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Deakin Medical School opens

Deakin University’s Medical School was formally opened by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd on Thursday 1 May, 2008. Victoria’s first new medical school for more than 40 years, the Deakin Medical School offers a graduate entry program with strong links to rural and regional Australia, a strong science foundation and an emphasis on early development of clinical, communication and procedural skills.

Deakin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Walker, said ‘This is a red letter day for Deakin University. The Deakin Medical School became a reality when the first intake of 120 medical students began classes on 7 February of this year. The opening today by the Prime Minister of Australia emphasises the important contribution the medical school will make to rural and regional Australia.’

Located at Deakin’s Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, the Deakin Medical School will contribute to solving the shortage of doctors across rural and regional Australia and contribute more than $90 million to the local economy each year.

The Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences at Deakin University, Professor John Catford, and the Head of the Deakin Medical School, Professor Brendan Crotty, have worked closely with hospitals and other health services throughout Western Victoria to ensure that the Deakin Medical School is responsive to rural and regional priorities.

Professor Catford said, ‘The establishment of the Deakin Medical School is an important step in beginning to address the Victorian doctor shortage, which is most severe in rural and regional locations. Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on procedural skills, chronic disease prevention and management, and multidisciplinary teamwork - all of which are essential for rural practice.’

‘The Medical School will have a multiplier effect on health education and research in the region through partnerships with public and private health services, government bodies, and universities, educational institutions and research organisations throughout Australia and overseas.’

The first two years of the course are based at the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds and in clinical settings around Geelong. Years 3 and 4 involve clinical training at one of four clinical schools: Greater Geelong Clinical School (Geelong), the Greater Green Triangle Clinical School (Warrnambool), the Grampians Clinical School (Ballarat), and the Eastern Health Clinical School (Box Hill). Students will rotate through a series of hospital and ambulatory care placements in all major medical specialties.

All students will receive extensive exposure to general practice. A cohort of students will spend all of their third year based in a rural general practice. Students are supported by the online delivery of tutorials and lectures and extensive online resources that are accessible at all clinical placement sites.

For more information about the Deakin Medical School, visit www.deakin.edu.au/hmnbs/medicine.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

30th April 2008