The Joint Medical Program

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					                    The Joint Medical Program
                            The Joint Medical Program is a partnership between Hunter New England Health, the University of Newcastle
                                  and the University of New England, delivering quality medical opportunities to regional Australia.

New vision for rural medicine
A   n exciting new era in medical
    education begins next year
when the Joint Medical Program
                                                To address these shortages 80 new
                                                Commonwealth-Supported Places
                                                for medical students have been
                                                                                                      New England Health campuses to
                                                                                                      support student clinical placements.
                                                                                                      The establishment of the University
(JMP) sees its first intake of                  created in addition to those already                  of New England’s School of Rural
students under an innovative                    existing through the University of                    Medicine, built in close consultation
partnership between Hunter New                  Newcastle’s Bachelor of Medicine                      with the University of Newcastle,
England Health, the University of               program. Beginning in first semester                  will comprise facilities at the
Newcastle and the University of                 2008, 100 new students at the                         forefront of medical training.
New England.                                    University of Newcastle and 60 at
                                                                                                      The JMP will capitalise on the
An Australian first, the concept                the University of New England will
                                                                                                      University of Newcastle’s well
behind the JMP is based on                      enrol each year for the five-year
                                                                                                      established and highly respected
evidence that medical students                  course. The joint program provides
                                                                                                      medical program, and on the
completing their training in a rural            a total of 160 Commonwealth-
                                                                                                      University of New England’s
setting are more likely to practise             Supported Places.
                                                                                                      experienced rural footing and
in those areas. NSW towns have                  The concept of the JMP was                            recognised expertise in delivering
reported 134 vacancies for General              endorsed at the July 2006 meeting                     nursing, health and science
Practitioners in the last year, with            of the Council of Australian                          programs. In conjunction with
the figure expected to grow to                  Governments (COAG). It involves                       Hunter New England Health,
somewhere between 200 to 350                    capital funding for the universities                  the JMP will deliver significant
as many rural and regionally based              to establish the program, with                        improvements to the health system
GP’s reach retirement age.                      the State Government agreeing                         for communities in the Hunter/New
                                                to upgrade facilities at Hunter                       England region and beyond.

 “The University of New England,                                                                      “The Joint Medical Program – a first for
 Australia’s first regional university, is                                                            Australia – capitalises on the University
 delighted to extend its commitment to                                                                of Newcastle’s highly respected medical
 rural and regional Australia into training                                                           course and on the University of New
 medical practitioners in a regional                                                                  England’s strong rural standing.
 environment. The Joint Program is an                                                                 The unique partnership between
 ideal example of the innovative thinking                                                             the universities and the Hunter New
 called for by the recent report on                                                                   England Area Health Service will deliver
 Australia’s Health Workforce to address                                                              highly qualified medical practitioners
 rural and regional Australia’s medical                                                               ready to practise anywhere in
 workforce shortage. The program,                                                                     Australia.”
 which has the strong support of the
                                                                                                      Professor Nick Saunders, Vice-
 Chancellor and local communities, will
                                                                                                      Chancellor, University of Newcastle
 deliver new medical practitioners into
 the workforce each year who have been
 trained, and are therefore more likely to
 stay, in a rural setting.”                                                                           Professor Alan Pettigrew, Vice-Chancellor
                                                                                                      and CEO University of New England (Left),
 Professor Alan Pettigrew Vice-                                                                       and Professor Nick Saunders, Vice-Chancellor
 Chancellor, University of New England                                                                University of Newcastle
The Newcastle Medical Program
that began a revolution

