Welcome from Head of Department

Welcome to the Spring newsletter from the Department of General Practice. We have had an active Winter season at conferences and executing project work and teaching. The season for general practices choosing a time of year to host medical students in 2020 is also now upon us.

Each year we are grateful for the support of our general practice community in placing some 1000 medical students per year in a mixture of placement types including short half day observation to the longer flagship six-week placement. This year we introduce an important longitudinal community-based clinical placement of one day per fortnight with the same practice for ALL our 360+ first-year medical students – called LUMIC (Longitudinal University of Melbourne Integrated Clerkship). This placement replaces the previous half day observation placement, and the Primary Care Community Base (which was a day per fortnight in general practice during second year for the 90 students of Northern and Western hospitals only). LUMIC is exciting for us as we are eager for our students to experience high quality general practice early in their course before they have entered hospital medicine. The evidence tells us that such early exposure to quality primary care encourages greater numbers of students to choose general practice as a career.  So please consider offering a placement if you would like to inspire students new to medicine.

In this issue we would also like to introduce to you our new look VicREN which stands for the Victorian Research and Education Network. Our Department’s work in primary care research, and education of the next generation of doctors and nurses, could not happen without our dedicated general practice community. We formerly used the name VicReN to refer to practices partnering with us for research, but increasingly we are seeing significant overlap and exchange between research and teaching active practices. We have therefore combined these networks where the ‘RE’ in VicREN denotes that Research and Education are close partners for many of our practices. A new subset of VicREN is our Data for Decisions practices who have partnered with us to enable e-data driven research, under strict governance procedures. The figure below depicts VicREN. We always welcome new members and look forward to working with VicREN in the teaching and/or research that betters the health and wellbeing of people we serve in the community.

Best wishes