The program brings healthy members of the Canberra community to the School to be examined by small groups of first and second year medical students. The examinations may involve the medical students listening to volunteers' heart and lungs, or checking their shoulders and knees. The medical students are supervised by medically qualified tutors.
Associate Professor Ashley Watson set up the volunteer patients program. "Volunteers help students gain physical examination skills. It's important that students learn how to examine normal people and appreciate what we call the range of normality, before they learn how to examine patients with diseases. And volunteers feel they are putting something back into the community," he said.
"Volunteers appreciate the opportunity to be able to help out with the training of Australia's future doctors, they like the contact with young people, and they also find that they learn something themselves about their own bodies and about health and medical matters. We are always on the lookout for new volunteers."
The recruited "patients" are fully briefed at an information session, and provided with flexible options for volunteering, including preferred dates, times and types of examination.
For more information on the volunteer program contact Alastair Walters: 02 6244 3389.