Ochsner and Australia Partner for Long-Term Solution to Physician Shortages

Added on Apr 30, 2009 | Filed Under: General News | Video(s)

Collaboration with University of Queensland Medical School in Australia Provides Overseas and New Orleans Education for U.S. Medical Students

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) and The University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane, Australia, proudly announce the opening of the University of Queensland School of Medicine Clinical School at Ochsner, a unique, joint affiliation that will provide U.S. medical students with unprecedented training experience. Additionally, this will work toward alleviating physician shortages in Louisiana and the Gulf South. U.S. medical students will have the opportunity to complete two years of pre-clinical training in Brisbane, Australia and their third- and fourth-year training at Ochsner Health System. Australian medical students will also have the opportunity to spend part of their third and fourth years at Ochsner, benefiting from a variety of medical specialties, research and core rotations.

In January 2009, 16 U.S. medical students traveled to Australia and began two years of their four-year medical training. In addition, Ochsner welcomed current University of Queensland Medical students for fourth year elective and core rotations. The goal is to admit 80 additional U.S. students in 2010 and reach a steady state of 120 admissions in 2011.

"Very few organizations in the world can offer this type of collaboration, whereby U.S. medical students can broaden their medical training and experience the best education opportunities of two different countries," explains Dr. William W. Pinsky, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Ochsner Health System. "This is a completely unique opportunity in the United States."

Dr. Pinsky goes on to say, "By focusing our recruiting efforts on medical students in the Southeastern U.S, we believe the long-term benefit will be a reduction in physician shortages in our region; as more students participate in the program they'll choose to remain near their hometowns and practice medicine, thereby, boosting our economy. We'll also have a significant emphasis on primary care in the curriculum as we are in desperate need of primary care physicians in Louisiana."

"This program will be reviewed in the near future for accreditation by the Australian Medical Council," explains Janice Piazza, Vice President of Academics at Ochsner (http://www.ochsner.org). "Our current activities will demonstrate the quality and scope of training that this unique partnership will provide. Ochsner will continue to provide learning experiences for medical students from both Tulane and LSU programs and only see the new program strengthening the experience for all students who do clinical rotations at an Ochsner facility."


"The University of Queensland School of Medicine Clinical School at Ochsner will provide U.S. medical students with an un-matched educational training and experience in both countries," explains Professor David Wilkinson, Dean of the University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane. "Students will benefit from the strengths of both systems; the academic resources at Ochsner (http://www.ochsner.org) combined with Queensland's capacity to create additional medical school spaces."

The University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane, Australia, is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council, the official entity that establishes the highest standards possible for Australian medical schools, and is one of Australia's leading medical schools.

In October 2006, Ochsner grew to become a seven-hospital system, further strengthening its educational opportunities. "Ochsner's training programs have never been stronger or broader and more are available than pre-Katrina, which is a sign of continued growth and commitment to medical education," explains Dr. Pinsky. He goes on to say that Ochsner also has tremendous opportunities for post-training employment.

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