PAUL GPCS 3The Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health (the Centre) has responsibility for the Aboriginal health curriculum within the health professional courses offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia (UWA). In 2000, the Medical School introduced a refreshed and updated curriculum for its six-year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program. Staff at the Centre used this opportunity to introduce a more comprehensive horizontally and vertically integrated approach to teaching and learning Aboriginal health. The new curriculum included core Aboriginal health content for all students and the creation of Aboriginal health-specific options, selectives and electives across each of Years 2 through 6.
Given the substantial commitment and engagement that some students were showing by enrolling in every option in Aboriginal health across the medical course, it was decided this should be appropriately recognised by the Faculty and University. Consequently, in 2007 an Aboriginal Health Specialisation was formally approved at School, Faculty and University levels, and students who successfully completed all of its requirements would have this recorded on their official academic transcript. In 2012, an evaluation was undertaken with the relatively small number of graduates (five) who had to date completed the Specialisation and finished their internship to gain feedback on their experience of its value and impact on their work. This case study presents the results of this evaluation of the Aboriginal Health Specialisation.