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Support Projects have been initiated in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Some of these projects have been completed, and others will continue to be supported until 31 December 2015. Summary details of successful projects are outlined below.

2010 Summary of Projects

The College supported 13 projects under the 2010 Rural Support Grant funding and 10 projects under the 2010 Training Network Development Grant funding.

Nine projects funded from the 2010 allocation involved the purchase of microscopes and videoconferencing equipment.  All equipment has been installed and is in use.  A pilot project was run in June and July 2011 using this equipment at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (Sydney) to allow training sessions held for Anatomical Pathology metropolitan registrars to be accessible via videoconference to rural and regional registrars in locations such as Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Nowra, Wollongong and Newcastle.  Feedback on the quality of these sessions has been very positive, and participation in these “Too Hard Slide Seminar” sessions will be offered in this videoconference format for 2012.


(Above: On-line videoconference session of “Too Hard Slide Seminar” with RPAH; Tamworth, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong; Below: Registrars in Too Hard Slide Seminar)

 

Four projects funded from the 2010 allocation focused on the delivery of on-line education programs, and the RCPA website now incorporates an Education Portal dedicated to on-line learning resources using Moodle as the underlying infrastructure and Questionmark Perception as the software tool to develop interactive case studies. The College will continue to build on these resources in the future, and will be undertaking a whole of membership survey later in 2011 to assist in evaluating the usability of the current resources and identify gaps in learning resources that can be managed on-line.

These online education projects have delivered case studies and learning resources for microbiology, anatomical pathology, haematology and also a number of QAP cases developed in each discipline.  It is envisaged that those online learning projects not currently utilising the RCPA Education Portal infrastructure will be integrated and accessible via the RCPA Education Portal in the near future.

Two other projects funded solely under the Rural Support Grant were allocated to Wagga Wagga and Tamworth to increase laboratory space. This has relieved the pressure associated with an overcrowded laboratory, and provided an environment more appropriate for training.

The appointment of the NSW Anatomical Pathology (AP) Coordinator - Dr Louise Hughes in 2010 in an official capacity has provided the College with an extremely valuable resource to address AP training requirements in NSW. Louise was appointed 2 days per week in this role, and has been able to visit each AP registrar in their training laboratory during this time. This has allowed Louise to observe training methods at each site and perform a gap analysis of current training sessions.

There was a 4 day Induction Course held in January 2011 for 20 new trainees which was a combination of presentations and practical laboratory sessions. This role will continue to be funded until 2013.


(Trainees on multi-header training session during January 2011 Induction Course)

Three workshops were also run using 2010 funding – one in Microbiology at Westmead Hospital (ICPMR) and two Genetics courses in Melbourne. The intensive 4 day short course in Medical Genetics and Genetic Pathology was held in Melbourne in June 2011, attracting 140 delegates. This training course was originally conceived to bring together genetic pathology trainees /IMG’s and training supervisors, however the course also represented an opportunity to meeting continuing professional development requirements for medical students – particularly those who have recently become Fellows of the Faculty of Science.  With this in mind, the program was adjusted to ensure the genetic training needs of this wider group were accommodated. The outstanding success and support for this conference and the need to boost training opportunities in this area, it is anticipated future courses of this nature and standard will be offered bi-annually.

2011-2013 Summary of Funded Projects

Projects to be funded under both Rural Support and Training Network Development Initiatives for 2011-2013 have been finalised from the 2011 application round. A summary of these projects to be undertaken are listed below:

STP – 2011 Rural Support Initiatives successful applications

Facility

Discipline

Description of Activities

Northern Territory Government Pathology Service (NTGPS)
Royal Darwin Hospital

Microbiology

Purchase of a microscope with digital imaging capabilities to assist with training and communicating with colleagues throughout the NT network

RCPA

Forensic Pathology,
Anatomical Pathology, General Pathology

Digitalise 250 histology slides over 2 years with diagnoses from the Forensic centres in Perth, Canberra and Adelaide to be utilised as an on-line educational resource for Forensic and AP trainees, as well as those training in Neuropathology and Paediatric Pathology.  These cases will be accessible via the RCPA Education portal on the RCPA website, and will also be used as a continuing professional development tool for Forensic Pathology specialists.

RCPA QAP

Multidiscipline

RCPA QAP will provide on-line educational peer reviewed case studies within each discipline of pathology to deliver training as an on-line service through the RCPA education portal.  Cases may be either reviewing a virtual image (Anatomical Pathology; Haematology; Cytopathology) or scenario based (Chemical Pathology; Immunology; Transfusion and Serology) and participants are requested to provide a response.

In addition to peer reviewed cases QAP will provide Genetics cases covering an extensive range of clinical and laboratory aspects of genetic testing.

Diagnostic Services Pty Ltd

Multidiscipline

Purchase of Videoconferencing equipment and microscopes to facilitate opportunities for scientists and pathologists in continuing education throughout DSPL and the Tasmanian pathology sector 

St John of God - Ballarat

Anatomical Pathology

Purchase of a 8 multi-head microscope to provide weekly training sessions to rural anatomical pathology trainees within SJOG Pathology at the rural Ballart Hospital.  This is an expansion of the Ballarat training program and will provide increased access to quality training.

