The Role of IMSANZ

What are the roles and functions of IMSANZ?

Since its inception in 1997, IMSANZ has expended considerable effort in defining and publicising the role and attributes of the general physician, and acting as advocate for specialist practitioners of GIM within both government and college circles. The role of the general physician and of GIM in medical specialist care in Australasia is currently undergoing a renaissance as state and federal governments seek out consultant physicians with broad skills who can provide specialist care in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams to populations with complex, chronic, multi-organ system problems.

Events continue to reflect the need for the specialist workforce to maintain adequate numbers of physicians who practice GIM as well as satisfactory levels of competency in GIM skills for all physicians regardless of specialty and particularly to encourage dual training for physicians in general and acute medicine along with another specialty. The drivers for this return to generalism are outlined in the “Restoring the Balance” document available on the website or through the secretariat. In addition to this move towards generalism the last few years has seen a resurgence of interest in the interface between emergency and internal medicine with the development of acute medicine as an area of interest in practice for general physicians and with this the development of acute medicine units. These units encourage a multidisciplinary approach to patient management with this and the role of general physicians in the team care of chronic disease, it has been determined by the membership of the Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand to open up its membership to all healthcare professions working in these specialist areas.

The Society has been very active in recent years on several other fronts including:

  • rural physician workforce and training issues;
  • health policy making with respect to GIM and Acute Medicine;
  • RACP Clinical Support Systems Program and Better Practice Initiative;
  • participation in the expanded specialist training program;
  • continuing medical education by way of organising international, national and state/regional scientific meetings and reviewing draft national clinical guidelines produced by specialty societies or foundations;
  • health service research and clinical epidemiology, with publications in international and national peer-reviewed journals;
  • opinion work on the role of hospitalists and hospitalism;
  • collaboration between GIM and geriatric medicine in providing optimal elderly care;
  • representation of GIM on the editorial board of the college journal;
  • participation in the development of the college myCPD program;
  • participation in the college Educational Strategy Taskforce review of the current training program;
  • active involvement in the basic training curriculum;
  • development of the advanced training curriculum in general and acute medicine;
  • establishment of links with regional medical societies including work in Fiji; maintenance of international links such as those with the Society of Acute Medicine in the UK;
  • health consultancies to health ministries of Laos and Nauru.

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