17 December 2007

Medical students can now begin their studies at The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Ipswich Campus as part of a new dual medical degree.

The 100 undergraduate students accepted into UQ’s prestigious medical program can take advantage of the innovative new Bachelor of Health Sciences/Medicine Surgery dual degree and fast track their medical career.

This is the first time UQ has offered a Medicine/Surgery dual degree with a health focus. Dual degrees are an attractive option for potential medical students as they reduce by 12 months the standard academic pathway to graduate as a medical practitioner.

Program Director Associate Professor Mark Brown said UQ’s Faculty of Health Sciences introduced the Bachelor of Health Sciences/Medicine Surgery dual degree in response to the rapidly evolving health industry.

“This dual degree combination combines skills in preventive health and health management with medical studies," Associate Professor Brown said.

"It will produce skilled graduates with a broader knowledge of disease prevention and a deeper understanding of the healthcare system prior to entering the workforce.”

He said the nw offering provided “the best of all worlds” by giving students the opportunity to experience three of UQ’s state of the art locations.

Students will commence their studies at UQ’s Ipswich Campus, where they will undertake 2 years of training in preventive health and health management.

Upon completion of the Health Sciences component, students will then begin their medical studies at St Lucia.

The fourth year of study will also encompass time at either the Medical School at Herston or the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Students will then be allocated clinical placements within the State’s hospital system for the final two years of their degree, including placements with a new Clinical School based at the Ipswich Hospital.

Professor David Wilkinson, Head of the School of Medicine at The University of Queensland said the new dual degree program and Clinical School at Ipswich Hospital would have a number of positive outcomes for the local health district and the wider community.

“This dual program links with our commitment over the longer-term to boosting the School’s academic and clinical teaching capacity at the Ipswich campus,” he said.

“By investing in the development of a new clinical school for Ipswich we can offer students a much more personalised experience in tandem with our hospital partners.

“Ipswich has the potential to become a major hub for medical student training which will be a major boost to our dedicated community of clinicians and hospital staff working hard to recruit and retain quality medical graduates in the area.”

Professor Alan Rix, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Ipswich, said the new program reflected the rapid development of the campus as well as the development of the city of Ipswich.

“When UQ Ipswich opened in 1999 the addition of a program with medicine would not have been imaginable,” he said.

“Over the past nine years we’ve seen tremendous growth in the region while alongside the campus has established a strong presence and a maturity.

“UQ Ipswich has quickly earned a strong reputation for strength and excellence in health and is helping the region to meet demand for health professionals.”

Media inquiries: Associate Professor Mark Brown, Faculty of Health Sciences (0430 221 662) or Mr Warren Kerswill, UQ Ipswich (0411 407 263 or w.kerswill@uq.edu.au).