioritise the mental health of Australian doctors.
#230 Workplace Relations Update: 15 October
An update on the issues AMA Victoria’s Workplace Relations team is working on for our members.
#229 GP registrars encouraged to prioritise wellbeing following exam distress
AMA Victoria acknowledges the distress caused by the cancellation of the RACGP fellowship examinations and the recent issue with the ACRRM exam.
#228 Federal Budget 2020 summary
AMA Victoria’s accounting and taxation preferred partner, Bongiorno Group, summarises the key information from the Federal Budget.
#227 Webinar: Taking action on the mental health of doctors and medical students
The webinar will discuss how the Every Doctor, Every Setting: A National Framework can support significant reform and change.
#226 Pandemic spending at centre of Federal Budget
Dr Omar Khorshid has commended the Federal Government’s $16 billion COVID-19 health response and further stimulus spending.
#225 2021 Influenza Season - a letter from the Acting Chief Medical Officer
"I am writing to encourage your members to consider their influenza vaccine requirements and commence preparations for the 2021 influenza season."
#224 Thunderstorm Asthma Public Health Campaign 2020
More than ever before, this year it is important to manage any hay fever or asthma symptoms.
#223 Workplace relations update: 1 October
An overview of the work currently being done by our Workplace Relations team.
#222 JobKeeper 2.0 – payment extension explained
To help you test your eligibility to continue to receive JobKeeper, we explain the revised eligibility tests and relevant dates.
#221 Urgent action needed now in aged care
Dr Omar Khorshid and Annie Butler have written to Scott Morrison to express their concerns about the impact of the pandemic on aged care residents and staff.
#220 Mental Health Report Release - Nowhere Else to Go
This week marks the release of the latest development in the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine’s advocacy focussed on improving mental health services in Australia.
#219 Telehealth extension will help patients
The extension of Medicare rebates for COVID-19 telehealth consultations for a further six months will help patients and practices through the pandemic.
#218 Victorian Workers’ Compensation – Survey Extension
This survey offers members of the public the opportunity to provide their opinions on Victoria’s complex claims management.
#217 2020 influenza vaccines - It’s not too late to get vaccinated
There is still an opportunity to offer the influenza vaccine this season.
#216 Workplace relations update
An overview of the work currently being done by our Workplace Relations team.
#215 Are you working in isolation due to COVID-19?
We are seeking expressions of interest for participation in a trial series of sessions to link doctors in a virtual community of practice.
#214 Extension of TAC telehealth services
The TAC has now announced it will extend its funding of temporary telehealth services.
#213 Public Health Emergency Order extensions
The DHHS has written to inform us that three existing Public Health Emergency Orders relating to medicine access in Victoria have been extended.
#212 Upcoming wellbeing opportunities for doctors
We are pleased to share information about these wellbeing activities for doctors and medical students.
#211 Media and advocacy highlights
An overview of AMA Victoria's recent media appearances and advocacy efforts.
#210 Launching our new Leadership Coaching Program
We are very pleased to launch AMA Victoria’s new Leadership Coaching Program, designed to support doctors at different stages of their career.
#209 CityLink toll credits during Stage 4 restrictions
Transurban has reached out to AMA Victoria to express its thanks to members and advise of financial support to healthcare worker during Stage 4 restrictions.
#208 Routine childhood vaccination: Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Data shows that parents are forgoing or delaying vaccines due for their child as a consequence of the pandemic.
#207 COVID-19 is an occupational health and safety issue
On behalf of members we have been lobbying the government to improve the supply and standards for the use of PPE.
#206 Counselling available for stressed doctors
We know that Victorian doctors and medical students are experiencing additional stressors just now. It’s a really tough time.
#205 Don't Delay Campaign
Today, Cancer Council Victoria launches its campaign reminding Victorians that other medical issues don’t stop because of COVID-19.
#204 Book your 15-minute resume check-up
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new member benefit - the 15-minute resume check-up.
