AMA (WA) Blog

The Australian Medical Association (WA) Blog showcases a range of commentary, opinion pieces, profiles and insightful features – all designed to educate, inform and yes, in some cases, even entertain.

The AMA (WA) Blog can be accessed by members, all other healthcare professionals and the general public.

Blog 1 Dec 2020
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How WA can keep its doctors

You know this means you’ll lose your long service leave.” These were the words from our Director of Medical Services…

Blog 1 Dec 2020
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Old tale of “90% boredom and 10% terror” incorrect

Meet the AMA (WA) Councillor: Dr Celine Baber tells us why she chose Anaesthesia as her specialty and about her…

Blog 16 Nov 2020
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Hospitals need to get the basics right

This year, the Hospital Health Check (HHC) has revealed an area that all health services can significantly improve on –…

Blog 16 Nov 2020
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Morale and culture take a hit but PCH and RPH stand tall

The annual AMA (WA) Hospital Health Check continues to place a significant emphasis on the twin issues of morale and…

Blog 16 Nov 2020
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Access to leave remains an open wound

Annual leave. It conjures up visions of landmark buildings and monuments, sunbathing on beautiful beaches, chasing waterfalls, hiking up rugged…

Blog 9 Nov 2020
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Hon. Bill Johnston weighs in on the AMA (WA)’s negotiations with WA Health

In July 2020, as part of our EBA advocacy, the Australian Medical Association (WA) wrote to Hon. Bill Johnston, Minister…

Blog 5 Nov 2020
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AMA Member Exclusive Cashback Offer – Up to $2,000

AMA members are eligible to receive up to $2,000^ cashback on any loans successfully settled between 4 November 2020 and…

Blog 4 Nov 2020
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Burnt out with no end in sight

Every year, the AMA (WA) Hospital Health Check publishes important data about junior doctor burnout, wellbeing, teaching and training, and…

Blog 3 Nov 2020
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The five key claims WA Health does not think you deserve

Since March 2019, the Australian Medical Association (WA) and WA Health, represented by System-Wide Industrial Relations Service (SWIRS), have been…

Blog 30 Oct 2020
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The true cost of testing the market

In January 2015, Steve Fenner, founding Head of Psychiatry at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) called, struggling to find a lead…

Blog 30 Oct 2020
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From ground zero

There is no part of 2020 not marked forever by the emergence of COVID-19, the devastating impacts of which we…

Blog 30 Oct 2020
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Beyond the call of duty

Being on call is synonymous with doctoring. When I tell non-medical friends why I can’t make it to an event,…

Blog 30 Oct 2020
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Because we’re worth it

Why is it important for GP specialists to have parity with other specialists in pay and conditions in the public…

Blog 26 Oct 2020
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AMA (WA) Patient Assisted Travel Scheme Survey

The AMA (WA) is asking rural and remote doctors to provide feedback on the operation of the Patient Assisted Travel…

Blog 19 Oct 2020
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Intern Diary: Job-share more than fair for intern

Get an insight into how you can make job-sharing for internships work, with all the demands that come with juggling…

Blog 19 Oct 2020
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Test of Intentions

WA has the nation’s highest rate of unintentional drug-induced deaths but where is the will to turn around this unwanted…

Blog 19 Oct 2020
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Tobacco is a sunset industry – Time to hasten its decline

Ending the commercial sale of cigarettes will not occur overnight but we need to start the conversation, writes Maurice Swanson.

Blog 16 Oct 2020
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Survey: WA Doctors invited to take part in our latest survey.

WA doctors invited to help shape WA’s approach to Advance Care Planning education, training and awareness raising. WA Health is…

Blog 16 Oct 2020
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Medical Parenting

During a recent consultation with a mother regarding her young child with an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), I said…

Blog 15 Oct 2020
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Post Training Fellowships

The Australian Medical Association (WA) has recently shone the spotlight on questionable industrial practices involving the local employment of fellows.…

Blog 12 Oct 2020
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Smoking cessation guidelines for patients with a cancer diagnosis

Smoking causes about 21,000 deaths per year in Australia, with about 8,000 of those due to cancer. Whilst most people…

Blog 30 Sep 2020
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The value of entrenched kindness

During times of uncertainty, and in particular over recent months, it is a question that I have often pondered. For…

Blog 29 Sep 2020
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The long, hard-fought journey with non-fatal strangulation

“He pulled me back by my hair and pushed me to the ground. He put his hands around my neck.…

Blog 29 Sep 2020
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The little-known service achieving big things

Trigger warning: The following articles contain references to sexual assault, which some readers may find distressing. A 2019 report by…

Blog 29 Sep 2020
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Whose voice in health?

