Report: The University Health Clinic: Definition, educational practices and outcomes
Introduction: Increasingly, universities are allocating substantial resources and efforts towards developing their own student-led clinical services (SLCS) within university health clinics (UHCs). For that reason, under the umbrella of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAPHE), clinical educationalists from 12 Australian universities have come together as a hot topic action group (HTAG) to collaboratively explore and enhance learning outcomes from this setting.
Context: SLCS within UHCs increase placement capacity to meet growing demand. Moreover, SLCS within UHCs have the potential to provide an outstanding learning opportunity through high-quality supervision and activities designed to develop clinical competencies. However, the benefits of providing clinical education experiences for health and medical students in this setting has not been formally assessed.
Typically, SLCS within UHCs are developed through consultation between universities and local health providers and are purposefully designed clinical placements with a focus on clinical educational activities for pre-registration students. UHCs may be located on or off campus and offer SLCS or other services to university staff, students and/or the wider community. In SLCS, students’ delivery of health services is supervised by university employed health professionals.
Scope: The work of the HTAG to date is presented in this paper, which defines the setting and outlines assumptions, aspirations, challenges and enablers. The next phase of work for the HTAG is to formally explore the educational value for health professional students’ of SLCS delivered in UHCs and to develop resources and a quality assurance framework to guide the evaluation of these services.
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