Making space – Building our story.

provided by Joanne Chad, UOW Program Coordinator

Staff and student community day with Emma Walke and Rebekah Hermann

Under the inspiration of Emma Walke and the Caucus Not Caucus committee of the UCRH, medical students from UOW, WSU and USYD, along with UCRH staff and community members participated in “Making Space- Building our Story”- two aboriginal culture learning and development days to make the items needed for a reflection/ bush tucker garden. Local aboriginal community members shared their knowledge of clapstick making, plants and pottery, with enthusiastic students producing their own sets of clap sticks and their own ceramic tiles. The tiles were individual’s contribution to ‘building our story’ and would later be added to the garden, part of an ever changing and growing river that will ‘build our story’ of the UCRH over time.

Day two of the workshops saw students planting the reflection/ bush tucker garden with edible and medicinal plants – the benefits and purpose of which were discussed by the aboriginal knowledge holders.

The workshops would not have been complete without a huge feast lovingly prepared by community members which included kangaroo, bugs, prawns, fish and salads.

Huge thanks to the DVC-ISS – “Unfinished Business”- grants project, that has provided the CNC with the funds to make these valuable aboriginal immersion activities and the reflection space possible.

Medical students; Parallel consulting in General Practice.

 On any given week, there is never dull moment for the five University of Wollongong (UOW) senior medical students who are completing their 12 month longitudinal integrated clinical placement in the Clarence Valley region, learning and working in general practices, hospital and community health settings. Over this period, student learning is enhanced through the opportunity to participate in the continuity of patient care, following up patients in general practice clinics or the hospital over the duration of their placement..

Guiding students through their year-long placement are GP preceptors at Clarence Medical in Maclean and Yamba and the GP Super Clinic Grafton as well as a range of clinical preceptors in the hospital and community. To compliment their clinical training, students are also able to participate in weekly academic and clinical skills and simulation activities along with the local Grand Rounds program.

In the general practice setting, students train under a model called ‘parallel consulting Parallel consulting (also known as the “wave schedule”), is when the preceptor and the student see different patients simultaneously. The student can take a history, perform a physical examination, develop a differential diagnosis and/or problem list, formulate a proposed management plan alone and then present their findings to the preceptor. Clinics are recommended to have an appointment list for students, and for students to see the same patients for follow-up visits to give the sense of continuity of care with individual patients.

Parallel consulting provides students with the luxury of being able to take more time with each patient than more busy and experienced clinicians have or need. Students who are less experienced can take 45 minutes or even an hour with one patient, while students who are more experienced can need as little as 30 minutes.

When asked to comment about parallel consulting in his clinic one GP preceptor noted ‘that not only did medical students help to keep their knowledge refreshed, it also allow for them to teach and transfer of tricks-of-the-trade that could not be learnt from textbooks.

 

UOW medical students participate in clinical training opportunities in the region, as part of the North Coast Medical Education Collaboration, (A collaboration between the University of Wollongong, University of Sydney and Western Sydney University facilitated by the North Coast University Centre for Rural Health).

 

UOW medical students making Murwillumbah home

 For UOW medical student Eamonn George, packing up and heading to Murwillumbah to complete his medical degree was a homecoming of sorts.

Eamonn a former children’s theatre entertainer who was born and raised in the Tweed Valley, is now one of nine senior medical students from the University of Wollongong (UOW) who will complete his final year of studies from a base at the North Coast University Centre for Rural Health in Murwillumbah.

Across the 12 years of partnership between the University Centre for Rural Health and the University of Wollongong,  about 100 medical students (now doctors) have spent time in the Murwillumbah region, learning and working in general medical practices, community health settings and local hospitals. The weekly case-based learning program and clinical skills teaching, facilitated by local dedicated clinicians, has provided the students with learning opportunities and experiences across a range of disicplines from emergency medicine, women’s health and aneasthetics.

Of the other students in the current Murwillumbah cohort, some come from as close as Lismore to as far away as Ballarat in Victoria. As a gradaute entry medical program, the background of students varies diversely from neuroscience, paramedicine, electrical engineering and defence.

The UOW medical program is designed to produce medical practitioners with a commitment to the enhancement of health care for patients in all geographic settings, but particularly in regional, rural and remote communities. The opportunity for these students to live, learn, work and participate in the local community, provides a solid foundation for ongoing clinical training and the provision of clinical services in communities like Murwillumbah in future.

UOW medical students participate in clinical training opportunities in the region, as part of the North Coast Medical Education Collaboration, (A collaboration between the University of Wollongong, University of Sydney and Western Sydney University facilitated by the North Coast University Centre for Rural Health).

Joanne Chad, Program Coordinator, University of Wollongong

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Mobile: 0438 265 938