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Guiding Hand For Junior Doctors

Clinical management, communication and professionalism are the key areas addressed in a new curriculum framework to guide junior doctors //through their early years of postgraduate training.

A review of the Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors by Dr Ian Graham, lead author of the draft curriculum, and colleagues, is published in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.

"Prevocational medical education is a critical phase in the continuum from medical undergraduate to college training programs when a junior medical officer works in supervised hospital and community practice settings for a period of 1 to 3 years," says Dr Graham.

"In the curriculum framework, the key areas are broken down into topics covering patient safety, clinical practice, skills and procedures, communication, teamwork, cultural awareness, teaching and learning.

"They describe the knowledge, skills and behaviours that trainees need to be comfortable and competent in before entering college training programs.

"The curriculum framework has been designed to meet the needs of a range of stakeholders including: Patients and families; junior doctors; international medical graduates; senior medical staff and other healthcare team-members; as well as hospitals and practices throughout the country. "Representatives from all stakeholder groups will oversee the implementation of the curriculum framework."

The framework highlights the importance of practice-based learning in the junior doctors' workplace and supports a balance between supervised practice and the individual's progression through prevocational training.

"It is essential that junior doctors themselves are closely involved in this work, and that adequate resources are allocated by the Federal, State and Territory Governments to support the implementation of the framework," says Dr Graham.

"Key priorities will include reviewing opportunitie s for teaching in hospitals and other clinical settings, mapping the curriculum framework to undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and identifying valid formative assessment tools that can be used in the workplace without placing undue burdens on junior doctors and their supervisors."

The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association. The original article and The Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors can be viewed at The statements or opinions that are expressed in the MJA reflect the views of the authors and do not represent the official policy of the AMA unless that is so stated. CONTACT: Dr Ian Graham 0418 342 417 Kylie Walker, AMA Public Affairs 6270 5471 / 0405 229 152


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