Indigenous Specialist Medical College

Trainees in Australia and Aotearoa
Specialist Medical Colleges Workshop #4


On 1st and 2nd of December 2020 we held the fourth of our Specialist Medical Colleges Workshops. The workshop was facilitated by the LIME Secretariat and included guest presentations from … Professor David Paul, Trainee Dr Talila Milroy, Professor Geoff McColl and video from presentations from Professor Gervase Cheney (University of Notre Dame) and Nadine Caron (TED TALK “Being the First” acknowledgment).

The workshop was well-attended by Specialist Medical Colleges members including CEO’s, Dean’s, Director’s, Senior Manager’s, Training Coordinators and Education Specialists, with representation from 15 of the 17 Specialist Medical Colleges. Most participants attended for the full two days, with almost half previously participated in LIME workshops.

The online workshop, with the balance of informative presentations and use of breakout rooms to facilitate discussion in small groups allowed for a great workshop experience:

  • Breakouts allowed quick recollection, reflections and topical discussions.
  • Combination of information sessions followed by breakout session to allow conversation and consolidation.
  • I loved the structure of the breakout sessions – the duration of the whole group presentations and frequency of the breakout discussions as well as the size of the breakout groups were fantastic … This is definitely the best Zoom course I’ve been to!

The workshop was informative and effective:

  • for an informative and insightful experience. Lots to reflect on to consider opportunities for improvement. 
  • … this was excellent, positive, filled with hope and encouragement of us trying to improve 

Participants reflected on how Specialist Medical Colleges can support Indigenous trainees to be culturally safe:

  • … moving from understandings of race, colonisation and medicine … to thinking about the trainee experiences … and how important one is to the other
  • bring those furthest behind along, so that we can move toward cultural safe training experiences and successes
  • Difference between cultural competency and cultural safety … Closing the gap isn’t all the goal, cultural safety.
  • Better understanding of AMC standards … how the accreditation process could be leveraged to improve the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees in our program

The lived experience as a trainee and “Being the First” presentations acknowledged that more needs to be done when calling out racism in a work environment  :

  • hearing directly from the trainee … presentation and perspective of lived experience … talking about racism in a learning environment
  • “Being the First” … was really thought provoking
  • how to support trainees in situations of overt racism how to select/mentor trainees

In future participants would like to

  • ‘training in speaking up’ about racism in training and the workplace.
  • more focus on effective and appropriate mechanisms to increase Indigenous recruitment and support once in training … what works, what doesn’t