In 1978 medical education in Australia       young doctors with evidence of better
changed forever when 64 medical              communication skills than those from
students commenced the radical               other medical schools.
experiment known as the Newcastle
Medical Program.                             thirty years on
The Foundation Dean, Professor               In 2007 the School will welcome its
David Maddison, recruited a great            30th first year and graduate our 25th
team to develop and deliver a superb         cohort of young doctors, bringing to
educational experience that addressed        almost 1,500 the number of Newcastle
many concerns about medical                  medical graduates working in all fields
education in Australia at the time.          of medicine across Australia and the
It is difficult to do justice to how
big a step this was since nearly             In 2008 we will take the next big
every innovation from 1978 has               step when our partnership with the
been adopted by medical schools              University of New England produces
throughout Australia. That special first     Australia’s first jointly run medical
cohort in 1978 learnt their medicine in      program, the JMP, with a greater focus
small groups starting with the health        on graduating doctors who will want to
problem of a person or a community.          practise in rural and remote Australia.
They learnt about the anatomy and            There are immense benefits in
functioning of the body in order to best     combining our medical program with            Professor Michael Hensley, Dean of
diagnose and treat health problems,          the expertise of the University of New        Medicine, the University of Newcastle
integrated not as topics in themselves.      England. Our geographical proximity
They met real patients in their first year   and common partnership with Hunter
and learnt how to engage with them           New England Health make for a perfect
and understand the context of their          fit and a model of how the expansion of
                                                                                           will spend a year and the rest at least 4
illness.                                     medical education can be done.
They found out about the role of             The curriculum content does not need
                                                                                           The plans are ambitious and
doctors in addressing the broad health       to change but there will be greater
                                                                                           challenging but the progress to date
needs of communities. In their third         opportunity for students to study
                                                                                           is remarkable and we will be ready to
year (1980) they were the first medical      medicine in a rural setting: over one
                                                                                           welcome the JMP’s first class in 2008.
students in Australia to have a term         third of the students will be based in
in a rural or regional area, the ‘country    a rural setting for at least 80 per cent      Professor Michael Hensley, Dean of
term’. They graduated as excellent           of their program; at least another fifth      Medicine, the Joint Medical Program

                                     I am delighted that the two universities are joining the Australian Government’s
                                     efforts to train more doctors in rural and regional Australia. Our funding for 80 new
                                     Commonwealth supported places and $3 million in infrastructure for this exciting
                                     joint program is an important part of the nation-wide medical training expansion
                                     announced last year by the Prime Minister.
                                     Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training Julie Bishop

A meeting of the working party of
the Joint Medical Program at UNE.

      Working behind the scenes                                                             administrators from the Hunter New
                                                                                            England Health and local General
                                                                                            Practitioners and Specialists from the
      With a deadline of only 18 months to      The JMP Committee is composed of            New England and Hunter region.
      establish the JMP on both campuses a      a number of sub-committees and
      Working Party was quickly formed.         working parties:                            A JMP Governance Committee was
                                                • a Curriculum Implementation               also formed consisting of: the Vice-
      The Working Party was jointly chaired
                                                   working party chaired by Professor       Chancellor of the University of New
      by Professor Victor Minichiello, Pro
                                                   Ian Symonds from the University of       England, Professor Alan Pettigrew
      Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty
                                                   Newcastle                                (Chair); the Vice-Chancellor of the
      of Education, Health and Professional
                                                                                            University of Newcastle, Professor
      Studies at the University of New          • a Clinical Placement and Liaison          Nicholas Saunders; the Chief Executive
      England and Professor Michael Hensley,       working party chaired by Dr Gary         of Hunter New England Health, Terry
      Head of the School of Medicine and           Baker, a physician and specialist in     Clout; Professor Victor Minichiello,
      Public Health and Dean of Medicine at        New England                              PV-C and Dean of the Faculty of
      the University of Newcastle.              • Library, Student Administration and       Education, Health and Professional
      With the signing of the Memorandum           Communications working parties           Studies University of New England,
      of Agreement (MoA) between the two        • Admissions, Bachelor of Medicine          Professor Mike Calford, PV-C Faculty
      universities in December 2006, the           Program, Medical Student                 of Health, University of Newcastle,
      Working Party has been replaced by           Consultative sub-committees              and the Director of Clinical Operations
      the JMP Committee chaired by the          The JMP Committee, its sub-                 from HNE Health, Dr Nigel Lyons. The
      Dean of Medicine, Professor Michael       committees and working parties              Governance Committee will oversee
      Hensley. The JMP Committee will plan,     include senior academic colleagues          the agreement and management of the
      implement and manage the JMP.             from both universities, senior health       joint Bachelor of Medicine degree.