#203 Calls for urgent Senate hearing
The AMA has called for the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 to urgently conduct further hearings to consider the Victorian outbreak and the impacts on healthcare workers.
#202 Medical Specialist College Exams
The DHHS has published a guidance note on Medical Specialist College Exams scheduled during the current Stage 4 restrictions.
#201 Government urged to extend Medicare telehealth items until March
The AMA is calling for the extension of temporary telehealth arrangements under Medicare.
#200 Fit-testing of N95/P2-masks to protect healthcare workers
New research from the MJA has been pre-published about the importance of fit-testing N95/P2 masks.
#199 Guidance on the use of PPE by health care workers
The Australian Government Department of Health has provided updated guidance on the use of PPE by health care workers in areas with significant community transmission.
#198 COVID Safe plan required by 11:59pm today (Friday 7 August)
It is mandatory for every workplace operating in Victoria to have a COVID Safe Plan prepared by 11:59pm this evening. Here's what that looks like.
#197 Information about permitted work sites operating under Victoria's stage 4 restrictions
Only Permitted Work Premises may operate with on-site operations during the restricted activity period.
#196 Affordable car rentals during COVID-19 restrictions
AMA Victoria has secured an extension of affordable car rentals with East Coast Car Rentals.
#195 Communication and Advocacy Snapshot
AMA Victoria will now provide regular snapshots for members to catch up on our media activities.
#194 New AMA Federal President
Dr Khorshid said governments should increase medical, health and aged care expenditure to combat COVID-19 and help avoid recession.
#193 Television series takes viewers inside RMH emergency department
Emergency is a reality TV series which features RMH emergency physician and AMA Victoria Board member, Dr Sarah Whitelaw.
#192 Emergency accommodation for healthcare workers
The Hotel for Heroes program has been extended to provide accommodation for frontline workers who are required to self-quarantine.
#191 Future mental health system - workforce survey
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has launched a new online survey to gain a better understanding of the frontline workforce.
#190 How to support general practice employees during the COVID-19 pandemic
This advice has been adapted for the Victorian GP practice setting.
#189 AMA Victoria calls on State Government to back a target of zero healthcare worker deaths from COVID-19
AMA Victoria has backed an open letter signed by 4,617 healthcare workers across Australia regarding their concerns about workplace health and safety.
#188 Changes to Medicare-funded telehealth services
Changes to telehealth services have come into effect which limit COVID-19 Medicare telehealth items.
#187 Research into gender pay equity in healthcare
The Victorian Equal Opportunity Commission wants to hear about the experiences from employees in healthcare.
#186 Victoria’s health sector set to be recognised for sustainability leadership and innovation
Entries are now open for the 18th Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2020.
#185 Advice for GPs with patients in the public housing towers
GPs are asked to proactively check details for patients who may be residents of the public housing towers and assist if necessary.
#184 SafeScript supports regulatory changes during COVID-19
Using SafeScript to make informed clinical decisions is more important than ever.
#183 Telehealth must remain an integral part of Australian health system
The AMA has reiterated its call for broader access to Medicare-funded telehealth consultations.
#182 July Vicdoc out now!
The new digital Vicdoc magazine is now online for you to access on your smartphone, tablet or desktop.
#181 Increase to minimum rates of pay
The Fair Work Commission has made some changes after the recent Annual Wage Review.
#180 How SafeScript can help during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic it remains important to check SafeScript when prescribing a monitored medicine.
#179 Lockdown lessons: The unexpected upsides of Zoom
Zoom has completely opened up educational opportunities, says Dr Sonia Srinivasan
#178 National Immunisation Program changes
From 1 July 2020, several changes to the National Immunisation Program will come into effect.
#177 New take on paediatric care produces positive results
An Australian pilot study has found that having paediatricians in GP clinics reduced ED referrals and unnecessary prescriptions.
#176 Drs4Drs: a mental health service for doctors
Doctors and med students now have access to free, confidential telehealth mental health services.
