A new era for medical education begins in Sydney's west
13 December 2012
An $11.5 million, state-of-the-art facility for the education and clinical training of students and professionals, was launched by the Governor of New South Wales today.
"The Concord Medical Education Centre, a partnership between the University of Sydney, the federal and state governments and Concord Hospital, is a leap forward for medical education not only for Western Sydney but the NSW region," said Associate Dean and Head of Concord Clinical School, Professor Robert Lusby.
"It will be of major benefit to regional students, giving immediate access via teleconferencing to the latest in research and teaching."
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek MP and NSW Minister for Health and NSW Minister for Medical Research Jillian Skinner MP attended the ceremony.
Ten years in the planning, the purpose-designed building includes a simulation centre, a cardiac resuscitation training laboratory, surgical skills laboratory with 3D camera system, and video recording studio. Its facilities will be used by student doctors, nurses and allied health workers.
"A dedicated clinic for patients with psychosis, with the involvement of nine medical disciplines, is an example of the centre's innovations. The cardiac and metabolic risk factors of psychotic patients are often high and currently are not well managed in the health system," said Professor Lusby. "The multi-purpose centre will allow students to practice skills in a simulated environment including wards, operating theatres and recovery rooms."
"The cardiac resuscitation training laboratory can simulate emergency presentations and features an operating theatre environment where a hi-tech manikin can be connected to monitors, injected with drugs or given cardiac massage."
The Concord Medical Education Centre's recording studio can film and broadcast footage, including training videos, for research and teaching purposes. It can, for example, livestream patient consultations to regional and metropolitan teaching hospitals.
"For our more than 200 students, including international students, the centre means they have access to the best in technology and training, in close proximity to the hospital, where patients provide the real life experiences so necessary for preparing the next generation of doctors," said Professor Lusby.
The initial impetus and funding for the centre came from medical staff at Concord Hospital, Sydney Medical School and the local community, in memory of Associate Professor Geoff Marel.
"A University of Sydney and Concord Clinical School teacher, Associate Professor Marel died suddenly in 1999," said Professor Lusby. "He was especially known for his dedication to the education of young doctors and fittingly the new centre features The Geoff Marel Library."
That first funding effort was followed by contributions from the University of Sydney, the Australian government (through Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Health Workforce Australia), Sydney Local Health District and the NSW Ministry of Health.
Dean of Sydney Medical School, Professor Bruce Robinson, said he was delighted with the new facilities.
"Concord has long been renowned as a site for excellent clinical teaching and, with Concord Hospital and the ANZAC Research Institute, as an example of the value of education, healthcare and research partnerships.
"I would especially like to thank Professor Bob Lusby and his predecessor, Professor Ben Freedman, for their efforts and persistence over many years in bringing this project to fruition."
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