27 September 2006

UQ’s School of Medicine is delving into nearly a decade of statistics to reveal how well its medical students are selected, educated and how they perform as they train to become doctors.

Researchers with the three-year Tomorrow’s Doctors project, aim to give the School a clearer view of future training needs by analysing students’ progress.

Project Research Fellow Dr Haida Luke said she expected her group’s research would justify the quality of UQ’s medical training by identifying the needs of medical students and correcting any unprofessional behaviour.

UQ Medical student data has been collected since 1997.

“We’re looking at all this data that the Medical School has been collecting and we are publishing papers on how our UQ graduates come in, how well we train them and the quality of our graduates when they graduate,” Dr Luke said.

“We want to select a wide range of students who are appropriate for medicine and so we address the needs of the medical workforce for many years to come.”

Dr Luke said she expected the project would reinforce that UQ was training its medical students effectively to an international standard.

“It is especially important in this day and age to ensure the early support of the students who display unprofessional behaviour in medical school.

“If students have personal or psychological problems we have a procedure for that so that they come out with effective and responsible doctoring skills.”

She said the research was funded by the School of Medicine and also dovetailed with a similar national study run by the Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools.

The Project is headed by UQ’s Deputy Head of the School of Medicine Professor David Wilkinson and Ms Jenny Zhang is also a Project Research Fellow.

Dr Luke said the team hoped to have results by February.

MEDIA: Dr Luke (3346 4719, haida.luke@uq.edu.au) or Miguel Holland at UQ Communications (3365 2619, m.holland@uq.edu.au)