The online Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions equips medical practitioners with an understanding of chronic illness commonly seen in primary care, with an emphasis on disease prevention, treatment and ongoing management.
With an estimated 90 per cent of deaths in Australia having chronic disease as an underlying cause, it is important for GPs to help optimise their patients’ outcomes through primary care intervention.
In this online program, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the management of congestive cardiac failure, COPD, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, chronic kidney disease, and osteoarthritis, to better support your patients and reduce the impact of comorbidities. You will also learn about managing the provision of chronic health care and communicating with your patients to optimise their understanding and compliance.
This course is the first stage of the three-part Professional Diploma of Chronic Disease & Conditions program.
The Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions is for degree-qualified medical professionals who wish to learn how to improve patient outcomes, especially those patients with chronic health issues commonly seen in general practice. This qualification is the first stage of the Professional Diploma of Chronic Disease & Conditions.
This course is for physicians and degree-qualified medical professionals. There are no prerequisites. Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.
Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.
Participants who have already successfully completed the module on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as part of the HealthCert Foundation Certificate of Respiratory Conditions & Infections may request a one-module reduction in fees for this course. The module examination questions will still need to be completed to ensure knowledge remains current.
Course participants will:
Module 1: Communication skills in general practice
This module focuses on applying effective communication strategies to enhance history-taking and outlining management plans in order to optimize the patient’s understanding, compliance and satisfaction. The 10 steps include preparation for the consult; connection or re-connection; information gathering on history and examination; responding to patient’s thoughts, feelings and expectations; formulation of a diagnosis and treatment plan; patient education, managing behaviour change; closing the consult; and preparation for next consult.
Module 2: Congestive cardiac failure (CCF)
This module begins with an overview of congestive cardiac failure including classification guidelines and prevention strategies. The diagnosis, pathophysiology and investigation of heart failure are outlined including charts, diagrams and images. Causes of heart failure including myocyte damage and loss, abnormal loading conditions and arrhythmias are covered. Further information on aetiology and ongoing assessment in CCF where causes of heart failure are not apparent from the history, examination and investigations are outlined. The management and co-morbidities of these symptoms are discussed. The module concludes with a discussion on the management and prognosis of acute heart failure including end of life care.
Module 3: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
This module begins with an explanation of COPD, including the aetiology and pathogenesis of this condition. The module then discusses the COPD-X guidelines to assist with the diagnosis and management of COPD. The COPD-X guidelines include Case finding and confirming diagnosis, Optimising function, Preventing deterioration, Developing a plan of care, and management of eXacerbations. The module concludes with the diagnosis and management of adult asthma, including when asthma and COPD overlap.
Module 4: Diabetes mellitus
This module focuses on diabetes mellitus. This chronic and progressive disease is described, including screening guides and pathology testing to assist with diagnosis. It discusses how to initiate and plan long-term management with the goal to achieving glycaemic control. It also outlines a step-by-step approach in explaining the diagnosis and management to patients. To cover all aspects of care, the diabetes management is broken down into components, including glycaemic and weight control, diet and exercise, lifestyle choices, renal function, eye and foot health, blood pressure, lipids, and comorbidities. The module concludes with the medical management of glycaemia.
Module 5: Gastrointestinal complaints
This module outlines the prevalence of common gastrointestinal complaints and the impact they have on those affected by them. It contains diagnostic and management tools and considers management options when complications occur. An overview of the GI tract and classifications of gastrointestinal disorders are detailed. There is focus on the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders including coeliac disease, GORD, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical cases are presented for each disorder with suggested approaches to diagnosis, investigations, treatment and management of these conditions.
Module 6: Chronic kidney disease
This module begins with an overview of chronic kidney disease and discusses the method of detecting and evaluating this condition. It then explains the diagnosis and management of this disease. Ways to delay the progression of chronic kidney disease including lifestyle choices, how to prevent an acute kidney injury, and management of blood pressure and albuminuria are outlined. Possible complications including hypertension, anaemia, mineral and bone disorder, oedema and metabolic acidosis are discussed in detail. The module concludes with the management of chronic kidney disease in the context of multi-morbidity and outlines commonly prescribe drugs that can exacerbate kidney function.
Module 7: Osteoarthritis
This module outlines how to diagnose and manage osteoarthritis to achieve functional gains, utilising lifestyle changes and appropriate pharmacological treatment. It includes how to conduct an examination and assessment of osteoarthritis and discusses the diagnostic criteria in diagnosing knee and hip osteoarthritis. It explains the role of imaging, differential diagnosis and investigations used to diagnose this condition. The main goals of osteoarthritis management including non-pharmacological therapies, patient education and goal setting are discussed in detail. The module concludes with a case study that focuses on developing an osteoarthritis management plan to achieve treatment goals.
Module 8: Managing the provision of chronic health care
This module describes the steps in implementing a coordinated model of care for the management of chronic disease. The definitions of chronic disease are outlined including the benefits and limitations of guidelines. Patient-centred and collaborative care approaches based on evidence-based medicine are discussed. The module then focuses on the use of chronic disease management models and outlines the major components of high-quality chronic illness care. The module concludes with the discussion of a case study focusing on the preparation of a general practice chronic disease management plan.
*The individual offers and special rates cannot be used in conjunction with any other specials.
Dr Hilton Koppe
Dr Hilton Koppe is a rural GP in Lennox Head, NSW. He combines his clinical work with an active role in medical education, training new and experienced GPs within the region and around Australia. In 2015 he was a guest at Harvard Medical School as Visiting Professor of Medicine and Humanities.
Dr Kate Moriarty
Bachelor of Medicine (honours), Fellowship of the RACGP and a Diploma in Child Health.