                                         I welcome the Joint Medical Program between the University of New England and the
                                         University of Newcastle. The Commonwealth Government is committed to providing
                                         opportunities for rural students to undertake medical training in rural areas. There
                                         are now fourteen Commonwealth funded rural clinical schools around the country,
                                         including one at the University of Newcastle based at Tamworth. The Joint Medical
                                         Program, along with the rural clinical school, means the New England region is a
                                         leader in rural medical training.
                                         Federal Minister for Health Tony Abbott

Staffing UNE’s new School of
Rural Medicine
Plans are well underway with the            “The University of New England                 facilities currently being built. These
recruitment of senior medical academic      medical staff will provide national            facilities include equipment that will be
staff for the School of Rural Medicine at   and international leadership for               made available to the local medical and
the University of New England. By the       innovation in rural medical education          nursing community, including recently
end of year the University will appoint     and research,” Professor Minichiello           purchased patient simulations, currently
the Foundation Professor of Rural           said. “They will also have clinical            not available at the Armidale Hospital.
Medicine. In addition, an Associate         appointments with the Area Health              SimMan and SimBaby are portable,
Professor in Anatomy, a Senior Lecturer     Service and contribute to the medical          advanced patient/infant simulators for
in Rural Clinical Medicine and a Senior     services offered within rural and              team training with realistic anatomy
Lecturer in Rural Medical Education will    regional New South Wales.”                     and clinical functionality. They
be appointed, laying a solid foundation                                                    provide simulation-based education to
                                            The School of Rural Medicine will
for further appointments in 2008 and                                                       challenge and test students’ clinical and
                                            also employ a number of clinical lab
beyond.                                                                                    decision-making skills during realistic
                                            technicians who will work in the clinical
                                                                                           patient care scenarios.

A New
for Learning
The new lecture theatre and problem-
based learning areas of the University
of New England’s School of Rural
Medicine are unique facilities for the
specialised training of medical students.
The refurbishment and upgrade of
the existing campus building, which
has been undertaken in consultation
with Newcastle, creates a new built
environment that incorporates the
latest technologies and is at the
forefront of design standards.
The school has been designed by James
Cubitt Architects who constitute a
dynamic team of talented professionals
with over 20 years of experience in both      Director UNE Facilities
the university and government sector.         Mangement Services
                                              Michael Quinlan inspects
                                              site plans for location of the
                                              School of Rural Medicine.

                                      The NSW Government is proud to support the University of New England and University of
                                      Newcastle’s joint initiative to establish a new medical education program with a focus on
                                      rural practice. The NSW Government guarantees clinical placements for publicly funded
                                      medical students and will be providing the capital infrastructure required to sustain clinical
                                      teaching for the medical programs at Armidale, Tamworth and other local hospitals.
                                      The University of Newcastle’s medical course is highly respected and combined with the
                                      University of New England’s reputation for delivering quality courses in a rural setting, will
                                      result in a strong program for training excellent medical graduates who are more likely to
                                      practise in our regional and rural communities. The Rural Medical School is a significant step
                                      forward in helping to retain highly-trained clinicians in regional communities.
                                      NSW Minister for Health John Hatzistergos

At the official announcement of the Joint Medical Project; (From left) Peter Draper MP Member for Tamworth, Richard Torbay Member for
Northern Tablelands, Alan Pettigrew Vice-Chancellor & CEO UNE, John Cassidy Chancellor UNE, Vice-Chancellor Nick Saunders University of
Newcastle, Dr Gary Baker local medical specialist.

The Program                                    of communities. Preventive care
                                               is pursued as the most effective
                                                                                             deeper understanding of the material
                                                                                             rather than superficial coverage. The

T  he Bachelor of Medicine program
   has a problem-based and integrated
curriculum with early clinical exposure and
                                               approach to complement treatment
                                               of the individual patient. Students are
                                                                                             small group setting also encourages
                                                                                             a detailed look at concepts and
                                               encouraged to see the individual in           principles.
substantial community involvement.             context, treating the patient as a whole
                                                                                             Students admitted to the program
The five-year community-oriented               person and in a manner consistent with
                                                                                             must have both the intellectual ability
program places great emphasis on               their social or physical environment.
                                                                                             needed for university success and
integrated learning, through which
                                               Problem-based learning centres on the         personal qualities important to practise
students gain an understanding of
                                               discussion and learning that emanates         medicine. The admission procedure
clinical diagnostic and therapeutic
                                               from clinically-based problems. It is a       selects applicants who have reached
approaches, learned in the context of
                                               method that encourages independent            a high academic standard and have
the relevant basic science mechanisms
                                               learning and enables students to define       the necessary personal qualities.
and principles.
                                               their own gaps in understanding in the        The Bachelor of Medicine program
Students are expected to understand            context of relevant clinical problems.        has a well-established reputation for
and respect the community as a living                                                        innovation and both universities are
                                               This method of teaching has shown
thing with the program emphasising                                                           constantly seeking ways to improve the
                                               students are more likely to recall
the promotion and maintenance                                                                learning experience for students.
                                               material later in a clinical setting. It is
of health, both of individuals and
                                               a way of learning which encourages a

