Defining remote medical practice: a consensus

Smith, Janie D., Margolis, Stephen, Ayton, Jeff, Ross, Victoria, Chalmers, Elizabeth, Giddings, Patrick, Baker, Louise, Kelly, Martin, and Lovelock, Catherine (2008) Defining remote medical practice: a consensus. Medical Journal of Australia, 188 (3). pp. 159-161.

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More than three-quarters of Australia is classified as geographically remote. Remote areas are characterised by geographic isolation, cultural diversity, socioeconomic inequality, resource inequity, Indigenous health inequality, and a full range of extreme climatic conditions.

Although several descriptive definitions have been developed for "remote health" and "remote practice", definitions of "remote medical practice" or "remote medicine" have not been previously published.

In 2007, a working group of doctors and academics with experience in remote medicine was formed to develop the first advanced specialised remote medicine curriculum for remote doctors undertaking training with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. The first step was to define remote medical practice.

Remote medical practice has eight key features: employment rather than private practice, isolation, use of telehealth, increased clinical acumen, extended practice, cross-cultural setting, multidisciplinary practice, and an emphasis on public health and personal security.

From these eight features, we developed the first working definition of remote medical practice in the Australian context.

Our definition will assist policymakers, medical colleges, standard setters, and educators to develop programs and resources for the future remote medical workforce.

Item ID: 25200
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1326-5377
Keywords: remote medical practice, teaching in remote practice, working in remote practice
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2013 06:56
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health @ 100%
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