Engaging for health: medicine in context as a case study in engaged teaching and learning for students in medicine
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University of Western Sydney's new School of Medicine (SoMed) had its first intake of students in 2007, with the aim of producing doctors for practice in Western Sydney. From the outset, the plan was to become a community engaged medical school, with a commitment that this be demonstrated by graduates, students and staff. So what do we mean by engaged, and how can we measure our success in achieving it? This paper provides a case study on the development of an engaged teaching and learning program. We begin with an examination of the philosophies the SoMed has drawn on. Then, by isolating those aspects which have influenced our directions, evaluate specific components to measure success and to identify areas needing further development. Two paths converged in the creation of our engaged medical school. One path can be located specifically within the field of medicine. The second is that influencing the world of universities more broadly. The two paths share characteristics, but there are also unique features of medicine influencing the shape of community engagement in this profession. By drawing the two together we believe both are enriched.