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Medical education makes leap forward

Medical education makes leap forward

The Medical Council is implementing changes to doctor’s training and education that will improve patient safety and the performance of doctors.

The first of these changes is the release today of the New Zealand Curriculum Framework for Prevocational Medical Training (NZCF).

The NZCF outlines the learning outcomes to be completed in the two years after a doctor graduates and will build on the skills and competencies gained through medical school.

Mr Andrew Connolly, the Council’s chairperson said today, ‘NZCF is a significant leap forward in medical education and will be critical in training doctors to bridge the gap from medical school to hands on medical practice.

‘Dr John Adams, the immediate past Chairperson oversaw the development of this initiative which I endorse.’

A staged implementation of the NZCF will commence in November 2014 for first year doctors.

Mr Connolly says full implementation of the NZCF will not occur until clinical attachments have been accredited, which is scheduled for November 2015. Accreditation of clinical attachments will ensure that every clinical attachment provides quality training and learning opportunities.

However everyone involved in prevocational training will be able to use the learning outcomes in the NZCF as a guide for training and educational programmes.

‘The NZCF is underpinned by two central concepts,’ said Mr Connolly.

‘The first is that patient safety must be at the centre of healthcare and depends on both individual practice and also effective multidisciplinary team work.

‘And the second is that throughout their careers, doctors must strive to improve their performance to ensure their progression from competent, through proficient to expert practitioner, with the aspiration always to provide the highest possible quality of healthcare. ‘

Mr Connolly says the beauty of the NZCF is that it builds on undergraduate education by guiding recently graduated doctors to develop and consolidate the attributes needed for professionalism, communication and patient care.

‘The NZCF will help young doctors to smoothly make the transition into a rapidly changing healthcare landscape by giving them the skills, opportunities and confidence to work in an increasingly challenging and fast paced work environment.’

‘I believe that the NZCF will shape the nature of medical practice in New Zealand in the decades to come, as well as ensuring quality training that I hope will help in the retention of New Zealand medical graduates.

‘There is a list of core competencies a doctor must achieve in their first year. These competencies will be built on in the doctor’s second year with the acquisition of new skills including those relevant to future vocational training.’

‘So for example, at the end of their first year we want these young doctors to be able to demonstrate a number of clinical management skills.

‘As well, these doctors will be able to recognise complex or uncertain situations and seek advice appropriately.

‘By the end of their second year, we would expect these doctors to have developed and consolidated the clinical management skills they gained the previous year, ‘said Mr Connolly.

A copy of the New Zealand Curriculum Framework for Prevocational Medical Training can be downloaded here .

- ENDS -

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