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Turning the Corner Assessment: A Key Strategy to Engagement and Understanding in Indigenous Health

Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal
Volume 13 Issue 1 (July 2011)

Abstract: Background: Developing a culturally competent health workforce is a key strategy in the struggle to provide quality healthcare services for Aboriginal people. Since 2000, the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health has implemented a comprehensive vertically and horizontally integrated Aboriginal health curriculum across the 6 year MBBS program at the University of Western Australia. This involves considerable core teaching, a range of options, electives and selectives plus an Aboriginal health specialisation within the MBBS degree, with assessment in each year of the course. Findings: This paper describes the context and background of the implementation of a comprehensive Aboriginal health curriculum. A key shift in understanding and engagement occurred when students were required, in their fourth year medical rotation, to complete a comprehensive case history and discussion, including reflective comments, in relation to an Aboriginal person they have seen during that rotation. From 2003-2009, 1180 students completed the Aboriginal case history in their fourth year medical rotation. 519 (44%) of the reflective comments were reviewed to reveal 14 key themes that show why this particular assessment task enhances student engagement in Aboriginal health issues. Of the reflective comments, 416 (79.6%) had statements that fitted into the identified themes. Discussion: The authors discuss their experiences, focusing on this particular assessment, some of the students' reactions to it, and how this provides a 'turning point' in students' engagement with the health of Aboriginal peoples.

To cite this article: Paul, D; Allen, C and Edgill, P. Turning the Corner Assessment: A Key Strategy to Engagement and Understanding in Indigenous Health [online]. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, July 2011: 52-64. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=348841783319907;res=IELNZC> ISSN: 1442-1100. [cited 08 Feb 16].

Personal Author: Paul, D; Allen, C; Edgill, P; Source: Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, July 2011: 52-64 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1442-1100 Subject: Medical personnel; Aboriginal Australians--Health and hygiene; Aboriginal Australians--Medical care; Cultural competence; Medical education--Study and teaching; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, University of Western Australia (M303), 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6101 Australia, email: david.paul@uwa.edu.au
(2) Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, University of Western Australia
(3) Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, University of Western Australia

Database: New Zealand Collection