Barossa Valley PRCC students

Parallel Rural Community Curriculum

The Parallel Rural Community Curriculum (PRCC) program is a highly successful initiative by Flinders University to introduce third year medical students to the rigours, challenges and rewards of rural and regional medicine.

World recognised and highly regarded, the program has produced medical professionals of the highest standard, many who have returned to regional locations to make their homes within the community.

The broad, integrated, flexible nature of this course will ideally suit students who thrive in a learning environment that encourages self-directed autonomy, responsibility and co-operative involvement in the ongoing care and life of individuals, their families and rural communities.

Further reading Parallel Rural Community Curriculum Evaluation Report (unpublished, 2002) by Professor Nigel Oswald from the Universities of Teesside and Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (PDF 246KB)

 

Watch the video

 

Study program

Each year Flinders Rural Health SA offers students the opportunity to undertake their entire third year in a rural community setting as part of the PRCC program.

You will be principally attached to a general practice, but will make extensive use of other rural healthcare facilities, including hospitals, community outreach agencies, Aboriginal Medical Services, prisons and health centres.

You will have the opportunity to actively participate in the care of patients over the whole year. This will give you first-hand longitudinal experience of medical illness, its natural history, diagnosis, and management and how it affects the family, workplace and community in which an individual lives.

You will learn by intensively following these patients, as well as having access to the wide range of clinical material that is found in the course of a year in a large rural community.

You will participate in a number of consulting and operating sessions (some GP, some visiting and resident specialist) each week, in addition to involvement in the treatment of a large variety of acute, emergency, and chronic medical conditions in both hospital inpatients and outpatients.

Learning is integrated across the six third year disciplines of Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Practice and Psychiatry.

Access to patients within each discipline for the entire year encourages you to have more control over, and responsibility for, your individual learning.

You will be gradually encouraged to experience greater autonomy in diagnostic, management, consulting and procedural skills throughout the year.

It is hoped that through experiencing life as a rural GP, you will appreciate the many great opportunities the rural lifestyle has to offer. 

 

Timetable

Your PRCC Administrator timetables your week several weeks in advance.

One day per week is usually 'University Day', with all students meeting together for Team Based Learning (TBL) tutorials, staff visits and videoconferences. The other days remain available for clinical work and individual study.

Previous students have reflected on this experience as ‘going to work’ each day rather than ‘going to uni’. This reflects a sense of involvement and value in the health team and an acceptance of their role in the community in which they live.

 

Resources

Regular visits by Flinders staff and the use of technology such as videoconferencing, email and teleconferencing will assist your academic learning.

A library and study facilities may be provided in your general practice.

The Medical Library also has dedicated resources to enable prompt delivery of requested articles and assistance with literature searches etc.

 

Support from staff

Your GP supervisor and specialist tutors are excellent and enthusiastic teachers.

Further support is provided by PRCC academic staff and designated staff members in each of the clinical disciplines at Flinders Medical Centre.

 

Assessment

Your assessment is equivalent to all other third year students, as documented in the Year 3 course booklet. Since the beginning of this program, PRCC students have performed very well in the Year 3 exams.