Clinical school newsletter

2010 - Issue 1

Clinical School News

Thank you to teachers & examiners

Thank you to everyone who has helped with lectures, tutorials, skills teaching, clinical attachments and examinations of medical students in Term F between 27 January and 19 March this year. This one-off student cohort progressed smoothly, although it was structured differently to our usual program to take into consideration the availability of medical staff and functioning of hospitals at this time of year. The medical students greatly appreciated the teaching they received during their studies in Child and Adolescent Health. The additional cohort is due to the changes to the 3rd year program that were made following the recent curriculum review. From 2011 onwards we will revert to the normal program of four cohorts of students from March to December each year.


Farewell to:

Lydia Beltran

Lydia Beltran: Lydia Beltran retired from her position as Student Administration Assistant with the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health on 4 January 2010. Lydia had worked with the Discipline for 15 years, since 25 September 1995. Lydia first worked as a Medical Secretary to Professor Elizabeth Elliot before becoming the Student Administration Assistant, where she worked with the Education team on the organisation and day-to-day running of the Child and Adolescent Specialty Block and Stage 2 medical bedside tutorials. Lydia’s capacity for hard work and dedication were exemplary. She endeared herself to a wide range of staff throughout the hospital and will be sorely missed. We wish her all the best with her retirement.

Leanne Mills

Leanne Mills: We farewell Leanne Mills, who left her position as Business and Research Manager with the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health to join her partner in Singapore. Leanne worked with the Discipline for two-and-a-half years and before that worked for Kids Research Institute for seven-and-a-half years. We will miss Leanne’s kindness, her calm negotiation and communication, and her expertise in higher health care and research management.

Welcome to new staff


We are very pleased to welcome Neha Mohan, who has taken up the position of Student Administration Officer following the retirement of Lydia Beltran. Neha previously worked as an administration officer at Sydney’s Carrick Institute of Education, a tertiary educational provider of vocational programs. Before this, Neha worked as a customer service associate at mutual fund company Fidelity Investments, her first position after completing a Bachelor of Economics at Delhi University. If you would like to contact Neha, her contact details are: telephone x53446; and email

Exam question writing workshops

Exam question writing workshops will be held on Wednesday 21 and Tuesday 27 April by the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health. This is primarily aimed at the creation of a multiple choice question exam bank in response to changes in assessment for stage 3. Stage 3 students will now receive a paediatric examination booklet at their end-of-year summative examinations in years 3 or 4. The workshop is also useful for FRACP examination writing and others involved in college examinations. If you would like to attend one of the workshops, please contact

Clinical Reasoning Sessions: Tutor training

Would you like to be a tutor for medical student Clinical Reasoning Sessions (CRS, formerly PBLs)? A CRS tutor training workshop will be held from 10am to 12pm on Tuesday 4 May by the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health. The workshop will be held in the Clinical School Seminar Room. If you would like to attend, please contact

Student News

Student Profile: Martin Langer, visiting medical student from Dresden, Germany

Martin Langer

Martin Langer is a final year medical student from Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, The University of Technology Dresden, Germany. The final year in Germany is comparable to the Australian internship and consists of three 16-week terms: surgery, medicine and one elective. Martin is currently studying at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where he is completing an eight week elective and the eight week Child and Adolescent Health specialty. The 16 weeks in paediatrics will account for the elective period of his internship.

Martin is enjoying the opportunity to learn clinical skills through medical bedside teaching at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. He has learnt a great deal from his clinical placements throughout the Hospital and particularly with General Medicine. Final year medical students in Germany generally learn clinical skills by doing clinical work on the wards, rather than through bedside teaching. On 14 May Martin will return home to a medical term, exams and a doctoral thesis on adult pulmonary embolism. In the future we may see Martin back in Sydney as he plans to apply for a residency position in Australia or New Zealand.

Sydney Medical School has an exchange partnership with Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, The University of Technology Dresden, Germany. Through this exchange, medical students from The University of Sydney can elect to undertake their eight week Child and Adolescent Health specialty block as an overseas substitute block in Dresden. Students from The University of Technology Dresden can obtain a full scholarship from the German DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) to study for sixteen weeks at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Westmead Hospital.

Postgraduate research student profile: Charmaine Tam

charmaine tam

CHW Clinical School PhD student, Charmaine Tam, has been accepted as a participant at the 60th Interdisciplinary Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, in June this year. This is a conference where Nobel Laureates from chemistry, physics and medicine from all over the world come together to discuss their work in science.

Charmaine has been working at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead since 2004. She is a final year PhD student in the Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetes at CHW and is funded by an NHMRC and National Heart Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship. Charmaine’s research interests are in the metabolic and cardiovascular complications of childhood obesity. Her PhD focuses on genetic and cellular changes in fat tissue in growing children and in children with excess weight gain. She has collected abdominal fat tissue samples from over 150 children having elective surgery at CHW. Charmaine learnt immunohistochemistry techniques for analysing fat tissue in children after being awarded an NHMRC Travelling Scholarship, Charmaine spent 6 months in 2009 at Prof Karine Clément’s laboratory in Paris.

