Heart of Australia is proud to announce the launch of its NextGen Medics program.
What is NextGen Medics?
NextGen Medics is the new student experience program being offered by Heart of Australia. It provides current medical students and allied health students with the opportunity to experience Heart of Australia’s innovative service delivery model. Specifically – the delivery of specialist medical services and the state of the art equipment required, to rural and regional communities via a fleet of mobile medical clinics – affectionately known as Heart Trucks.
Students will spend a cumulative 14 days immersed in Heart of Australia’s program, experiencing the locations, the communities, the medicine and the logistics that make it all happen.
What’s the impact of Heart of Australia’s mobile specialist services?
Since Heart of Australia commenced operations in 2014, we have seen over 10,000 patients and helped save over 400 lives.
Why is Heart of Australia running a student program?
Dr Gomes believes medical and health students are the future.
Dr Gomes was confronted by the health inequity faced by rural and regional communities when he was a medical student. The experience stuck with him and inspired him to found Heart of Australia.
Heart of Australia is working to address health inequity in rural and regional Queensland. Ensuring country people have access to great GPs, specialists and health care providers is an important part of the solution.
We want to help rural and regional communities to attract and retain great GPs in the future, and to ensure Heart of Australia has a strong pool of future specialists waiting to step on board.
We believe we can help support a solution by providing an opportunity for medical and health students to:
- gain first hand, in-person insights into the health inequity that exists in rural and regional Australia, meeting real people and hearing their stories.
- Understand the life-saving and life-changing impact that specialists can have in rural and remote communities
- experience how easy it is to practice specialist medicine on our mobile medical clinics with the support of the Heart of Australia logistical, administrative and clinical teams
- understand how they can contribute to rural and regional medicine with just a few days each quarter – without making a permanent move or relocating to the bush.
- Experience and fall in love with the beauty of the Australian Outback – its landscapes, communities and characters.
What will the program include?
The program includes five days of clinical hours per student, time with patients and specialists, time with the operations crew who make the mobile service possible, time with local GPs, and visits with local community members whose lives have been impacted by the service. Students will also have the opportunity to attend a GP Education Session (a professional development service we provide to local GPs) and to visit local tourism highlights.
What specialist services does Heart of Australia offer?
Specialist services currently being offered on the ‘Heart Trucks’ include cardiology, cardiac sonography, endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynaecology, neurology, psychology and sleep and respiratory services.
Scheduling of the NextGen program will allow students to engage with a minimum of two specialities.
Has Heart of Australia hosted medical students before?
Yes. To date, we have welcomed several students and provided them experience opportunities. This has included medical students studying at both domestic and international universities.
Our new NextGen initiative is in direct response to the growing number of requests we are receiving from students seeking engagement opportunities with our team, allowing us to increase the number of places we can offer in a calendar year.
Who is eligible to apply?
NextGen Medics will eventually provide opportunities to local, national and international medical and allied health students. However, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we will only be accepting Australian-based students for the 2020 cohort. Specifically, we will be accepting applications from medical and allied health students who can make their way to Brisbane independently, while complying with all lockdown restrictions.
NextGen Medics will welcome applications from students based outside Australia for future cohorts, based on any health advice and restrictions that apply to their country at that time.
How many students will be accepted?
For our 2021 cohort, we will be accepting six students.
Small cohorts provide an excellent opportunity for enhanced engagement with our team, while also accommodating the logistical constraints of working on-board the Heart Trucks.
Who are you looking for?
- Students (medical and allied health) who are interested in rural and regional medicine and health care.
- Students who are interested in making a difference.
- Students who are interested in learning what it might be like to be a doctor (or health professional) in rural and regional Queensland
- Students who are considering becoming specialists and are curious about how you can help rural and regional communities with just a few days work a quarter.
What’s in it for the students?
- An exclusive experience very few students have the opportunity to enjoy.
- The opportunity to experience clinical hours in a unique, innovative, mobile clinic setting.
- The opportunity to experience the mobilisation and medicine for rural and regional communities.
- The opportunity to experience rural and regional communities.
- The opportunity to engage with Heart of Australia’s specialists in a small group cohort setting.
When will the 2021 NextGen program take place?
Following in from the success of the 2020 pilot program, we will be running two cohort programs in 2021.
The mid-year 2021 cohort will complete the program over four short blocks. These blocks have been chosen to take advantage of weekends and university holidays and minimise time away from study and weekday employment obligations.
Dates for the 2021 Mid-Year Blocks (subject to change) are:
Thursday 10 June – Monday 14 June
Friday 18 June – Sunday 20 June
Monday 28 June – Thursday 1 July
Saturday 3 July – Sunday 4 July
In the future, post-COVID, Heart of Australia may offer an additional condensed block to coincide with the northern hemisphere summer for international medical students travelling to Australia.
How will this work with COVID-19?
Heart of Australia has been delivering medical services throughout the pandemic by adopting all required protocols to ensure patient and team safety. These same protocols shall be engaged for and required of the students.
Is there a participation fee for the program?
In an exciting development, the 2020 pilot program has been fully funded! This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for students to participate in the pilot cohort of the NextGen program without paying a participation fee.
From 2021, a participation fee of $500 (including GST) is payable. This offsets a range of program costs, including:
- the costs associated with air and ground transport (as required) to transfer students to and from our Heart Trucks in their rural and regional locations
- overnight accommodation during multi-day remote blocks
- breakfast, lunch and dinner each day during blocks
- NextGen student polo shirts & caps (uniforms)
- Programmed tourist attraction entry (refer program)
- administration and logistics
Students can choose to pay in four payments of $125, ahead of each block.
What’s not covered by the program fee?
The program fee covers all the main costs. Additional items you might like to budget for might include snacks, tourist souvenirs, and additional (non-scheduled) attractions. Transport between the students’ home and Headquarters or the nominated departure/arrivals airport is the responsibility of the student.
How do I apply?
Applications for the 2021 mid-year program are now open, and close on Sunday 9 May at 11:59pm.