UQ medical students embrace global opportunities

With having their entire medical education based in one location have long gone and the past five years have shown a huge growth in students wanting to study overseas for clinical training.

UQ Medical School
University of Queensland School of Medicine, Herston

To facilitate such demands the UQ Medical School has implemented measures to help aid student mobility, resulting in nearly 80% of students completing at least one clinical placement overseas during their medical degree.

Between 2009 and 2012, students collectively visited more 102 countries for clinical training. With the introduction of optional electives (clinical training during the Christmas holiday period) this year, the medical program now offers students the flexibility to complete an international clinical placement in every year of the curriculum.

Students partake in a variety of clinical placements, from 4-week elective study tours (exposed to multiple disciplines) to 8-week core rotations.

UQ Medical School’s International Partnership & Global Development Manager Mrs Elise Moore said she is excited to see the number of international clinical placements grow, explaining that it demonstrates the eagerness of the students to gain a global perspective of medicine.

In return for the 531 UQ medical students who completed a placement overseas in 2012, the medical school hosted 145 international students from 22 countries.

To help foster some of these placements overseas, the school’s International Team has worked diligently to develop close relationships with targeted institutes in North America, Europe and Asia. Some of these partners include Queen’s University (Canada), Eberhard Karles Universität Tübingen (Germany) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China), of which, some have provided scholarship funding to facilitate UQ medical students undertaking placements with them.

In addition to university partnerships, UQ Medical School has united with charitable organizations like Operation Smile, where students participate in their missions to provide free surgeries to repair cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial deformities for children in developing countries.

*This article was originally published in UQMedicine in December 2013.

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