To support medical schools develop and deliver Indigenous health content in core medical education, the then Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools (now Medical Deans) developed the CDAMS Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework following lengthy and intensive consultation with a wide range of Indigenous, health and medical education stakeholders. The Framework articulates the components of a functional curriculum for the teaching of Indigenous health and provides guidelines to curricula developers and medical educators.
The Critical Reflection Tool is a mechanism that enables medical schools record and reflect on their systems, initiatives and progress in Indigenous health, and their recruitment and support through to graduation of Indigenous medical students. The CRT is designed to help schools develop and implement Indigenous health programs and systems to suit their specific circumstances and needs, and is designed to encourage a whole-of-school participatory approach to Indigenous health education and equity.
In collaboration with AIDA, in 2012 a review was undertaken to identify best practice and barriers experienced in implementing the Framework and AIDA’s Healthy Futures Report. The Medical Deans–AIDA National Medical Education Review Final Report found that the most effective strategies consistently reported were:
- experiential learning in Rural Clinical Schools and Aboriginal Medical Services
- formal internal collaborative partnerships and networks
- the integration of medicine/health sciences and Indigenous health content, and
- cultural awareness and immersion, and reflective learning activities.
It found that significant progress had been made, but also considerable variation in the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of schools’ implementation.