Please note, this program is subject to change and may be updated prior to the conference.
Attendance is free for AMA members. Non member medical professionals can register to attend a single session for $99, or the entire conference program for $299. A session is comprised of three concurrent streams that attendees will select the session they would like to attend on the event evening through the webinar platform. Continuous professional development hours/points can be claimed for attendance where relevant to your scope of practice.
Wednesday 28 July
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the medical profession globally, and doctors individually, to consider what risk to their own lives (and potentially the lives of their own family members) they are willing to take when treating real or potential COVID-19 patients. As the EMLC is currently updating the AMA policy on ethical considerations for medical practitioners in disaster response, the issue of ethical duties and acceptable personal risk of harm is increasingly at the forefront of discussions.
This policy session would examine a range of ethical issues related to doctors’ risk of personal harm in disaster situations. Doctors were once willing (and expected) to put their own lives on the line to care for their patients but do the younger generation of doctors adhere to this same ethos or has there been a cultural shift over time within the profession? Is it fair to expect doctors to continue to put themselves (and potentially their families) at personal risk of significant harm or death to care for patients? Who decides what level of risk is ‘acceptable’? And ‘acceptable’ to whom – the profession, the community, employers? How should doctors who do not accept such a risk be treated? And how should the community reciprocate in supporting the medical profession?
This session will present varying views on the extent of a doctor’s ethical duty to risk significant personal harm while caring for patients during a disaster. It will assist in informing the relevant policy review process.
Thursday 29 July
The National Medical Workforce Strategy (NMWS) has been developed to provide us with a road map to foster a well supported medical workforce capable of meeting and responding to the health care needs of the Australian community both now and into the future. Sustainability, adaptability, stewardship and digital capability will be key enablers in a complex and changing health care environment, and leadership will be required to build a supportive culture and safe system for all health care professionals to work in. COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of flexibility in working patterns and training pathways and creative careers will be an important expectation for doctors and medical students when thinking about their future choices. This session will explore the drivers that will define the next generation of doctors and what is needed to reform medical education and training and health care environments to meet our future population health care needs.
Friday 30 July
Perhaps more than any other public health issue, speaking out on climate change most often prompts the “stay in your lane” response from critics of the AMA’s position. While climate change is well understood in the common parlance as an environmental, economic, social and even geopolitical issue, framing it as a health risk is relatively new territory for much of the general public. Yet ongoing and dedicated work by health and medical advocacy groups is increasingly bringing this to light.
The AMA’s policy on climate change was first released in 2004, and has grown to become a top advocacy priority. In 2019, our declaration of climate change as a health emergency prompted significant discussion in the media and our membership about the AMA’s stance. Since then, we have followed up with a formal partnership with Doctors for the Environment and public support for a net zero by 2050 emissions reduction target, on health grounds.
This panel will discuss the role of medical organisations in advocating for more ambitious action on climate change. Why is it important that our voices are heard, and how can we best contribute to the discussion? What role do doctors have in what must necessarily be a multi-sector and society-wide response? Local and international speakers will discuss how medical organisations have responded globally and where we can go from here.
Saturday 31 July
10.00am: Welcome by Federal Council Chair
10.05am: Acknowledgement of Country
10.10am: Address of the Prime Minister (Invited)
10.40am: Address from the Hon Mark Butler
11.10am: Address of the New Zealand Prime Minister (on managing the COVID-19 response) (Invited)
11.40am: Shelley Reys AO on what Indigenous Cultural Competence can teach the medical profession about gender equity (Invited)
12.10pm: Address of the Federal President
1.30pm: Welcome by Federal Council Chair
1.35pm: Federal Council Policy Motions
2.30pm: AMSA address
2.50pm: AMA Awards
3.20pm: Conference wrap up by Federal Council
Would you like to present at this year's National Conference? Please submit a 300 word abstract for the Rapid Fire Research Presentation session to firstname.lastname@example.org. Confirmed presenters will be contacted on Thursday 1 July 2021.