How not to effect change in curricula

Bogda Koczwara, Michael B Barton, Martin H Tattersall, David R Turner, Ian N Olver and Darren L Starmer
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00456.x
Published online: 3 July 2006

To the Editor: We read with interest two recent articles and an editorial on the state of medical education in Australia.1-3 As cancer clinicians and academics, and members of the Oncology Education Committee of the Cancer Council Australia, we have been following medical student education about cancer in Australia for almost 20 years and have learned first hand what is not sufficient to achieve change.

  • 1 Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Liverpool Health Service, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 4 School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA.
  • 5 Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA.
  • 6, Perth, WA.

  • 1. McGrath BP, Graham IS, Crotty BJ, Jolly BC. Lack of integration of medical education in Australia: the need for change. Med J Aust 2006; 184: 346-348. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Paltridge D. Prevocational medical training in Australia: where does it need to go? Med J Aust 2006; 184: 349-352. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Dahlenburg GW. Medical education in Australia: changes are needed [editorial]. Med J Aust 2006; 184: 319-320. <MJA full text>
  • 4. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Cancer in Australia: a snapshot. Canberra: ABS, 2004. (Catalogue No. 4822.0.55.001.) Available at: 68110007852b/8ddd5aed085834daca256f 010077be4a!OpenDocument (accessed May 2006).
  • 5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Cancer incidence projections for Australia 2002–2011. Canberra: AIHW, 2005. (Catalogue No. CAN 25.)
  • 6. Cancer Council Australia. Ideal oncology curriculum for medical schools. Sydney: Australian Cancer Society, 1999. Available at: (accessed Apr 2006).
  • 7. Barton MB, Tattersall MH, Butow PN, et al. Cancer knowledge and skills of interns in Australia and New Zealand in 2001: comparison with 1990, and between course types. Med J Aust 2003; 178: 285-289. <MJA full text>
  • 8. Koczwara B, Tattersall MHN, Barton MB, et al. Achieving equal standards in medical student education: is a national exit examination the answer? Med J Aust 2005; 182: 228-230. <MJA full text>


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