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Academy to fill critical gap in medical educational

MORE than 65 doctors, nurses and academics from across NSW will come together tomorrow (Sunday) for the launch of the University of Wollongong’s Academy of Clinicians.

The Academy, an initiative of the UOW Graduate School of Medicine, will offer professional and personal development opportunities for clinicians working across all healthcare settings, from primary and community care to tertiary specialists.

Graduate School of Medicine Dean Professor Alison Jones said the Academy would fill a critical gap in the educational offerings available to the state’s regional and rural health professionals.

“The emphasis here is on equipping our clinicians for the future by providing quality clinical education, professional development opportunities and an understanding of academic medicine through teaching and research,” Professor Jones said.

“Continuing professional development is vital to the delivery of quality patient care and through this Academy all clinicians – at all stages of their healthcare careers – can engage and learn.”

The Academy of Clinicians was developed by the GSM with input of partners including the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, the Illawarra Medicare Local and local private hospitals. The steering group will advise on new educational ideas and needs, as well as the scope of the training on offer. Training will be delivered through online offerings, short courses available in the morning, afternoons and evenings with occasional whole-day sessions. Sessions will be delivered by senior lecturers from across all UOW faculties as well as respected leaders within the broader health sector.

Sunday’s inaugural session will be screened via videoconference to participating clinicians on the North Coast, in Broken Hill and the Shoalhaven and will be available for download by Academy members.

“We are tailoring this to the very specific needs of healthcare professionals — those who don’t fit the nine-to-five workday and whose very complex professional environment is changing rapidly,” Professor Jones said.

“This will also be an opportunity to network and learn from each other, share experiences and new developments and to have input into a dynamic and ongoing training academy designed specifically for regional and rural clinicians.”

This Sunday’s inaugural training program will include sessions on National Health Reform and activity based funding, change management and ensuring the psychological wellbeing of healthcare workers and support staff.

Membership of the Academy is available to all clinicians, with participation offered free to those who teach GSM students or engage in GSM research.

“This will help us build capacity for clinical and academic leadership in the Illawarra and across each of our 10 training hubs within NSW,” Professor Jones said.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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