News in brief: Telemedicine useful for CPAP initiation; Tough times for specialist college trainees; 3 Australian universities among best in world for medicine


Telemedicine useful for CPAP initiation

A telemedicine model of care for CPAP initiation has been shown to be just as effective as face-to-face consultations for people with OSA who live in regional and remote areas.

An evaluation involving 56 people in remote WA found that those allocated to telemedicine (n=56) initiation fared just as well in terms of average nightly CPAP use as those living in metropolitan areas (n=130) who could attend for in person consultations.

Researchers at the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, showed that in after 10 weeks of CPAP trial, adherence was just as good in the telemedicine group as the standard care groups (4.7 hours/night).

No differences were found between groups in residual apnea-hypopnea index, symptom response, sleep specific quality of life at the end of the trial and continued CPAP use (3 to 6 months).

Participants lived an average of almost 1000km away from the sleep study centre and saved an estimated A$4,538 in travel costs by reducing the need to travel for in-person CPAP management, the researchers reported in Sleep journal


Tough times for specialist college trainees

Advocacy for Specialist Medical College Trainees has been boosted via the AMA Council of Doctors in Training (CDT) Trainee Forums, according to the outgoing chair Dr Hash Abdeen.

In his final message the rheumatology trainee said the last two years has been a challenging time for trainees because of the impact of the pandemic on the healthcare system and exam disruptions.

Despite having to communicate and meet virtually for much of the time, he said a restructure of the council with 16 Specialist Medical College Trainee Committee Chairs & Representatives had helped to expand its advocacy.

The issue of trainee wellbeing had also been a priority for advocacy, addressed via the Wellbeing Specialist Interest Group, while the CDT had also contributed to progress in gender equity and flexible training policy.

Dr Abdeen said his successor as CDT Chair Dr Hannah Szewcyzk is an O&G trainee in South Australia and will do a great job over the next two years.


3 Australian universities among best in world for medicine

Three Australian universities have been placed in the top 50 rankings for academic excellence in clinical medicine.

Melbourne University was ranked at 14 in the prestigious ShanghaiRanking (formerly Academic Ranking of World Universities or ARWU) Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, with Sydney University being placed at 27 and the University of Western Australia at 32.

The top rankings were dominated by US universities, with Harvard University, the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Cambridge University (UK), University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University being the top five ranked institutions.

Other Australian universities appeared lower in the global rankings, including Monash and the University of NSW in the 51-75 ranking range and the University of Adelaide and the University of Queensland in the 76-100 range.

Universities are measured on research output, influence and quality, as well as international collaboration and the number of international academic awards.

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