October 17, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Deakin Medical School is Victoria’s first regional and rural medical school. The mission of the school is to help reduce the chronic shortage of doctors in rural and regional Australia by training students in this particular field. This is done through a series of well-planned, high quality experiences in rural locations at different stages during the course.
As part of the rural experience, all students compulsorily undertake a week long ‘Inter-Professional Learning’ placement at a rural location. In addition, for the clinical component of the course in years 3 & 4, one third of the total number of students is placed in a Rural Clinical school based in a regional hospital. A further 20 students undertake their year 3 attached to a regional general practice where they interact with the local hospital.
While these short term placements will initially be only for the General Practice rotation, the school is exploring more opportunities to expand rural experiences so that students get to select the type and location of their rural placement. Towards this end the school is planning on changing the course model to one where 100% of the students will undertake at least 4 weeks in rural placement.
The first two years are conducted at the University’s Geelong Campus. Problem-based learning is the primary learning method during these two years. This is supplemented by lectures, practical classes and clinical experience in hospitals and other health services in the Geelong region. Students are introduced to clinical experiences early in the first year itself. A ‘’Transition to Clinical Practice’ rotation at the end of year two helps students consolidate clinical skills in preparation of the third and fourth years.
During the 3rd year, students undergo clinical training at one of the clinical schools in Western Victoria. Clinical education is coordinated through a series of placements in different settings, from hospitals and ambulatory settings to health services and general practices. Students working away from major centres are well supported through online delivery of most curriculum materials.
During the first half of the 4th year, students do a series of rotations in General Practice, Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care, Anaesthetics, and Aged Care. The major exit exam is held in the middle of year. This is followed by a pre-internship ‘selective’ in a regional hospital, a ‘selective’ in an ambulatory setting and an elective, which can be taken either in Australia or abroad.
On obtaining an Australian medical degree, all graduates necessarily do one year as interns in training at accredited hospitals. Graduates are licensed to practice in Australia and New Zealand after satisfactorily completing the intern year.