#175 Changes to modern awards – important information for medical practices
The Fair Work Commission has confirmed that new awards will start taking effect throughout 2020.
#174 Meet the WR team: Dr Karla Villafana-Soto
Meet our Workplace Relations team! We are available to assist any member experiencing issues or seeking advice relating to their workplace.
#173 Queen’s Birthday honours for AMA Victoria members
AMA Victoria would like to congratulate all of our members who were recognised with Queen’s Birthday honours.
#172 New measures to reduce harm from prescription opioids amongst raft of PBS changes
Opioid medications will now be available in smaller quantities and patients must meet eligibility requirements.
#171 Forced annual leave is not on
Remember: no health service has a right under the Fair Work Act to direct a doctor to take leave.
#170 Pandemic Kindness Movement supports the wellbeing of health workforce
A group of clinicians across Australia has established a new wellbeing support website for healthcare workers.
#169 Arthritis Australia launches rheumatoid arthritis patient-support website
Arthritis Australia has launched a new online rheumatoid arthritis patient-support website.
#168 Meet the WR team: Stuart Miller
Meet our Workplace Relations team! We are available to assist any member experiencing issues or seeking advice relating to their workplace.
#167 The new wave of silicosis
Despite silicosis being one of the oldest known lung diseases - and one we thought had all but disappeared - it has re-emerged in the 21st century.
#166 Financial assistance for Victorian doctors and their families
VMBA may be able to assist Victorian doctors who are experiencing a financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
#165 COVID-19 telehealth reforms must be made permanent
The overwhelming success of telehealth makes a strong case for the COVID-19 reforms as a permanent feature of our health system.
#164 Meet the WR team: Dr Jenny Hellsing
Meet the team at the other end of the phone! Dr Jenny Hellsing has on-the-ground experience relating to workplace issues affecting registrars.
#163 JobKeeper update for doctors and practice staff
AMA Victoria has received clarification on the eligibility of its members and their employees to receive the JobKeeper payment.
#162 Praise for the Victorian response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Associate Professor Julian Rait was invited to make a statement at the Public Accounts and Estimates Inquiry into the Victorian Government's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
#161 AMA Victoria’s Leadership Coaching Program for doctors
AMA Victoria is delighted to partner with Dr Anna Clark in providing a Leadership Coaching Program to you.
#160 The role of women in pandemics
"Pandemics perpetuate gender inequality in multiple domains." - Dr Natalie Sae-Rian
#159 Late diagnosis of type 1 diabetes during COVID-19
The Australian Paediatric Society is concerned about the impact that late or non-attendance of a sick child to a GP or emergency department may have.
The COVID-19 Update aims to provide members with a regular snapshot on this developing situation.
#158 Forging a future for rural specialty training pathways
"The community feel, support from rural staff and magnitude of hands-on learning experiences are just some of the reasons why I have absolutely loved studying rurally."
#157 Mental wellbeing advice during COVID-19
Psychiatrist, Dr Helen Schultz, has some advice on looking after your mental wellbeing for her medical colleagues.
#156 BCG vaccine trial for healthcare workers
MCRI is vaccinating healthcare workers as part of a clinical trial of the BCG vaccine against COVID-19.
#155 COVID-19 minimum standards and PPE in mental health settings
AMA Victoria is advocating for minimum standards for processes and PPE for all mental health services.
#154 New digital Vicdoc magazine out now!
The first edition of the new digital Vicdoc magazine is out now!
#153 SafeScript update
AMA Victoria has asked that the mandatory use of SafeScript in Victoria be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
#152 Cheap car rental service for doctors during pandemic
Many health professionals may be looking for an alternative to using public transport.
#151 Protecting your mental health as a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event for us all. Despite education and knowledge, health professionals are just as likely to feel anxious.
#150 COVID-19 – AMA and government develop improved telehealth arrangements for patients
The $699 million breakthrough agreement was announced on Sunday morning by the Prime Minister and Health Minister.
