The Australian medical education system is at a critical juncture in relation to what and how it delivers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The recent work of three key organisations concerned with medical education provides a toolkit for implementation of sustainable reform within medical schools.
The Australian Medical Council’s Assessment and accreditation of medical schools: standards and procedures (2006)1 for the first time centrally locates Australia’s Indigenous peoples within its assessment and accreditation framework. The Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand’s CDAMS Indigenous health curriculum framework (2004) provides a set of guidelines for success in developing and delivering Indigenous health content in core medical education. The Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association’s report Healthy Futures: defining best practice in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous medical students (2005) establishes clear targets, principles and actions to ultimately achieve a greater number of Indigenous people in the medical workforce.
These major advances in relation to Indigenous health have been undertaken over the past 3 years. Each organisation commits to continuing on a journey of collaboration and has its sights clearly set on the destination — a medical workforce trained in Indigenous health, and more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors, leading to better health for Australia’s Indigenous peoples.