Medical Deans manages a number of significant activities that directly support rural and regional health. These activities include the national Medical Students Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking Project (MSOD), Indigenous Health projects and rural clinical schools and university departments of rural health.
MSOD is currently the Australian Government’s main data collection tool for medical student information. MSOD provides the foundation for evaluating outcomes of medical education programs with specified workforce objectives (including rural and areas of workforce need), assisting in medical workforce planning and provides a national research resource.
Since 2002 Medical Deans has been actively involved in specific projects to support Indigenous Health (much of which directly supports rural and regional health). These include the development and implementation of the Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework, the LIME Network Project and a formal collaboration agreement with Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association, which identifies joint activities to help Close the Gap agenda.
The key coordinating structures in medical schools that support rural and regional health are the Rural Clinical Schools and University Departments of Rural Health. Through its individual members, Medical Deans continues to promote these organisations as the most appropriate funding model for teaching and infrastructure to support rural and regional health and for ensuring education is integral to health service delivery.