Communications & Media

University pays tribute to community volunteers in Patient Partner Program

Patient Partner Program celebration

Participants of a crucial medical education program helping the next wave of future doctors have been in the spotlight.

On Tuesday, 27 November, the University of Tasmania formally thanked volunteers and supporters of the Launceston Clinical School’s Patient Partner Program at a special recognition event.

The community initiative partners patients who have a chronic illness with medical students in their fourth year of study. This enhances their educational experiences by allowing them to conduct examinations, discuss the patient’s medical history and management of their condition.

Coordinator Michelle Horder said the program had been a success for 14 years thanks to the community’s support.

“We hold this event every two years as a way of thanking and recognising our patient partners who volunteer their time to support the education and training of our future doctors,” Mrs Horder said.

“It is a great community event which brings together a diverse range of patients in a setting where they can share their experiences and meet other like-minded volunteers.  

“The outcomes of the Patient Partner Program are mutually beneficial and rewarding. The experience positively shapes the learning journey of our medical students while our volunteers feel they are able to give back to the medical profession and feel empowered by talking about their health care experiences.”

The program was established in Launceston in 2005 and forms part of the University’s College of Health and Medicine curriculum.

It expanded to the Hobart Clinical School in 2011 and has since been adopted by the Eastern Health Clinical School in Victoria which received training from University of Tasmania staff. 

In 2012, the Patient Partner Program was recognised for its innovation in teaching and learning after receiving a national teaching excellence award.

Around 50 program participants, University staff members and medical students attended celebratory event.

Published on: 30 Nov 2018 3:13pm