#149 Heart medications and COVID-19: what health professionals need to know
There are now concerns about a link between ACE inhibitor medications and ARBs and increased risk in relation to COVID-19.
#148 WorkSafe item codes for telehealth are now available
WorkSafe is introducing temporary measures to support the continuation of essential health services for injured workers.
#147 Wellbeing and career support during COVID-19 pandemic
Wellbeing and careers support to help you through these uncertain times.
#146 General Practice and Private Practice Fact Sheet
Facts regarding staff and staff safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
#145 COVID-19 Industrial Question and Answers
FAQs answered in regards to your employment in these extraordinary circumstances.
#144 Testing for COVID-19: advice for doctors
At this time, it is critical that testing for COVID-19 is limited to patients who meet the suspected case definition.
#143 DHHS calling for assistance with COVID-19
DHHS requires qualified medical and infection control staff to support the Victorian public heath response in this critical period of containment.
#142 IWD Member profile: Dr Pallavi Prathivadi
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Pallavi Prathivadi
#141 IWD Staff Member profile: Aspa Papas
This week, we celebrate the contributions our female staff members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Aspa Papas, Workplace Relations Adviser
#140 IWD Member profile: Dr Desiree Yap
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Desiree Yap
#139 IWD Member profile: Dr Catherine Crock AM
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Catherine Crock AM
#138 IWD Staff Member profile: Kay Dunkley
This week, we celebrate the contributions our female staff members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Kay Dunkley, Coordinator of Doctor Wellbeing
#137 IWD Member profile: Dr Ruth McNair AM
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Ruth McNair AM
#136 IWD Member profile: Dr Sarah Whitelaw
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Sarah Whitelaw
#135 IWD Member profile: Dr Marie Bismark
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Marie Bismark
#134 IWD Member profile: Dr Anita Munoz
This week, we are celebrating the achievements of our female members to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. Introducing: Dr Anita Munoz.
#133 AMA Public Health Awards 2020 call for nominations
The AMA is now seeking nominations of people who have made an extraordinary contribution to health care.
#131 A doctors guide to social media
Social media can offer immense professional benefits, or undermine professional integrity and doctor-patient relationships.
#130 Speaking out on climate change threat
The National Climate Emergency Summit presented a series of discussions and debates that tackled the dimensions of carrying out a full-scale response to the climate emergency.
#129 Bushfire smoke clouding our skies can affect our health
While longer-term health impacts of this summer’s smoke pollution are not yet known, there is concern these could be substantial.
#128 Calls for urgent national response to lack of progress in pancreatic cancer outcomes
Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all main cancer types. Despite this, it trails behind other cancers when it comes to funding for research.
#127 The rise of ‘femtorship’ in medicine
Studies have shown that women are more likely to attain leadership roles and be high-performing if they have an inner-circle of women supporting them.
#126 General practice for patients living with obesity
Obesity has multiple, complex causes. This is why generalist, ongoing care from a trusted GP can be a very effective option.
#125 AMA Victoria members honoured on Australia Day
AMA Victoria would like to congratulate all of our members who were recognised with Australia Day honours for services to the community.
#124 It’s time for the fourth wave of general practice
Dr Ines Rio discusses the patient-centred medical home as the bedrock of the provision of healthcare.
#123 Medical scribes could help doctors care for more patients
Patients and doctors would both like to see more of each other and scribes can enable this, says emergency physician, Associate Professor Katie Walker.
Have you been impacted by the bushfire crisis?
Our team is here to support you through these difficult times.
#121 Dr Clare Collins on choosing a specialty
Choosing a specialty is one of the most important career decisions for a doctor. In this series we profile a range of specialists with the aim of helping others who are still to make a decision.
Stethoscope archive 2019
View Stethoscope articles #45 - #120 here.
Stethoscope archive 2018
Delve into first-year Stethoscope articles from 2018.