The first graduation of 10 students from the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences at Charles Darwin University (CDU) has been greeted by Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber as a milestone for health education in the Northern Territory.
Professor Barber was guest speaker at CDU’s graduation ceremony yesterday (May 29).
Professor Barber said the program at CDU was created in partnership with Flinders University as part of the Northern Territory Medical Program. In 2014 there are 94 students enrolled in the NTMP.
“This is an innovative program that hinges on collaboration between the two universities to achieve the aim of improving the quality of health care in the Territory through education,” Professor Barber said.
The three-year program in Darwin sees students taught by CDU for two years, and then by Flinders for the final year, which also constitutes the first year of Flinders Doctor of Medicine degree.
The graduating BCS students are currently in the second year of their medical degrees, and will complete two further years of study to qualify as doctors.
The Doctor of Medicine is delivered by Flinders University in Darwin in a purpose-built facility on the CDU Casuarina Campus and in a recently completed building at the Royal Darwin Hospital.
“The ability to provide appropriate pathways as well as the opportunity for students to complete full medical training without having to leave the Territory has been a major step forward for health and medical education in the Top End,” Professor Barber said.
“This graduation can be seen as a milestone on the journey towards self-sufficiency in health services for the Northern Territory,” Professor Barber said.
“Flinders is pleased and proud to be able to make a real contribution to this goal through its collaboration with Charles Darwin University.”
Entry to the NTMP by Indigenous students is particularly encouraged and supported by the Indigenous Pathways to Medicine program, which offers both academic and pastoral support.
The University’s commitment to the Northern Territory is demonstrated with over 100 Flinders staff based in the NT, supported by annual expenditure of $14 million, and over $40 million in capital projects.