Medical and Healthcare Education Research

Our research is aimed at advancing the skills of healthcare educators and students across a range of disciplines including, but not limited to medicine, nursing, exercise science, and nutrition and dietetics. Educational innovations are also implemented and evaluated within the science disciplines of anatomy, biochemistry, cell and molecular sciences and physiology. HIRC provides a platform for interdisciplinary discussion and understanding around delivering the highest standard of medical and healthcare education.

HIRC's medical and healthcare education research goals include working towards curriculum reconciliation, developing cultural capacity in staff and students, widening participation, and improving inclusivity and equity. Our research evaluates and disseminates findings on innovations in feedback and assessment, work integrated learning, and the development of curricula and educational delivery formats designed to develop clinical practice skills; health advocacy; professionalism; leadership; scientific understanding and scholarship.

HIRC researchers have developed resources and co-designed innovative curricula in Indigenous health, medicine, anatomy, biochemistry, nutrition and continued professional development for health professionals.

A HIRC small grant contributed to the development of an online module designed and developed with local Aboriginal Elders: “Yarning on Yuin Country” to provide learning around the social, political and cultural knowledge that have shaped Aboriginal communities in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region. This approach, where the learning is relevant to Country and driven by the Elders as educators, is now being utilised to develop similar modules around rural and regional NSW including Bundjalung and Gandangara Country.

Another HIRC-funded project has evaluated the impact of simulation on registered and enrolled nurse confidence and competence in delirium assessment and management. This research has been conducted across four private hospital sites.

Research has also been completed to improve nutrition in pregnancy and infant feeding training for nurses and nursing students. A model of care to improve malnutrition screening of older adults in General Practice has been developed and evaluated for use by General Practice nurses and doctors.

Current Honours and PhD students are investigating nutrition taught in both nursing and medical curricula, including development of a framework for nutrition education in medicine to cover pre-entry to post-graduate needs. Members have also previously worked on development of competency standards in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Theme leader:  Dr Karen Fildes (School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences)