A longitudinal approach in the comprehensive third year Longlook program means students work in a rural hospital for the year completing all curriculum requirements throughout the year rather than in short-term based rotations. For learning, the advantage of this approach is to see and participate in longitudinal care of chronic disease and other conditions that evolve, develop and are managed over longer periods than a term rotation.
Being integrated means that the students work within the rural health team, learning as they go, supervised by on-site junior doctors, registrars (training specialists) and specialist rural generalists and general practitioners. Longlook students also have a unique opportunity to see patient medical care integrated from primary care in the community through to specialist care and back to their community.
A patient-centred approach recognizes that the majority of learning occurs from seeing and learning from patients in a safe environment. Students readily cover the curricula for these years of medicine learning around their work practicing to be ready for internship on graduation.
Third Year students choose one of the Griffith Rural major training sites in rural southern Queensland. The hub of the program on the Darling Downs is in Toowoomba, though students only visit this location for teaching and learning on Hub Days and specialist visits such as Radio-oncology Queensland and the Toowoomba Acute Mental Health Unit. Students are based at Gympie, Kingaroy, Dalby, Warwick, Stanthorpe and Beaudesert hospitals for third year Longlook placements.
In these locations, Griffith student residences are available either on the hospital site or nearby, except at Beaudesert where students have previously commuted, though we are willing to discuss assisting with local accommodation in Beaudesert and this is our preference – for students to live and work in their rural community.