Dr Kate Moriarty works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia, where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. She is a senior lecturer for UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus. She has special interests in women’s health and medical education.
She holds a Bachelor of Medicine (honours), Fellowship of the RACGP and a Diploma in Child Health.
A/Prof Debbie Kors
MBBS, FRACGP, Masters of Family Medicine (clinical), Diploma of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Certificate of Family Planning, Graduate Diploma of Medical Education
Associate Professor Debbie Kors is the founder and joint owner of a private teaching general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia. She works there as a general practitioner and GP supervisor of GP registrars and medical students.
A/Prof Kors is a passionate advocate for the profession of general practice. She is a Conjoint Associate Professor in Primary Health Care at the UNSW Rural Clinical School, Port Macquarie campus and has previously worked as a senior medical educator with North Coast GP Training. In 2010, she was nominated for and won the General Practice Education and Training GP Supervisor of the Year award.
A/Prof Kors holds a MBBS (first class honours), Fellowship of the RACGP, Masters of Family Medicine (clinical), Diploma of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Graduate Diploma of Medical Education and a Certificate of Family Planning.
Dr Valia Francis
FRACGP, MBBS, Bachelor in Sciences (First class Honours in Neuroscience), Diploma in Child Health, Diploma of the Royal College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Diploma of Family Planning & Sexual Health
Dr Evangelia (Valia) Francis is a GP. Dr Francis enjoys all aspects of General Practice but is especially interested in skin medicine, women's health and medicine of the elderly.
Originally from the coastal town of Kavala in Greece, Dr Francis is involved in teaching medical students as a Conjoint Lecturer in the Rural Medical School of Port Macquarie as well as teaching registrars. It is a very fulfilling aspect of her work that has been greatly inspired and supported by the senior educators at her practice.
When not at work, Dr Francis tries to fight waves with surf or paddle boards (so far they always win!), is training hard to become the next MasterChef winner, and enjoys reading books and learning new languages.
Dr Sharon Sykes
MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci), FRACGP
Dr Sharon Sykes works in private general practice in Port Macquarie, Australia where she is also a supervisor of GP registrars and of medical students. Dr Sykes served 18 years in the Royal Australian Air Force before becoming a general practitioner. She has a special interest in medical education and has previously worked as a medical educator for North Coast GP Training.
She holds a MBBS, Bachelor of Applied Science (Med Lab Sci) and a Fellowship of the RACGP.
Dr Christine Ahern
Senior lecturer, Sydney University
Dr Christine Ahern has worked as a general practitioner in rural NSW since 1983, often with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her special interests include women’s health and education.
Dr Ahern is a senior lecturer at Sydney University and has previously been the Director of Training for North Coast GP Training. In 2011 she was named the General Practice Education and Training Medical Educator of the Year, a prestigious national award. Dr Ahern holds a MBBS and FRACGP.
A/Prof Nicola Hawley
Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases)
A/Prof Nicola Hawley is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Disease) and Anthropology at the Yale School of Public Health. Her expertise is in the aetiology and prevention of obesity-related chronic disease in resource-poor, low-income settings. Her research focuses predominantly on Pacific Islander populations, although she has ongoing collaborations in South Africa, Uganda, Honduras, China, Columbia and the US.
Methodologically, A/Prof Hawley employs a life-course approach that utilises cross-sectional, cohort, and randomised controlled trial designs to address questions of causality and identify critical periods of susceptibility. She is a mixed-methods expert and an advocate for community-engaged approaches to research, intervention, and development of health policy.
A/Prof Hawley’s current research focuses broadly on: (1) understanding how maternal and child health are impacted by rising levels of obesity and diabetes in resource-poor settings; (2) determining how innovations in healthcare delivery can impact identification and treatment of obesity-related disease during the perinatal period; and (3) developing interventions focused on pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence to prevent the intergenerational transmission of obesity-related disease.
The Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions is fully delivered online. Participants can enjoy the flexibility to study at their own pace, in their own time, within their home or office, and on their favourite mobile device. The modules are set up in such a way that participants are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay the video lectures at their convenience.
The webinars offer the opportunity to join and interact with the presenters online in real-time but can also be viewed later. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within three months of the exam opening date. With no travel, accommodation or out-of-office expenses incurred, participants can build critical skills and tailor their career while working in a busy practice or raising a family.
There are eight units in a HealthCert Professional Certificate program. The course is delivered over 15 weeks with 12 weeks of teaching followed by three weeks for revision and final examinations. The course includes online presentations from experts in the field followed by patient case discussions and decision-making. There is a final webinar prior to examinations. You will also receive valuable 12 months' web-based support from the speakers and participate in regular online learning sessions with the opportunity to ask any questions you might have as you implement your learning.
The course includes:
In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes a professional requirement and two online examinations.
The knowledge-based examination is worth 50 per cent and the application-based examination is worth 50 per cent. The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.HealthCert recommends completion of the assessment at your convenience within three months of the completion of the course (or enrolling in the online course).
Upon successful completion of the exam, course participants will receive a Professional Certificate of Chronic Disease & Conditions.
RACGP: CPD Accredited Activity 40 Points
ACRRM: PDP units: 36 Educational activity, 20 Performance review
This Professional Certificate:
This online three-part program consists of the Professional Certificate, Advanced Certificate, and Professional Diploma of Medical Cannabis.
Certified clinical attachments pathway
Course graduates may continue their professional development by completing a clinical attachment, which are available on request. These will be on a 1:1 basis providing the opportunity to observe clinical nutrition consultation, planning and decision-making and ask questions of the expert. Clinical attachments are available in Australia.
Postgraduate pathway for Medical Cannabis
A postgraduate pathway is currently being identified. Please check with HealthCert Education Advisors for an update.