1 December 1998

UQ appoints head for North Queensland Clinical School

Professor Richard Hays from Townsville has been appointed as the head of the North Queensland Clinical School of the University of Queensland's Graduate School of Medicine.

Professor Michael Humphrey from Cairns will be his deputy.

University Executive Dean of Health Sciences Professor Peter Brooks said the appointments signified the University's commitment to the development of health education for north Queensland.

Professor Hays was previously the foundation professor of general practice and rural health for the North Queensland Clinical School.

Professor Humphrey will continue to act in his current positions of foundation professor of obstetrics and gynaecology for the North Queensland Clinical School and Cairns Base Hospital director of obstetrics and gynaecology.

"The University will base more than 35 medical students in Townsville and Cairns in 1999, and a further 40 will spend part of the year in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay. By 2000, more than 70 University of Queensland medical students will be based in north
Queensland," Professor Brooks said.

"This will significantly add to the rural and North Queensland clinical experiences undertaken by a significant number of the 200-odd medical students going through the Graduate School of Medicine each year."

Professor Hays and Humphrey had played significant roles in the development of the North Queensland Clinical School, he said.

"They have also established national profiles for themselves in the areas of rural teaching and rural research in general practice (Professor Hays) and obstetrics care of remote indigenous women and training of procedural obstetric rural general practitioners (Professor Humphrey)," Professor Brooks said.

The North Queensland Clinical School of the University of Queensland began operations five years ago, committed to providing medical education, undertaking research, and providing leadership in clinical and public health services responsive to the health needs of North Queensland (particularly with regard to the unique rural, indigenous and tropical characteristics of the region).

About 300 University of Queensland medical students have already passed through the North Queensland Clinical School for at least one term during the past five years. Many of them are now working in north Queensland to provide much needed medical care.

The graduates who pass through the North Queensland Clinical School have particular training in the special skills necessary for clinical practice, service development and research in health care away from capital city services.

The School's active research program has attracted more than $3 million during the past five years to research northern Australia's health care needs.

For more information, contact Professor Brooks (telephone 07 3365 5106), Professor Hays (telephone 0747 819 666) or Professor Humphrey (telephone 0740 506 830).