Ararat welcomes new Deakin students

Ararat - The Ararat Medical Centre recently welcomed new Deakin University IMMERSe students to Ararat.

Blake Colman and Thomas Reilly are both in their third year of a four year postgraduate medical program at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds campus.

Mr Colman and Mr Reilly are part of an innovative medical course which allows them to spend a year based in general practice at Ararat. Rather than learn clinical skills in a large metropolitan hospital, the student doctors have the opportunity to complete their training in a rural medical centre. Mr Colman and Mr Reilly are involved in patient consultations under the guidance of the Ararat Medical Centre doctors which allows them to gain hands-on learning experience.

Practice partner and supervisor Dr Michael Connellan said patients played a crucial role in the students' medical training.

"Ararat Medical Centre recognises the important role our patients play in the teaching process, and would like to thank all those who allow the students to be involved in their consultations at the medical centre," Dr Connellan said.

"The students need real hands-on experience as part of their training, and this is only possible with the co-operation of the many patients who agree to allow the students to be involved in their care. We recognise that at times this may be inconvenient or a little awkward for patients, but we are constantly encouraged by so many who readily take part in this teaching process."

Practice manager Garry Hurst said this is the fifth year the practice has been involved in the IMMERSe program.

"Everyone at the practice enjoys having the students and assisting with their time with us," he said.

"Everyone in the practice, the reception staff, the nurses, the doctors and the partners are involved."

Blake Colman was born and raised in Canberrra and was attracted to Ararat by the reputation the practice has as a teaching practice.

"I had heard good things about Ararat and was keen to nominate the practice and participate in the hands-on learning opportunities," Mr Colman said.

Mr Colman looks forward to getting to know the doctors, staff and patients and the learning curve that is ahead of him for 2014.

"I'm looking forward to the hiking that the Grampians has to offer and playing basketball in the local community," he said.

Tom Reilly grew up in Melbourne and was attracted to the IMMERSe program and particularly learning from practice supervisors, Dr Michael Connellan and Dr Pieter Pretorius.

"I like the apprenticeship style of learning, the hands on and patient contact," Mr Reilly said.

"I'm also looking forward to spending time hiking in the local National Parks and doing a bit of skate boarding and hockey while here in Ararat," he said.

Dr Connellan said he hoped that through the practice's involvement in teaching medical students one day they may consider returning to the area as doctors.

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