Academic Unit of General Practice
The Academic Unit of General Practice (the Unit) began as an initiative of ACT Community Health and the Canberra Clinical School of the University of Sydney in 1997.
The Unit is a community resource committed to providing excellence in health education, research and service.
Since its establishment, the Unit has made extensive contributions not only to the delivery of the University of Sydney's Medical Program to Canberra-based medical students, but has also made teaching contributions to junior medical officers, vocational trainees, and practicing doctors' Continuing Medical Education programs.
The Unit has developed research activities that encompass child health, integrated service development, clinical research, individual routes to health and healing, social determinants of medical care, and scholarship in teaching and learning.
Clinical service has been provided by the Unit in general practice, drug and alcohol medicine, palliative medicine and refugee medicine.
In addition, the Unit has contributed to policy development within the Australian Capital Territory and wider Australian health service through committee work and communication of its research findings.
The Unit provides key support to the educational programs of the new Australian National University Medical School (ANUMS). This medical school has a Rural and Community Clinical School within its structures that are continuing to build on the networks developed by the Unit. The ANUMS has a significant focus on community and rural health. The University of Sydney's involvement in the ACT ceased in 2006.
Funds from ACT Health, ANUMS, as well as competitive and non-competitive grants from various sources support the activities of the Unit.
The Unit's objective is to provide four key resources to the community:
- Teaching related to general practice
- Research related to general practice, including audit and evaluation.
- Service, including both clinical services in general practice, and administrative/committee/other service relevant to the joint venture partners.
- Networking, promoting collaboration among health care providers within the community and between community health care providers and the hospital sector.
- The Rural and Community Clinical School at ANU Medical School was established in 2003.
- Delivery of teaching to University of Sydney Medical Program Students, vocational trainees and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) participants.
- Review of the teaching capacity within ACT General Practices.
- Successful National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant for the ACT Bedding Study.
- Publication of three original research articles in peer reviewed journals. Three others accepted for publication.
- Six members of the Unit have presented their research works at 16 conferences, both international and national.
- Consolidation of role as evaluators for the ACT Division of General Practice (3 project evaluations funded) and as an advisory resource for the clinical units within the ACT Department of Health.
- Commencement of ACT Women's Chlamydia Study with 27 general practitioners in the ACT.
- Establishment of the first Regional Refugees Services Network in NSW.
- Ongoing program of monitoring children's health through kindergarten screening with ACT Community Health Maternal and Child Health nurses.
- Organised and conducted an Obesity Seminar for the ACT on behalf of the Chief Medical Officer.
- Contribution to clearer understanding of services for asthma care in the ACT through Care Continuum Study and release of professional and patient resource materials produced by the Unit.