Learning opportunities abound at Griffith University School of Medicine on the Sunshine Coast

(l to r) Associate Professor Jenn Williams, PVC (Health) Professor Sheena Reilly and Professor David Ellwood.

A wealth of new student learning opportunities is on the agenda as the new Griffith University School of Medicine at the Sunshine Coast prepares to open its doors.

Set for its first intake of students early in 2019, the medical program will be delivered at the Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI), which is co-located with Sunshine Coast University Hospital as part of Griffith University School of Medicine.

“I am delighted to announce Associate Professor Williams to the new Deputy Head position. As a Sunshine Coast local who is also an emergency physician at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, she knows the community well and is well placed to assist in taking the Medicine School into the future,” says Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Professor Sheena Reilly.

This is an exciting opportunity for students to undertake the Doctor of Medicine program in a state-of-the-art facility in one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital,” says Associate Professor Jennifer Williams, newly appointed Deputy Head of the Griffith University School of Medicine at the Sunshine Coast.

A premier research facility

SCHI is a premier education, training and research facility on the Sunshine Coast and is a joint venture between Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS), Griffith University, the University of the Sunshine Coast and TAFE Queensland East Coast.

Griffith University’s Medical program has been training the doctors of the future on the Gold Coast since its inception in 2005, with expansion of the program to the Sunshine Coast to commence early next year. Griffith Medicine students will undertake the majority of their rotations at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“Students will use the latest 3D digital technology for learning anatomy and they will undertake their clinical rotations in the most modern hospital in Queensland,” says Associate Professor Williams.

“A whole host of cutting-edge research and teaching facilities will be available including high fidelity simulation suites, where students will learn skills such as recognition of the deteriorating patient, advanced life support, and management of a variety of medical conditions.”

One pathway for local high school students will be the opportunity to study the Bachelor of Medical Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast, in order to gain provisional entry into the Doctor of Medicine.

“For the first time ever, Sunshine Coast high school students will have the opportunity to complete their medical studies in their local region and then practice locally in the community,” says Head of School of Medicine, Professor David Ellwood.

“Our initial impressions from the student application process so far, is that the new site is going to be extremely popular. We have also just started advertising for new academic positions within the School and expect to make appointments over the next couple of months.”

SCHHS Chief Executive and Griffith University Adjunct Professor Naomi Dwyer says the start of the medical program in 2019 will be a game changer for health education in the region.

“It is wonderful for our region and means medical students from the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and other regions will be able to train at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

“We know that training in a local facility results in students being more likely to stay or ultimately return to the health service after their medical training is completed. It is an important factor in our aim to grow our own health staff.

“This cements our commitment to health industry education and training, which is a win for our students and all parties involved. The future of health in the region just got brighter.”