Indigenous health is a core curriculum requirement for medical schools in Australia (Mackean et al. 2007: 544–6). Griffith University School of Medicine is a relatively young medical school. Because of this, it has had a number of priorities in terms of curriculum development and implementation, of which Indigenous health is one. The workload for the School in developing an excellent overall medical curriculum has meant that other areas of the curriculum took precedence. However, the Dean has recently announced that Indigenous health curriculum enhancement is a major priority for the School in 2012.

Engagement with Elders, community members and health care providers is important to the School and it is dedicated to making the time and commitment to develop a collaborative and respectful relationship with Griffith Council of Elders and Indigenous Community Engagement, Policy and Partnership (ICEPP). Clinical placements in Indigenous health and student engagement and interaction with ‘real’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients is important and the School has met with Elders and is collaborating with health care providers to facilitate this for 2012. 

‘Talking with Indigenous patients’ is a workshop using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander actors as simulated patients for 1st year medical students. The workshop is part of a cultural competency program in the ‘Doctor and the Patient’ theme. Griffith University School of Medicine and Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts (ACPA) collaborated to provide this learning opportunity for 1st year medical students. Staff and students at ACPA have provided direction and have consulted with Elders and the board of ACPA.

Jane MacLeod_Talking with Indigenous Patients