Educators learning together and modelling interprofessional collaboration
Earlier this year, the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Wollongong (UOW) began with its first cohort of 80 graduate-entry students. The clinical skills program, a competency based approach, is a significant part of the integrated curriculum. It aims to provide contemporary and relevant clinical skills training that is temporarily matched to students’ other learning activities including clinical placements to assist them to link theory to practice in their formative years. To deliver the clinical skills program, a diverse group of tutors was recruited from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region. Under the guidance of an experienced medical academic, this group of dedicated professionals from medicine, nursing and health science have formed a collaborative partnership to develop and deliver the clinical skills curriculum across two campuses. Confidence for the approach was buoyed by a report from the UK that first year medical students valued nurse tutors, and in fact opposed having only medical clinicians for clinical skills teaching sessions. Using their wealth of clinical and educational experience from previous settings, the UOW tutors have embarked on an exponential learning curve to apply their knowledge, skills and professional attitudes to medical student education.