Charmaine has had an incredible PhD journey and attributes this to the tremendous support of her mentor and supervisor, Prof Louise Baur, and her associate supervisors Chris Cowell and Melanie Wong. Charmaine hopes that research into early changes in fat tissue during childhood will be important in understanding the pathogenesis of obesity-related complications. She will be doing her postdoc at the Pennington Biomedical Research Institute in Louisiana.

Postgraduate research student graduations

Congratulations to Jane Seto on completion of her PhD The effect of alpha -Actinin-3 deficiency on skeletal muscle, exercise and ageing. Supervisors were Kathryn North and Nan Yang.

Diary dates for everyone: University Graduations: 7 May and 17 December 2010

Grants, Achievements, Promotions and Titles


Professor John Christodoulou has been honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his service to human genetics, particularly the metabolic disorders of children.

Charmaine Tam awarded a place in the prestigious Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau 27 June to 2 July 2010.

Dr Vijay Kumar will work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna for 6 months as a Consultant under a special services agreement. The appointment is under UN banner with diplomatic status. He primarily he will be dealing with TC (technical co-operation between member nations) and some CRP (co-ordinated research projects) mainly multi-centre international research in the Nuclear Science & Nuclear Medicine divisions of IAEA in Vienna.


Prof. Jonathon Craig, Prof. L Irwig, Prof. G Salkeld, Prof. P Glasziou and A/Prof. P Macaskill: NHMRC Program Grant – Screening and Test Evaluation Program (STEP): improving the evaluation and use of tests for screening, diagnosis and monitoring in healthcare. $8,915,000.


Oncology Research Unit: Yuyan Chen – Training Fellowship; Nancy Martin La Rotta – Biomedical Scholarship

Endocrinology: Myra Poon – Clinical Scholarship

Nuclear Medicine: Kevin London – Biomedical Scholarship

Centre for Kidney Research: Aniruddh Deshpande – Biomedical Scholarship

Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research: Jennifer Lorenzo – Biomedical Scholarship; Frances Lemckert – Biomedical Scholarship


Upcoming conferences and meetings

The 3rd World Congress on Controversies to Consensus in Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension (CODHy): Czech Republic - 13-16/05/2010
The 3rd World Congress on CODHy will take place in Prague, Czech Republic from 13 - 16 May 2010. For more information, please visit the website. Abstract submission deadline is 19 February 2010.
Eating Disorders - Meeting the Challenge Conference: Homebush, NSW - 27 & 28/05/2010
This conference will be held on 27 & 28 May 2010 at Homebush, Sydney. There will be a training day on 29 May 2010. For more information, please visit the website.

The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Clinical Paediatric Update: Melbourne - 5-6/06/2010
The annual weekend 'Clinical Paediatric Update' @ the Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Melbourne, is to be held on the weekend 5 - 6 June 2010. Please put the dates in your diary! The CPU focuses on clinically based practice for the general paediatrician. It comprises updates, case presentations and interactive forums/workshops. More information regarding the program details will be available at the website, or email.

26th International Congress of Pediatrics (ICP 2010): South Africa - 5-9/08/2010
The 26th International Pediatric Association's Congress of Pediatrics - ICP 2010 will be held from 5 - 9 August 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. This international paediatric congress will provide paediatricians with a crucial insight into vital issues affecting the health of children all over the world. For more information, please visit the website.
Congress Abstract Deadline: 10 February 2010
Early Registration Deadline: 31 March 2010
The RACP will host ICP2013 in Melbourne in August 2013.

Paediatric Perioperative Seminar
The Children's Hospital at Westmead Paediatric Perioperative Seminar "Spring with the Kids" will be held on 11th September 2010 at The Sebel Hotel Parramatta, NSW.

For more information contact Claudia Watson Telephone: (02) 9845-2112 or

Excellence in Paediatrics: London - 2-4/12/2010
Excellence in Paediatrics 2010 is the second in a series of annual international conferences in the field of paediatrics. It will be held in London from 2 - 4 December 2010. Deadline for abstract submission is 10 September 2010. Deadline for early registration is 3 September 2010. For more information, please visit the website


University Library Services @ CHW Clinical School

Whether you’re a Sydney Medical Program student, a researcher or clinician employed or affiliated with the University of Sydney, we have a range of services available to help you use our resources, find information and access the collection when and where you need it.

For further information on Subject Guides; Document Delivery; Help with your Research; Tutorials and Workshops; Citing & Referencing, and CHW on-site Workshops, CLICK HERE.