On Friday, 5th February, guests gathered to celebrate the partnership between Western Hospital and Flinders University’s Onkaparinga Clinical Education Program (OCEP), as well as the launch of the new OCEP-Western community-based longitudinal integrated medical education program.
OCEP provides students in their third year of their medical course with the opportunity to spend their entire third year in a community setting, rather than one large hospital, as is often the case.
In late 2015 Dr Sarah Mahoney and Jacky Lowe received joint citations for their academic and administrative leadership of OCEP – testament to not only the quality of the program and its driving staff, but to the hard work that’s gone into fostering and developing the program.
Partnerships such as that forged with Western Hospital help ensure the OCEP and community-based longitudinal integrated medical education program program continues to provide high quality clinical education to our students, and benefit health providers and communities at the same time.
During the celebratory/launch event, Western Hospital’s CEO Kathy Nagle was very complementary of the OCEP program and its staff:
“Looking back on when Sarah and I talked about the potential for Flinders medical school to be part of Western Hospital – after the meeting I thought: No, that’s never going to happen – it’s nice to talk about it, but it will be hard to get off the ground, Ms Nagle said.
“But the tenacity of Sarah and her vision of what she wants to achieve is a testament to where we are right now.
“OCEP has certainly grown at Western Hospital over the years.The patients are certainly going to be the winners.
“Going forward, the opportunities arising in acute care health in particular are great for OCEP.
“We very much look forward to the future with OCEP and Flinders. We have enjoyed every moment with the students so far, and we appreciate the learning opportunities we get out of it also.
“We hope to retain many of the students who we help to educate”, she said.
24 of Flinders MD students participate in OCEP annually, and each are allocated to a general practice across suburban Adelaide for 20 weeks and (where possible) follow their patients as they receive associate care from specialists and allied health practitioners.
In the second 20 week period, the students undertake a wide range of placements in specialist practices and hospitals. This is supported by an academic program, which ensures all students meet the learning requirements of the third year medical course.
The OCEP longitudinal approach allows students to be involved in patient care over time, with clinical supervisors and mentors to assist and guide their learning.
Medical students who immerse themselves in their clinically focused setting rapidly develop the skills required to treat an ageing population, and the growing complexity of chronic disease management.