Flinders Medical students, visited Millicent this week as part of a research program for their studies. While they were in Millicent, one group visited Millicent High School, Newbery Park Primary and St Anthony’s schools to demonstrate CPR and to share their reasons for studying medicine and answering questions from students.
Rural Placement Coordinator Kathryn Sylvia said the medical students experiences can prompt younger students to consider careers in medicine by having these conversations early in their life.
Lucy Walters Associate Professor of Rural Medical Education at Flinders University and President Elect of ACRRM said today (Friday) the purpose for the visit was to primarily give medical students a rich experience and the logistics of making their research program community relevant; create a balance of strong methods and respect for community.
Secondly it gives students the opportunity to have a meaningful snapshot of the rural doctor, a sense of the professional role, and the highs and lows of personal life in a rural community which gives them the chance to make choices based on real life experiences.
It also gives the community a chance to learn a little more about the work that Flinders University do in this region and how significant it is to have a presence here.
“The Millicent Medical Clinic Partners and Clinic Manager Anne Bierworth are an enthusiastic group, contribute to the students programs and is the one clinic that invites the students to spend a full day in clinic work during their training. Flinders University has been working in this region for over a decade and many local GP’s have come through the program, gaining their introduction to rural medicine in Millicent,” she said.
“Millicent does it extremely well, they have a heart for it,” Ms Walters said.
At the end of their week in Millicent, Friday 5th September, the visiting medical students presented their research program results to fellow students and doctors from the Medical Clinic Millicent sharing their personal views and responses of the students they spoke to.
There was a significant increase in the number of school students interested in medicine after they took part in the CPR for Kids. In the survey taken, two students were interested before the session and a further six thought they may be interested in a field of medicine after the Medical Students presentation. The Medical Students explained to the local students the many areas of medicine available including paramedics, ambulance, hospital and associated fields of medicine. This broadened the school students options when considering future careers.
The local school students gained confidence as they took part in the physical use of CPR, they said.
Local GP Doctor Claire Thompson said hearing this presentation explained why her son came home from school this week, announcing he had decided to become a doctor.
Using the 2013 FRAME Survey the second group compared Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LIC) with the more traditional Block Based Program for 3rd year medical students undertaking a placement in a rural or remote location with in Australia. LIC is a 14 week program and the Block Based Program is implemented in 4 – 8 week blocks.
Results of the research showed differences in most areas; working with one clinician can have a positive effect on mental well being because they can keep an eye on the student; being in a continually changing environment the student can sometime slip through the cracks. Students progress can be observed more keenly in one- on-one training in some cases but it can also be an advantage to have continual monitoring by different clinicians so that the students know, what they don’t know, along the way.
Social isolation can be a problem for some, in rural and regional areas, because it is a vast change from the very social life of university.
Some outcomes showed that the Block model produced more confident students, but the LIC Model students had more understanding of medicine on the ground.
It is more likely that a student will decide on a Rural GP profession after one year in the LIC model.
Millicent school students were more social than other regions visited and were excited to be a part of the research program, the study showed.
“The visiting medical students already have a number of degrees in a variety of fields of medicine between them, so there will be excellent doctors with many skills coming from this group,” said Ms Walters.
The Medical students enjoyed learning about the region and were able to enjoy a morning of surfing at Beachport during their stay.