The major focus of the Launceston Clinical School is ensuring students have every opportunity to reach their maximum potential as future doctors, equipped to contribute meaningfully in their own communities, as well as nationally and internationally.
On a local level community connection is realised through a host of initiatives including clinical placements and well fostered partnerships, which give the students the chance to gain strong, practical experience in their local communities.
The Patient Partner Program (P3) for example has always provided a strong platform for senior medical students to develop their consulting skills and their patient centred care -ethos, by being partnered with volunteer patients.
That focus on ‘real’ contact and community involvement is also fostered through a very successful community engagement program which has enjoyed a huge increase this year, making for a busy year than usual for the LCS.
Throughout 2017 our fourth and fifth year medical students have been visiting multiple schools around North and North East Tasmania, to deliver aspiration-raising messages about higher education and health.
After lots of great feedback from schools and community groups this year, the LCS is now looking to expand its schools program further in 2018 to also include on-site Health Careers Day’s for high school students.
A strong research focus on patient-centred care is also a major focus at the LCS.
This was highlighted recently with the development of the Requirements of Patient-Centred Care Systems (ROPCCS) conceptual map by Dr Kath Ogden and Jenny Barr, following the outcome of their participatory concept mapping project, which involved 91 participants from key stakeholder groups including patients and carers.
The pair are now working with organisations to use the outcomes of this research to enable health care organisations to identify priorities and strategies for ensuring patient-centred care.
Recently Kath and Jenny also published a 10 year retrospective study of students’ self-perceived preparedness for practice. This research was recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia with the Medical Board of Australia considering a similar annual survey nationally. Jenny Barr will now sit on a steering committee to inform this process.
– Zoe Page (Northern Community Engagement Office, LCS)