New clinical school a first in a private hospital

9 February 2011

The University of Sydney's first private hospital clinical school, at the Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN), is to be officially opened today by the Chancellor of the University and Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO.

The launch coincides with the arrival of the new clinical school's first group of medical students, all of whom are commencing their medical studies this year.

Many medical and health students already undertake some of their training in private hospitals however the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School is NSW's first fully fledged clinical school to be based in a private hospital. The University's existing clinical schools are based in large public hospitals including RPA, Royal North Shore and Westmead, plus other smaller metropolitan and rural centres.

Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Sydney Medical School said the University was delighted to have a new clinical school.

"The SAN is one of the leading hospitals in Sydney and our students have much to learn from the commitment at the SAN to high quality health care," he said.

"The trend to training in the private sector will increase. Public hospitals have been the traditional training ground for medical students and young doctors but with increased numbers of students and fundamental changes to the way medicine is practised, we have do things differently.

"We need to be using private hospitals, general practices, community and specialist clinics to a greater degree in preparing young people for careers in medicine and health."

Dr Leon Clark, chief executive of Sydney Adventist Hospital, said private facilities such as the SAN have been under-utilised for training. On average over 76 percent of medical services and 60 percent of surgical procedures are provided by private facilities in Australia each year.

"Clinical training opportunities at the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School mean that medical students from the very first stage of their study and other health profession students will benefit from the mix and variety of patients we treat and the expertise of the enthusiastic specialists who work here," Dr Clark said.

"The School is appropriate given the reality that health professionals will often end up working in both public and private facilities."

The University of Sydney this year has 1150 students over the four years of its medical course.

The SAN has 352 licensed beds, 2200 staff and 700 accredited medical practitioners, with more than 50,000 inpatients and 160,000 outpatients each year.

Media enquiries: Rachel Gleeson, University of Sydney, 9114 0748, 0403 067 342 ,

Leisa O'Connor, Sydney Adventist Hospital, 9487 9416, 0410 541 728,