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Engagement: Placements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
Prof David Atkinson & Dr Christine Clinch - ways to make the placement a positive one – a Western Australian perspective
  • UWA - Aboriginal Health specialisation unit – elective; vertical & horizontal integration of aboriginal health throughout the medical degree
  • Students, unique and intimate engaging placement within Aboriginal community and organisation
  • Interest for specialisation begins in 2nd year; semester long unit
  • 3rd yr – placement; if urban setting, one afternoon a week or 2 weeks during holidays
  • 4th yr – whole general medicine rotation undertake case study of Aboriginal patient; students have to talk with patient, complete medical and social history, examination, pick one topic and do a clearly referenced paper
  • Can follow up with Aboriginal health research topic chosen by CAMDH; approved by University
  • Kimberley established with partnership with AMS; deep immersion in Aboriginal health
  • Reciprocal relationship between KAMSC and University; Kimberley wanted more doctors and RCS wanted something student placements in AMSs
  • Vertical integration very important; core is to improve rural medical workforce and aboriginal health medical workforce
  • Select Aboriginal students who could succeed and prepare them so they can succeed; plenty of ability – need to recruit, nurture and support
  • CAMDH & School of Indigenous Studies – strength in co-location
  • Start young. Health career workshops - Yr 8 Discovery day; follow the Dream, Yr 10 camp, Yr 11 – 12 guide pick the right streams
  • Aboriginal specialisation - clarity around expected outcomes – not a clinical placement, learning from ground up, dealing with Aboriginal people
  • Opportunity for Aboriginal health / transferable to other indigenous groups internationally - biennial conference; representative nations Canada, New Zealand, Hawaii, North America

Key Point

  • If you can get it right for Aboriginal people you can get it right for anyone, no matter what skin colour, language, race.