Construction on track for 30 new Medical Students in 2022
Construction is well under way for the new thirty student accommodation and teaching and learning buildings at the Shepparton campus. The construction program is currently on track for completion at the end of this year in readiness for the arrival of the thirty additional medical students in early 2022.
The University of Melbourne Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a four year, postgraduate, Masters level, degree. Under the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network (MDMSN) initiative, from 2022, the Rural Clinical School will be hosting all four years of the MD in an end to end Rural Pathway of the MD. This will include the first year of the MD (MD1) which is largely a theoretical medical science year preparing students for their later clinical studies.
As 2021 progresses, we are now in the advanced stages of planning to host 30 MD1 students in Shepparton in 2022. The Melbourne Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) curriculum is currently being redesigned, a decade after the Melbourne postgraduate MD was first introduced. The updated curriculum will incorporate new MD Discovery Subjects, which over the four years of the MD degree will account for a total of 25% of academic term time.
Rural MD1 Project Officer, Shioban Downing, and Rural MD1 Coordinator, Dr Clare-Anne McKeon, have been liaising regularly and closely with the Parkville MD1 coordinators and subject leads to gain a complete understanding of all aspects of the current MD1 curriculum and the practicalities of running tutorials, practical sessions and teaching of anatomy and pathology in a non-traditional setting. There are many complex aspects to our planning and Shioban and Clare-Anne have done a superb job in making sense of all the challenges we have faced. We will be utilizing superb cutting edge virtual dissection tables to teach anatomy and our three MD1 Facilitators, Kait Kelly, Will Sievers and Lachlan Van Schaik have been gaining experience in using the anatomy tables as well as joining case supported learning sessions for the current MD1 students in Melbourne to ensure that we will have comparable teaching and learning experiences for Shepparton based students next year.
Other members of the MD1 Working Group are our Rural Clinical School Manager, Kate Kent, Student and Programs Coordinator (Reporting), Tracie Bartlett, Student and Programs Coordinator (Student Life), Lou Bush, Student & Programs Officer, Dielle Vellin, and Clinical Skills Laboratory Manager, Anne Thewlis. Kate and Dielle were both previously working in the Department of Medical Education based in Parkville so bring with them a wealth of experience of the MD1 year. Lachlan, Will and I are members of the MD1 Core Curriculum Working Group giving us the opportunity to directly contribute to the revised MD1 curriculum and Kait is leading the development of the Rural Health Discovery Subject.
We are currently in the process of reviewing applications from students wishing to join the 15 students from La Trobe University with guaranteed entry into the Rural Pathway of the MD to make the 2022 cohort of 30 students. Our rural pathway project manager, Darren Grossmann’s years of careful planning are now coming to fruition as the new accommodation and teaching and learning buildings are in the process of construction on the Shepparton Campus.
Preparation for hosting the MD1 year of the MD in Shepparton is a real team effort and I am very grateful to all colleagues in the Department of Rural Health involved in the planning, and so many others based in Parkville, for their enthusiasm, ideas, hard work and many achievements as we now move into the final stages of the planning phase.