First cohort of Notre Dame Medicine students to shape national health reform


The first class of doctors to graduate from The University of Notre Dame’s Sydney School of Medicine will be valuable contributors to the future of medical practice in Australia, the instruments of change in the Australian medical system, says Professor Christine Bennett, Dean of the School and former Chair of the National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission.

The School of Medicine, Sydney graduated 103 medical students last December – the first class of students to complete the course since the establishment of the School in 2008.

Professor Bennett says Notre Dame students have outstanding clinical skills, equipping them for a successful career in medicine. But Notre Dame medical students are also well-known for their passion for their vocation, commitment to lifelong learning and care for patients, which is instilled in them through the University’s curriculum and culture.

Professor Bennett said Notre Dame’s Medicine students are well-equipped to lead the evolution that is occurring in healthcare.

"The doctor’s role in healthcare is changing. Notre Dame students will have a perspective on health that is holistic. Health care in the future will require medical practitioners to understand health and wellbeing as well as disease, and to work successfully as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Additionally, our students have the capacity to be lifelong learners – something that is essential for medical professionals in a rapidly changing world," Professor Bennett said.

Notre Dame medical students have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations, including several in rural communities. This fits with the University’s ambition to produce doctors who will work in the areas of greatest need.

"Our graduates have shown a passion for serving the community. Many will be going on to practice medicine in rural areas where there is an urgent need for more doctors. I hope that this will help to close the gap in healthcare provision that exists in Australia, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders," Professor Bennett said.

The challenges affecting Australia’s health care system are many and complex, with the rise in chronic disease, difficulties with access, inequities in health status and a growing awareness of systemic waste and inefficiency just some of the key issues.

"Graduates from the School of Medicine in Sydney see the bigger picture in healthcare and I believe they will contribute to the medical leadership of our health system that is required to meet the needs of current and future generations," says Professor Bennett.

"The School is very proud of our students and I look forward to working alongside our new Notre Dame alumni in facing the many health challenges of the Australian community now and into the future."

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