Why WA needs a new medical school
In 2009, Curtin announced a proposal to establish a medical school to help address the health and workforce needs of West Australians. A feasibility study was undertaken by the university, which confirmed that the proposal was viable. The development of a medical school at Curtin would address currently under-serviced areas of health care including primary care, chronic disease, ageing, Indigenous and regional health.
In 2013, Curtin commissioned an independent report, by Dr Felicity Jefferies, which outlined the implications for the WA community if doctor shortages were not addressed. They included higher costs for medical services, longer waiting times especially over winter, increased pressure on hospital emergency department and hospital beds, increased pressure on other health workers, and poorer access to medical services especially in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas.
How Curtin’s medical degree will be unique
Curtin’s medical degree will be the only undergraduate entry program in the State. The offerings from the two other medical schools are graduate-entry, requiring the completion of a three-year bachelor degree prior to entering a four-year medical course.
Curtin’s five-year direct-entry medical degree will have a strong emphasis on primary care, which will position graduates well for rural and remote practice, as well as outer suburban locations, where there is an acute shortage of doctors.