                                        I welcome the establishment of a partnership between the universities of Newcastle and New
                                        England to boost training of medical practitioners. Both universities have proud histories of
                                        providing quality education and engaging with their local communities.
                                        Their innovative partnership will enhance the delivery of education and health services in
                                        rural and regional NSW. The program will give students the opportunity to undertake a
                                        medical degree and go on to practice in rural areas.
                                        By providing high quality training in a rural setting, the University of Newcastle and
                                        University of New England are making a significant contribution to the development of a
                                        skilled rural and regional workforce. This will benefit rural communities, medical students
                                        and both universities.
                                        NSW Minister for Education, Carmel Tebutt

The Curriculum                              attending a rural/remote high school            information regarding the
The joint University of Newcastle/          will be able to satisfy the minimum             application and selection procedures
University of New England Bachelor of       requirement with a UAI of 90.6).                for the Bachelor of Medicine can be
Medicine will use the existing University                                                   found at the following website:
                                            The joint University of Newcastle/
of Newcastle curriculum. For detailed                                             
                                            University of New England Bachelor of
information please see: www.newcastle.                                                      medprac-pop/enrolments/index.html
                                            Medicine application process will mirror                   the current University of Newcastle          2. an application with the Universities
                                            process. For further information on the         Admissions Centre (UAC) by 28
                                            University of Newcastle requirements            September 2007. On-line applications
Enrolment Procedure                         see:               open mid-August:
The Bachelor of Medicine entry              medprac-pop/enrolments/index.html
requirements are based on three                                                          An applicant is ineligible for
components: Undergraduate Medicine          Registration for UMAT2007 opens in           consideration unless both of the above
and Health Sciences Admission Test          early April 2007 and closes on Friday        applications have been lodged by the
(UMAT) results, Universities Admissions     1 June. UMAT2007 will be held on             relevant closing dates and the applicant
Index (UAI) results and performance in a    Wednesday 25 July 2007. Additional           sits the UMAT
personal interview.                         information regarding UMAT may be
                                            found at
Students normally sit UMAT in July and,                                                  Postgraduate Opportunities
depending on their result, are then         In addition to a UMAT registration,
                                                                                         The Bachelor of Medicine is an
selected for an interview in November/      applicants are also required to lodge
                                                                                         undergraduate course but applications
December. If the interview is successful    the following two applications:
                                                                                         are accepted from both school-leavers
an offer is made, dependent on the UAI      1. a Joint Medical Program direct            and people with incomplete and
and appropriate preference through             university application with the           complete tertiary qualifications.
UAC. It is anticipated that a minimum          University of Newcastle by
UAI of 93.8 will be required (students         28 September 2007. Further

  Tell us what you think                      ENQUIRIES
  The Joint Medical Program                   Further information regarding the Bachelor of Medicine curriculum can be
  Committee recognises that input             found at the University of Newcastle’s website:
  from community stakeholders will  
  be integral to the success of the           Or contact:
  program. As such, it encourages
  feedback from all areas of the              Maree Walsh                               Tracey Bristow
  medical workforce and other                 Senior Officer, Enrolment and             Program Officer (BMed)
  stakeholders, particularly in rural         Progression                               University of Newcastle
  and regional areas.
                                              Student Centre                            Ph: 02 4921 5680
  Anyone wanting to provide input             University of New England NSW 2351        Fax: 02 4921 7165
  for the Committee can do so by
  contacting Professor Michael                Ph: 02 6773 4468                          Email:
  Hensley, Dean of the Joint                  Fax: 02 6773 4400               
  Medical Program, by emailing:               Email:  

                                    The creation of the new University of New England and University of Newcastle
                                    Joint Medical Program with a strong focus on rural practice is fabulous news for our
                                    communities. It also represents an endorsement of the strength of the universities and the
                                    Health Service working together towards an outcome that will help improve the health
                                    of the people in our communities. Hunter New England Health is working closely with our
                                    university partners, our clinicians and other stakeholders to help design a program that
                                    will go a long way to increasing and sustaining our medical workforce in rural and remote
                                    regions for the future. It will also help us build a strong base for postgraduate training
                                    and research in rural medicine. The difficulty of attracting doctors to rural areas is well
                                    documented and this program will be a significant step forward to help us retain these
                                    highly trained clinicians in regional communities.
                                    Terry Clout, Chief Executive of Hunter New England Health

