Doctors in Secondary Schools Clinical Training and Support Program

The University of Melbourne under the leadership of Professor Lena Sanci and Dr Bianca Forrester from the Department of General Practice Melbourne Medical School have been re-engaged by the Victorian Government Department of Education and Training to deliver the training and clinical support program for the General Practitioners (GPs) and Practice Nurses (PNs) in the Doctors in Secondary Schools (DiSS) Program. Lena will also continue as the expert advisor to the Government regarding the Program.

Bianca and Lena are developing and delivering an adolescent health training program that builds on the skills of GPs and PNs to work with adolescents and provide a health promoting, youth-friendly, primary health service in 100 state schools across Victoria. The program offers a community of practice for advice and support from peers and a forum to discuss approaches for the range of opportunities arising from the integration of health and education for student wellbeing. Training modalities include online modules, webinars, podcasts and F2F (when not in lockdown) on key topics such as mental health, family violence and sexual health.

The Program also provides a Point of Care Advice Line to support GPs’ and PNs’ management of student issues in real time which is provided by The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), Orygen Youth, and Family Planning Victoria (FPV). These organisations along with the Departments of General Practice, Psychiatry and Paediatrics, headspace, the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) and Foundation House, will provide subject matter experts for learning activities. The Melbourne School of Graduate Education’s Prof Helen Cahill brings school students’ participation and expertise to the experiential learning activities.

The Doctors in Secondary School program is supported by the Victorian Government