Real life lessons for medical trainees in the South

kiddA group of third-year Flinders University medical students begin a year long, hands-on educational experience with the launch of the Onkaparinga Clinical Education Program (OCEP) on January 14.

Adapted from the University’s award winning rural clinical placement programs, OCEP will see 25 students spend one semester in a community-based program with southern region general practitioners and a second semester in specialty attachments with senior clinicians in internal medicine, surgery and anaesthetics, psychiatry, paediatrics and women’s health, based mainly at the Noarlunga Hospital and local community clinics.

Following successful pilot versions of the OCEP over the past two years, the full-scale program will be launched by Professor Michael Kidd (pictured), Executive Dean of Flinders University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, at the McLaren Vale Visitors Centre on Friday, January 14.

Professor Kidd said that the Onkaparinga initiative reflects the growing recognition of the benefits that flow from community-based medical education in dealing with the health challenges prevalent in the population.

“Flinders University has a strong continuing commitment to educating our medical students in the communities that they will serve,” said Professor Kidd.
“OCEP enables our students to follow their patients from initial presentation through to the diagnosis and management of both acute and chronic health problems.

“Its success relies on the support of the local community and the commitment of individual general practitioners as well as consultant medical specialists and other health professionals based in local community clinics and hospitals as partners in the process of teaching and learning.

“The ultimate result of the OCEP will be doctors who graduate with a strong working knowledge of the delivery of high quality contemporary health care.”
The program’s commencing medical students, participating general practitioners and other health professionals will attend the launch with the Mayor of Onkaparinga, Ms Lorraine Rosenberg, and representatives from Noarlunga Hospital and Noarlunga Health Services.

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