                                       The issue of rural medical workforce is one that is very much on the minds of people
                                       living on the land. This is because for some time now we have experienced a shortage
                                       of specialists and access to general practitioners in rural communities and hospital
                                       infrastructure that is of a different quality to that found in cities.
                                       This situation is changing with governments at both State and Commonwealth levels
                                       making greater commitments to address the inequalities in rural health services and
                                       The development of the School of Rural Medicine at UNE and the offering of an
                                       undergraduate medical course between the University of Newcastle and University of
                                       New England is an important historical event.
                                       I am confident that this course will produce future leaders of rural medicine that will
                                       come from high school leavers from rural communities. These new rural medical
                                       graduates will champion the quality of access to care that rural Australians will
                                       receive for decades to come. This has been made possible with the assistance of
                                       government and we are now building world class facilities that will ensure excellence
                                       in medical rural education.
                                       Professor Victor Minichiello, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of Education,
                                       Health and Professional Studies, the University of New England

Professor Victor Minichiello

                                        “The Joint Medical Program represents the next big step in innovation for the
                                        Newcastle Medical Program. The JMP will commence 30 years exactly after
                                        Newcastle revolutionised medical education in Australia. As in 1978, the JMP is based
                                        firmly on addressing the health care needs of the Australian community, on this
                                        occasion rural people.
                                        The partnerships with the University of New England, Hunter New England Health
                                        and others in the public health sector such as Northern Sydney Central Coast Health
                                        as well as many private sector practitioners and organisations will ensure that our
                                        students receive a broad medical education that will prepare them for medical
                                        practice in all fields of medicine and in all settings. We expect that a superb rural-
                                        based education will lead many of the JMP graduates to practice medicine in rural
                                        and remote Australia.”
                                        Professor Michael Hensley, Dean of Medicine, the University of Newcastle

Professor Michael Hensley

                               This Joint Medical Program has created a lot of excitement in rural and regional areas, both
                               from prospective students and from communities who are finding it so difficult to recruit
                               doctors. It is an excellent program backed up by some of the most up to date teaching
                               facilities and infrastructure in the State. Hospitals in our region will be progressively
                               upgraded to meet tertiary training standards providing further benefits to the community.
                               To see the State and Federal Governments working together cooperatively on this venture
                               between the universities of New England and Newcastle promises to be an effective model
                               for resolving the doctor shortage in rural areas and making rural medicine a specialist
                               discipline in its own right.
                               Member for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay

Key points
• The Joint
    Medical Program (JMP) is a
    unique partnership of the Universities of
    Newcastle and New England and Hunter
    New England Health that received 80
    additional Commonwealth Supported
    Places (CSP) for medical students, adding
    to the 80 existing places at Newcastle
•   Clinical placements across the breadth
    of the Hunter New England Health area
    including Armidale, Tamworth, Taree,
    Maitland and Newcastle
•   60 CSP places at UNE School of Rural
    Medicine, Armidale
•   100 CSP places at the School of
    Medicine and Public Health,
•   First intake into the JMP 2008
•   Five-year undergraduate program
•   The curriculum for the JMP is the
    current University of Newcastle
•   Degree: Bachelor of Medicine
•   Common admission, assessment
    and progression rules
                                                                                            Or contact:
    Students at both universities                                                         Maree Walsh
    will receive rural training with                           Senior Officer, Enrolment & Progression
    students at UNE spending a                                                          Student Centre
    higher proportion of time in                                 University of New England NSW 2351
    rural settings                                                                    Ph: 02 6773 4468
•   Minimum academic                                                                 Fax: 02 6773 4400
    requirement: top 10 per cent
    HSC (UAI 93.8) or top 15                                
    per cent (UAI 90.6) if HSC                                                          Tracey Bristow
    completed in a rural area                                                   Program Officer (BMed)

•   Performance in UMAT used
                                                                                University of Newcastle
                                                                                      Ph: 02 4921 5680
    to rank for interview                                                            Fax: 02 4921 7165
•   Performance at interview                                   Email:
    used to rank for offer                                     

                                     Produced March 2007

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