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Thanks to Prof Linda Brubaker for an inspirational opening to our joint ICCS UGSA and CFA national conference. Her topic was ‘Education in modern health systems’. She focused on the education of medical practitioners. She believes there are four key requirements that contribute to a good doctor (physio/nurse/or any other person working in the health field).
These qualities include:

  • Being a master of skills
  • Use evidence based practice
  • Demonstrate humanism
  • Show leadership

She spoke of the importance of access for all to good health delivery; satisfaction for patients, families; quality and safety; financial feasibility workforce diversity. Health care systems must mitigate the effect of regional shortages and improve geographic distribution and overcome the multiple barriers that present.
Linda was discussing the situation in America, but all these issues particularly the geographic distance from tertiary health care, are particularly relevant for patients spread across this great brown land- Australia. Access to good health care is affected tremendously by remoteness and different qualities of access to specialist care from medical officers and other specialized health professionals.
This is particularly pertinent in the Far North Qld (FNQ) as evidenced from the lecture by Dr Rebecca Wright (‘Managing ante-natal and gynaecological health issues in FNQ- interventions and outcomes’) where the tyranny of distance and remoteness has a huge impact on the outcomes to health provision.
Linda’s view is the health care systems must mitigate the effect of regional shortages and improve geographic distribution of resources and improve recruitment and retention of quality medical specialists in all regions not just the ones in the big capital cities.
Key Goals
Mastery of skills– acquiring the level of skills above the minimum -but not just achieving those skills but maintaining competence over time, using evidence based practice. Task acquisition should be task or concept based not time based. She also spoke of a new concept of implementation science– the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of clinical research findings and other evidence based practices into routine practice.
Implementation science can overcome:

  • Organizational silos and barriers (“I’ve always done it this way”)
  • Pockets of cultural inertia
  • Professional hierarchies
  • Financial disincentives that decrease health care efficiencies (possibly more relevant in USA but with proposed changes to the health system in Australia we may well be following the American medical model)

Always put the patient at the centre of what you do. BE that provider who will listen to their story and help them. The patient always is hoping YOU, the health professional, will be that one who’ll connect with them and listen and acknowledge how they have suffered.
Lead in a collaborative way, doing the best for each patient and also bring out the best in each medical team.
There were many fabulous lectures today and hopefully I will cram some of the salient points into a blog on the plane on the way home. There is definitely no time to do much at night as my roomie Fiona Rogers is very distracting to be around (in a nice way)!