Deakin University School of Medicine has joined forces with Australian medical education provider MediMark International to improve the independence and quality of continuing education provided to thousands of Australian healthcare professionals.
The new partnership will facilitate independent development and objective appraisal of MediMark education programs by medical experts from across Deakin's clinical network – setting a new standard in continuing education for general practitioners, specialists and nurses.
"Deakin is delighted to be involved with MediMark in this way," said the Head of the School of Medicine, Professor Jon Watson. "It will allow us to assist the medical profession keep up-todate with changing clinical practice, which will of course benefit the Australian public."
Professor Watson said the collaboration is important because it focuses on the provision of continuing medical education by educators who are independent from the pharmaceutical industry.
"There has been growing concern about commercially-funded medical education that presents unbalanced information," he said.
"This collaboration is a new model for Australia that enhances the independence and integrity of program content and delivery.
"While funding is still provided by pharmaceutical companies through unrestricted grants, all content is independently prepared for review and endorsement by Deakin University staff with relevant expertise."
Managing Director of MediMark International, Mr Derek Woolfall explained that the collaboration with Deakin University provides "a level of scrutiny unmatched in the Australian medical education market".
"Doctors are inundated with medical information of varying quality," he said. "What they have been seeking is greater assurance that content is balanced, objective and represents the latest in expert opinion. MediMark programs have always provided this and now they have the added benefit of the backing of a leading medical school.
"Our relationship with Deakin stems from a common belief that health professionals require independent, evidence-based education that delivers long-term behaviour change that improves the health of patients.
"Deakin understands the value of partnering with MediMark to deliver the latest knowledge directly to the coalface of medical practice."
Founded in 1999, MediMark International is the largest provider of face-to-face medical education in Australia. The company's continuing education programs have been accredited by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, as well as the Australian College of Nursing and have resulted in numerous studies and articles in peer-reviewed journals focused on improving medical practice and patient health outcomes.
The Deakin University School of Medicine is Victoria's first rural and regional medical school. Established in 2008, graduates have already established strong links with regional and rural hospitals, together with Melbourne city hospitals. As well as teaching, the School is involved in high level research in areas including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cancer treatment, mental health, neuroscience, infection and immunology.