Country report: Australia

Hays, Richard, Saunders, Nicholas, Schofield, Kathryn, Wing, Lindon, Gordon, Jill, Worley, Paul, Martin, Anne, and Paget, Neil (2001) Country report: Australia. Medical Education, 35 (5). pp. 495-504.

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Introduction The last 10 years has been an interesting time for Australian medical education despite reduced funding.

Workforce There are five main workforce trends: a rural/urban maldistribution, a need for more specialists, public hospital staffing difficulties, increasing female practitioners and under-representation of indigenous practitioners.

Issues facing the Deans Lack of resources is a problem facing Deans, with pressure for clinical service in teaching hospitals. Entrepreneurial activities have been undertaken including the enrolment of overseas students. Medical schools have also responded to important government initiatives.

Developments in medical education Australia's 11 medical schools have undergone significant reform in the last decade. There is a mix of four (graduate), five and six year courses.

Australia's new medical school James Cook University opened the first medical school in northern Australia in 2000. The School admits students from rural, northern Australian and indigenous backgrounds. It has a strong regional mission.

Rural and community-based education Government funding to address the maldistribution of the workforce has led to the establishment of rural clubs, Departments of Rural Health and community-based programs.

The first two postgraduate years There have been recent moves to improve education in the two years following graduation. This includes the initiation of national projects in curriculum and assessment.

Postgraduate and continuing medical education Postgraduate programs in Australia are being reformed to build on the changes in undergraduate education. CME is also under review.

Conclusion Australian medical educators should build on the recent reforms and take on some of the new directions in medical education.

Item ID: 13332
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2923
Keywords: medical education; medical students; rural general practice
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2012 06:38
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 100%
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