Without the support of Rotary Western Australia, this State might not be celebrating the 50th anniversary of The University of Western Australia’s Medical School this year.
This special long-term relationship between Rotary and the Medical school will be commemorated on Wednesday, October 31, 2007, at 6pm with the unveiling of a plaque by the Governor, Dr Ken Michael, also a Rotarian.
It is hard to believe that before 1957, aspiring young medicos had to go to the Eastern States or overseas for training. Many stayed where they had qualified, leaving WA’s booming population with a shortage of doctors.
Rotary came to the rescue. The Perth Rotary Club was looking for a worthy and substantial community project and several of its members, including leading ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr Harold Nash, considered the establishment of a medical school in Perth.
A team of UWA staff, Perth Rotarians and doctors toured the State to garner support for the project. Country Rotary Clubs joined in and the fundraising target was exceeded in little more than 12 months.
Today, WA has an outstanding medical reputation nationally and internationally, offering first-rate training in courses in pharmacology and clinical medicine to medical, science and dental students.
The clinical teaching program is supervised by acknowledged leaders in medical education who have introduced modern teaching and learning innovations while preserving the traditional patient-centred clinical apprenticeship.
Part of the 50th celebrations are Rotary-funded ‘mini med schools’ in regional areas to help inform and involve those communities in the changing demands of the profession. Body-painting as an anatomical learning tool and family health history are some of the mini schools’ interactive activities.
Maureen McDaniell for Rotary issues 61 8 6389 1690
(McDaniell Associates) 0408 941 481