RMSANZ – What do we do?

The Society, like other speciality societies of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), organises clinical meetings, has branches which meet in various states and is able to pursue special interests. Scientific meetings by the Society are run for profit and the profit is kept for the benefit of their members.

The Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) is legally incorporated and separate from the college, but it operates in symbiosis with the college under the provisions of a memorandum of collaboration between the society and the RACP/AFRM.

The RMSANZ was established in February 2015 with one of its major objectives being to facilitate a more targeted, responsive and effective advocacy model for rehabilitation medicine, rehabilitation physicians and their patients. The RACP with the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFRM) has retained its core educational, training and certification functions. The Society has no role in relation to the training site accreditation and certification of Fellows, which remain with the college.

The full list of objectives of the RMSANZ are set out in the constitution (May 2016), but essentially, they are to promote the specialty and to advocate on behalf of the professionals and recipients of disability services in Australia and New Zealand; to provide a fertile and supportive environment for rehabilitation physicians to meet and deal with their regional interests and to allow special interest groups to thrive; to run annual scientific meetings and other clinical meetings and workshops as needed by rehabilitation medicine fellows and trainees; and to create an environment of professional collegiality and support for members, including trainees and associate members.

The creation of the society has facilitated more effective policy and advocacy activity that is currently limited by college consultation and approval processes. The AFRM has a reduced ability to effectively collaborate with multidisciplinary professional colleagues to provide a strong and unified voice for rehabilitation medicine patients. The increased college processes and associated requirements have reduced the AFRM’s ability to respond quickly to rehabilitation medicine advocacy priorities. The society also provides a vehicle to more effectively engage with multidisciplinary groups with associate membership available.

RMSANZ has established five active SIGs:

  • Disaster Rehabilitation
  • NeuroRehab (currently encompassing TBI & Stroke)
  • Pain
  • Private Practice
  • Prosthetics & Orthotics

In the words of the first President of the RMSANZ, Dr Alex Ganora, the Society “is a complementary organisation which fulfils the needs of our profession in the face of organisational constraints within the RACP. The Society fills the void and completes the jigsaw puzzle of the RACP and its specialty societies. We are one professional group of rehabilitation physicians and our activities are driven not by circumstance but by our own objects. Whether we do it as a Faculty or as a Society, the task remains one and the same. It is no coincidence that the objects of the Society are almost the same as the objects of the Faculty and of the College which preceded the faculty, because those objects encapsulate the aspirations of the one group of people, namely us. Vocational training continues through the Faculty, and we can run scientific meetings, our SIGs and Branches through the Society.”

Photo 7 History
Canva - Man with Leg Prosthesis Running at Rio 2016 Olympics