The University of Melbourne has been awarded $1.9million from the Federal Government to build teaching facilities for medical students in GP clinics and Community Health Services in Melbourne’s rapidly growing northern and western suburbs.
The funding has been provided under the Federal Government’s $90 million Innovative Clinical Teaching and Training Grants which aim to boost the number of clinical teaching and training opportunities around Australia.
Professor Jane Gunn, Head of the Department of General Practice said the grant recognised the innovative educational program CRESCENT, developed by the University of Melbourne with the newly created community orientated Clinical Schools at Sunshine and Northern Hospitals, which will enable medical students to gain critical primary care experience on top of hospital training.
The program also aims to strengthen the GP network and boost recruitment for community GP clinics in Melbourne’s northwest corridor.
“This is the first program of its kind in metropolitan Melbourne where students become an integral part of a practice one day a week for the duration of their clinical training years, instead of one short block of time,” Professor Gunn said.
“This model of teaching focuses on students experiencing continuity of care and learning about management and prevention of complex chronic long term health issues, which initially present largely in community clinics.”
“This is particularly critical in the growth areas of the northwest which have huge cultural diversity and complex health conditions,” she said.
Twenty one primary care clinics in Melbourne’s northwest will establish dedicated student consulting rooms and learning hubs for University of Melbourne students from medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and psychology clinical training courses.
The clinics include three Aboriginal Medical Services, four Community Health Services and one GP Super Clinic.
The grants awarded to the clinics range from $5,000 – $250,000, depending on the capacity of the clinic to take students.
Professor Gunn said the funding complemented the University’s clinical training programs in hospitals and provided them with further direct responsibility of patient management and care, whilst still under supervision.
“With the implementation of the University of Melbourne new graduate MD in 2011, this program reflects the University’s move to transform the medical curriculum to meet the complex challenges of the health sector. In this case, towards a primary care orientated preventative and health maintenance system,” she said.
“This is a win for the community and a win for medical training. Ideally we would like to see these students who get a rewarding training experience in the GP clinics, return to General Practice or community based specialist practice to boost the number of doctors for these largely underserved regions.”
The program will be piloted in 2011.
Contact Rebecca Scott
University of Melbourne
Tel: 03 8344 0181