This year marked the second iteration of the Honourable Roger Cook’s Your Voice in Health engagement survey, which gives WA…

Blog 4 Sep 2020
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Mamma Mia, here we go again!

You must think I’m a terrible mum,” says Megan. She sits down in front of me, having just wrestled two…

Blog 4 Sep 2020
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Intern Diary: Work, network, teamwork

Well here we are in 2020 and what a tumultuous year it’s been in healthcare. As a new intern, a…

Blog 26 Aug 2020
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Burnt out and nowhere to go?

Have you experienced burnout? I have, and what was most shocking from my experience was how quickly it overwhelmed me,…

Blog 10 Aug 2020
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Extraordinary expectations

I’ve always known that to have a career in medicine, you had to be extraordinary. We are reminded of this…

Blog 6 Aug 2020
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Training the next generation should be back on the agenda

Many areas of our society, and our profession in particular, have been dramatically affected by COVID-19. One area of our…

Blog 6 Aug 2020
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Alcohol harm delivered direct to your door

Alcohol brands and retailers have done their best to keep their usual customers drinking during the anything-but-usual past few months.…

Blog 4 Aug 2020
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Meaning from mental illness – my story

In 2017, I was admitted to the mental health unit at the hospital where I work. For two months after…

Blog 4 Aug 2020
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A new way forward for private mental health in WA

Continuity of patient care is an issue that plagues public and private mental health systems, both in Western Australia and…

Blog 3 Aug 2020
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Navigating the COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is simultaneously one of the biggest challenges and opportunities in HBF’s 80-year history. As a not-for-profit fund…

Blog 3 Aug 2020
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Time to bring up the ‘L’ word

Every year around this time, shortages of junior medical staff become apparent. Leave relief pools have disappeared, there are desperate…

Blog 31 Jul 2020
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Asbestos containing materials discovered at Osborne Park Hospital

The AMA (WA) wrote to NMHS following reports that asbestos had been identified at Osborne Park Hospital (OPH). The AMA…

Blog 27 Jul 2020
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Addiction psychiatry training: Lessons WA can learn from NSW

The use of substances including nicotine, cannabis, methamphetamines, alcohol and other illicit drugs remains an enormous public health issue in…

Blog 27 Jul 2020
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WA needs addiction specialists to lead the difficult conversations

Drug and alcohol addiction is a health issue with complex biological, psychological and social aetiology. It is a chronic relapsing,…

Blog 27 Jul 2020
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Addiction medicine SOS

Substance and behavioural addictions are abundantly present in communities, and therefore in clinical practice, throughout Australia. Armchair commentary imbued with…

Blog 27 Jul 2020
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What’s ‘leave’ got to do with it?

Not a week goes by at the Australian Medical Association (WA) without one of our Workplace Relations team members receiving…

Blog 22 Jul 2020
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Automated payments a win for all

Central City Medical Centre is set to become the first general practice in Australia to receive automated payments for pre-approved…

Blog 17 Jul 2020
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New and improved Med e-link

The Australian Medical Association (WA) has launched its brand new edition of Med e-link – in more ways than one!…

Blog 14 Jul 2020
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Uncertainty, COVID-19 and supporting junior doctors

Humans are meaning making machines. We link together information, that is often unrelated, and come up with a story to…

Blog 6 Jul 2020
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Wellbeing must become embedded in the core business of our profession

The mental wellbeing of doctors is, and will remain, a persistent concern. Great strides, however, have been made to progress…

Blog 6 Jul 2020
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General Practice training during a global pandemic – challenges and concerns for the future

GP training is structured very differently from the often rigid arrangements seen in the hospital system, with the vast majority…

Blog 6 Jul 2020
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Raw deal for GP registrars should be no deal

Like all jobs, being a GP registrar has its pros and cons. However, in the 21st century, the cons should…

Blog 1 Jul 2020
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We’re not buying it

Have you ever walked into a supermarket and walked out with a chocolate bar, bag of chips or soft drink…

Blog 1 Jul 2020
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Joining the dots

Medical workforce has always been a challenging issue in Australia. It takes up to 15 years of medical school, junior…

Blog 1 Jul 2020
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The way forward

Over the past three months, there have been many changes afoot in the federal doctors in training (DiT) landscape. Even…

Blog 8 Jun 2020
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Extending kindness…to ourselves

I was fortunate enough in 2002 to attend a talk by Canadian Dr Joe MacInnes, one of the three-member crew…

Blog 27 May 2020
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It’s personal, all right!

