The innovative Urban LinCC project, designed to provide medical students with longitudinal placements in General Practice and the community, was piloted during 2012 and 2013.
Discipline of General Practice’s Senior Lecturer and Urban LinCC academic coordinator Dr David King said the project was originally designed for third-year medical students to remain at the same practice in which they did their GP rotation for their additional rotations of Surgery, Mental Health and Medicine.
“Students were to spend half to a whole day each week during these specialty rotations aiming to learn these disciplines through a primary care setting. The theory behind this educational trial was that integration of learning and continuity of patients would provide deeper learning, and complement their patient exposure in hospital settings,” he said.
However, in 2012 third-year UQ medical students found that competing demands on their time and the nature of regular rotation-based assessment overshadowed the benefits of the integrated learning based on patient presentations in general practice.
In 2013, the Urban LinCC project evolved into a principal focus for second-year medical students, responding to the challenges of delivering the project in the third-year course.
“The extent of interest and demand for this learning opportunity was obvious from the moment we of announced the relaunched project, as we received over seventy applications,” Dr King said.
Health Workforce Australia (HWA) funding for this pilot project has enabled academics to develop a supporting curriculum that reflects what the students are learning in their problem-based learning blocks and GPs complemented this learning by finding clinical cases that augment the students’ theoretical learning.
“Our GPs are so impressed with the enthusiasm and skills of the Urban LinCC students and the project seems to have motivated and invigorated their teaching,” Dr King said. “Due to the funding attached to the project we have been able to personally visit each practice and provide support and ideas to improve clinical teaching in the community. HWA funding is due to end soon, but we plan to continue offering a longitudinal clinical experience to year 2 students in 2014, and have already received a record number of expressions of interest,” he said.
About the UQ Medical School ProgramFor the 2015 intake, the University of Queensland intends to implement a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, a four-year graduate-entry program, which will replace the current four-year Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program.
Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD) commencing 2015
Location: Brisbane or Ipswich, Queensland
Semester intake: January 2015
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: UQ Medical School applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis. OzTREKK recommends that applicants apply early to increase their chances of timely assessment.