St John of God - Ballarat

Multidiscipline

Provide funding to enhance Ballarat Pathology Laboratory, and purchase a microscope with side arm for 2 additional viewers.

Orange Health Service

Anatomical Pathology

Purchase of a 5 multi-header microscope for teaching and training pathology registrars as well as allow larger groups to examine and discuss educational and QAP slides and quiz sessions.

RCPA

Multidiscipline

Funding for expansion of BPS MCQ bank

RCPA

Multidiscipline

RCPA Education Outreach Project 2011-2013. Funding for Coordinator for Education to implement supervisor training programs and supporting supervisors in identifying and managing training problems.  This will be implemented through face to face workshops around Australia and supplemented with resources available via the RCPA Education Portal. 

South West Pathology laboratories (Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Albury, Cootamundra, Tumut and Deniliquin)

Haematology, Microbiology, Chemical Pathology, Transfusion Serology, Histopathology /Cytology technical

Funding for videoconferencing and microscopes for 6 rural laboratories to support  the needs of medical scientists and enhance the continuing education of scientists within South West Pathology

Wollongong Hospital and Southern IML

Anatomical Pathology

Conversion of 6 Staff Specialist Microscopes to a double header microscope

Southern IML Pathology - Nowra Lab

General and Anatomical Pathology

Purchase Olympus projection microscope and CMOS linked video camera to be used with the videoconferencing system

Alice Springs Hospital

Haematology

Purchase of a microscope, camera and software to facilitate haematology film training both locally within Alice Springs and via intranet from Darwin. 

South West Pathology
Wagga Wagga Laboratory

Haematology, Microbiology, Transfusion Serology, Chemical Pathology, Histopathology, Cytology

Funding for a demountable building to provide a space for general laboratory education meetings, teleconferencing / videoconferencing education meetings and a laboratory library

Deakin University
School of Medicine

Anatomical Pathology

Purchase of Perspex pots, preserving fluid and display shelving for restoration and use of specimen pots at Deakin University School of Medicine which have been collected from the Austin and Northern Hospitals.

Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists

Chemical Pathology

Funding for 30 training webinars for Chemical Pathology trainees and Medical Scientists over 3 years

RCPA

multidiscipline

Phase 2 of the RCPA Education Portal is the development of the RCPA Digital Library which will provide Trainees and Fellows with a secure and manageable digital repository to store and host digital learning resources.  The digital library will have a cataloguing and searching functionality with access to downloadable resources using a single sign-on from the RCPA website.

RCPA

multidiscipline

RCPA Trainee Research Network Project (2011-2013)

Dorevitch Pathology

multidiscipline

Funding for digital cameras and microscopes and teleconferencing facilities to 5 sites in rural Victoria to establish an electronic means of providing training material to trainees across multiple sites

STP – 2011 Training Network Development Initiatives successful applications

 

Facility

Discipline

Description of Activities

RCPA

Anatomical Pathology

Appointment of Dr Simon Nazaretian as the  Victorian Anatomical Pathology Coordinator and Mrs Aleen Nazaretian as the administrative assistant to coordinate a centralised appointments system and registrar training for the 2012 – 2014 training years

In addition to this, the Coordinator will ensure trainees have access to a broad range of educational resources, identify and establish new educational support initiatives to address any shortcomings in the current system, and establish new programs targeted to rural posts

The Coordinator will visit each trainee in their work environment within the academic year and bring together new trainees in an annual Induction Course, with the first one to be planned for February 2012.

Healthscope Pathology,
Clayton and Rhodes

All disciplines in VIC and AP in NSW

Purchase of microscopes, cameras, projectors and video conferencing equipment to facilitate participation in networked teaching activities for two sites – Clayton (VIC) and Rhodes (NSW).

RCPA

Microbiology

Appointment of an Administrative assistant to coordinate the centralised interviews for microbiology trainees in NSW and ACT initially, with a view to expanding this role to a national level.

This role would also coordinate a centralised collation and curation of microbiology resources required for microbiology training – ideally utilising and online web-based structure which will allow trainee interaction on both a state and national level.

NSW Morphology Training Network

Haematology

Support provided to the NSW/ACT Haematology Registrar Teaching Program to record some content from the 2012 and 2013 lecture series and post this to the RCPA Education portal as learning resources.

In addition to the lecture series, scanned slides for the morphology sessions will also be made available via the RCPA Education portal for online viewing by the trainees.

Pathology Update Meeting Sydney 2012

Anatomical Pathology

Support provided for an international guest speaker Dr Brian Harding, a Paediatric Neuropathologist from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to attend RCPA Pathology Update 2012. 

Victorian State Committee

Anatomical Pathology, Haematology

Funding for continuation of the online Victorian pathology trainee education hub which is a repository used to store and present in digital format the structured educational activities provided to Victorian pathology trainees. 

Currently this is for AP and Haematology streams however there is potential for the future inclusion of other pathology streams including microbiology, chemical pathology and forensic pathology.

This project now also allows for the display of educational resources from outside the formalised training session and is planned that this site will be made accessible via the RCPA Education portal at some future stage.

Forensic Science SA

Forensic

Purchase of Electronic voting System for use at courses

Forensic Science SA

Forensic

Funding for mannequins to be used in sexual assault examination training workshops.