Healthcare workers (HCWs), including doctors, run toward COVID-19. After all, medicine is our calling, our identity and the profession that…

Blog 25 May 2020
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Flattening the loneliness curve: Hearing loss, isolation and loneliness

Social distancing and self-isolation are necessary steps in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but for people with hearing loss who…

Blog 25 May 2020
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Junk food marketing in the time of COVID-19

The junk food industry has always been notoriously adept at shifting its marketing tactics according to the season, or during…

Blog 25 May 2020
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Imposter syndrome: Another COVID-19 side effect?

COVID-19. A virus that has changed so much in the lives of so many. Lines at Centrelink. Shops and restaurants…

Blog 29 Apr 2020
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Holding the line

Our latest edition of Medicus was dedicated to those extraordinary doctors who willingly put themselves at risk to serve the…

Blog 28 Apr 2020
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AMA Medical Products plays key role in PPE initiative

AMA Medical Products is playing a key logistical role in supporting healthcare professionals across Western Australia gain access to much-need…

Blog 24 Apr 2020
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Managing your Mental Wellbeing

At a time of disaster and uncertainty, as we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, most people will be…

Blog 6 Mar 2020
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Why doctors are well-placed to advocate for action on climate change

In 2009, the Lancet called climate change the biggest global health threat of the 21st century (Costello et al., 2009…

Blog 5 Mar 2020
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Climate health: What will happen after the Inquiry in Western Australia finishes?

The Climate Health WA Inquiry is nearing completion, with the final report to be delivered to the Minister for Health…

Blog 4 Mar 2020
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While we burn…

There should not be a need for this article. Unfortunately, in a world where fake news is accepted as fact…

Blog 4 Mar 2020
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Align to the science

Almost 11 years ago, the Lancet published its seminal report: Managing the health effects of climate change, calling it the…

Blog 24 Feb 2020
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Why do politicians always penalise General Practice, and not reward it?

Recent policy choices by the Federal Government, to first place a limit on indexing, then restart without any catch-up, once…

Blog 24 Feb 2020
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Right care, right time, right place

With the Federal Government intending to develop and implement a 10-year Primary Health Care Plan, the AMA has developed a…

Blog 21 Feb 2020
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More questions than answers

Even before SARS in 2002, the AMA was calling for the establishment of a national Centre for Disease Control (CDC),…

Blog 7 Feb 2020
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Public Holiday Pay

WA HEALTH PUBLIC HOLIDAY PAY Hours worked on a public holiday shall attract a penalty of 150 per cent, or,…

Blog 7 Jan 2020
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Perkins researcher develops tool to target the right vein, the first time

A medical device start-up established at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, is aiming to help patients undergoing one…

Blog 24 Dec 2019
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Southern Calling

For our final rural trip of 2019, a group of 24 Dr YES volunteers embarked on a five-day visit to…

Blog 23 Dec 2019
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Christmas Kindness on the Wards

There are a few things that can make working the wards difficult at Christmas – being separated from family and…

Blog 23 Dec 2019
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A Wild Ride

The past year in health is best described as a rollercoaster of a year, with some incredible highs, some screaming…

Blog 23 Dec 2019
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Health Dept. on Notice

At the end of 2018, the Australian Medical Association (WA) was looking forward to what should have been a formative…

Blog 23 Dec 2019
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Doctor wellbeing dominates conference

Dr Ahmed Kazmi is a doctor based in Western Australia. He is also based in London. He is also a…

Blog 23 Dec 2019
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Understanding need and improved support for rural registrars

This year Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET) focused its efforts on understanding community need and better supporting…

Blog 20 Dec 2019
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The key ingredients for revitalising General Practice

Traditionally, December is the time when we reflect on the achievements of the year – the highs and sometimes, the…

Blog 20 Dec 2019
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AMA (WA) Evolution – what inspires you for 2020?

As we undertake the next steps of renewal at the Australian Medical Association (WA) in the coming months, the Board…

Blog 19 Dec 2019
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AMA Recruit – Business Services Overview

AMA Recruit has been providing highly specialised and targeted recruitment services across all industry sectors in Western Australia for more…

Blog 9 Dec 2019
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What the TGA ban on certain breast implants means

In October 2019 the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) banned the use and recalled any implants not yet inserted for…

Blog 9 Dec 2019
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Amazing response to Dr YES

Every year, the AMA (WA)’s award-winning Dr YES program engages with around 10,000 students at metropolitan and rural schools in…

Blog 9 Dec 2019
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Learning to be a ‘great’ doctor

As I sit to write my final column for Medicus as MSAND President, it has been nice to take stock…

Blog 5 Dec 2019
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Morale in General Practice: Is the glass filling up?

This month’s Medicus magazine focused on morale in our hospitals – but what about morale amongst us general practitioners? Some…