Differences and similarities in the practice of medicine between australia and the United States of america: challenges and opportunities for the university of queensland and the ochsner clinical school

Ochsner J. 2011 Fall;11(3):253-8.


Background: In 2008, The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and the Ochsner Health System (OHS) in Louisiana entered into a partnership that will allow a cohort of United States (US) citizens to enroll in an Australian medical degree program in which students will study for their first 2 years of medical school in Brisbane, Australia, and then complete the final 2 years of clinical education at OHS in New Orleans. The program's goal is to create graduates eligible to practice in Australia, New Zealand, and/or the US.

Methods: We reviewed the UQ School of Medicine-established Ochsner Clinical School (OCS) and the translation of the UQ clinical curriculum to the US.

Results: The curriculum presented both challenges and opportunities, revealing the similarities and differences in the practice of medicine between Australia and the US. This paper highlights some of them, in terms of the healthcare systems, the health professional workforce, and medical education. For example, the healthcare system and medical school curriculum in Australia have a strong focus on primary care.

Conclusions: This new model in education may help train more primary care physicians for the US, providing physicians with a unique global perspective to face the future challenges of medical practice.

Keywords: Australia; United States; medical education; medical practice.