GUMS | GUMS Advocacy Report – September 2016
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GUMS Advocacy Report – September 2016

21 Sep GUMS Advocacy Report – September 2016

There are 6 sections of the Advocacy Report for September 2016
          1. Welcome Professor Teodorczuk
          2. Assessment Feedback
          3. Dates: Graduation (17 October) and GP Rotations
          4. SECs and Feedback
          5. Conference Leave
          6. Complaint

1. Welcome Professor Teodorczuk

We would like to formally welcome Professor Andrew Teodorczuk as the new Year 3 and 4 Academic Manager. GUMS reps have met with Andrew on multiple occasions since his arrival, and are looking forward to working with him and Dr Lisa Amey (Associate Year 3 and 4 Manager). We have discussed a number of key issues facing students, including the adequacy of communication, challenges with hospital selections and electives, and the transition from pre-clinical to clinical years. They have instituted regular meetings with GUMS reps every two months, and in 2017 will commence Curriculum Hour, where students can submit issues or questions regarding the curriculum through GUMS (or directly to Lisa). Every two months, Lisa will visit a different clinical sites to answer these and any other questions to keep students up to date and supported throughout the year. We are also working on an Orientation Book for clinical years, to provide a clear and central resource for year 3 and 4 students. Lisa is also reviewing and augmenting the teaching provided in orientation week for year 3 so students can hit the ground running. Please let us know if you have any suggestions.
Andrew: Lisa:

2. Assessment feedback

During the recent Medical Program Curriculum Committee, GUMS raised a discussion on the way assessment feedback is provided. We highlighted the difficulty students have in accessing their written papers to identify areas for improvement, and the significant time burden placed on academics to provide personalised feedback. GUMS proposed that a group-based exam review session where students are able to view their papers may be an efficient and suitable solution, as has occurred other science-based courses. GUMS highlighted this would be valuable for short-answer papers, as MCQ papers are less conducive to this style of review.
Unfortunately, this was not successful. Reasons cited include the limited benefit of reviewing questions that are unlikely to be repeated, questions being taken from such a large content variety, that greater benefit can be obtained from focussing on broader reasoning and content gaps, and the workload that would be associated with generating a larger bank of exam questions. Staff suggested utilising the online resources available that can be used to test knowledge. They also state that questions are reviewed are each exam including those that were poorly answered.

Prof Teodorczuk and Dr Amey have stated they have met with third and fourth year students after the most recent progress test to discuss areas for improvement. They felt this was well received however would welcome feedback from students on this. There have been plans made to write more new MCQ questions for 2017.

At this point in pre-clinical years, large group session to review exams (post-mortems) will continue as the main point of exam review, as well as personal meetings with academic managers and theme leads for those who require them. In 2017, students will be required to attend LRGS post-mortems to be able to obtain access to personal meetings (which we think is acceptable provided adequate notice is given to students prior to these lectures, which have been notoriously short-notice or repeatedly rescheduled in the past).

The attempt to obtain more feedback has been a long standing effort by GUMS, and is a wide-spread concern across medical schools. Thank you to those who have shared their insights in this so far. If you would like us to continue to advocate on improved assessment feedback please submit your views to either Kirsty at or Maddi at

3. Dates: Graduation and GP rotations

The dates for fourth year graduation will be released on the 17th of October. These dates are arranged by the university, and not the school. Paddy discussed the issues students are having regarding receiving registration and prescriber numbers in time for internship next year to the Year 3 and 4 committee. The School will take this to the university to attempt to push for an early graduation date in 2017 onwards.

Fourth year GP rotation locations will be announced in two parts. The first three rotation block locations will be announced in October 2016, and the fourth and fifth rotation block locations will be announced in March 2017. This is due to the amount of time and organisation needed to prepare practices for placement.

4. SECs and Feedback

During the year 3 and 4 committee, the student experience surveys (those run by the university) were discussed. Response rates are low, as they are with post-rotation feedback. Subsequently the results do not lend themselves to the School instituting any changes based on the student driven data. Staff and clinical leads would like to really encourage students to use these as a mechanism to provide honest feedback. If you have a particularly good experience with a registrar, providing their name can be very helpful in developing their portfolios for future career progression.

5. Conference Leave

The GEMP Participation Guidelines outline the process for students seeking conference leave. This has been a great addition to the guideline that many students have been able to use to attend and present at conferences. We wanted to thank all those students who have submitted their post conference reports, it really helps with our advocacy stand point. This component of the guideline is being reviewed for 2017. We are looking for a student representative who would like to be on the review team to present the student perspective, working alongside the advocacy team. Please contact Kirsty at if you are interested.

6. Complaint

Over the past months, there has been an investigation into the conduct of a staff member in response to a complaint submitted by GUMS on behalf of second year students. We would like to thank Professor Broadley and Professor Ellwood for their diligent work in response to this, including meeting with GUMS within six hours of the complaint being made, and meeting with several students over the past weeks. The School of Medicine worked with Griffith University HR department to investigate the complaint and found that it was appropriate and well-founded. Professor Broadley has discussed the matter with the staff member, who engaged fully in the process of the investigation, and who has given an undertaking that the behaviour displayed will not be repeated. We are happy to move forward and onwards with this valued member of the staff.

Professor Broadley reiterated to GUMS that any students with concerns is encouraged to raise them with any member of staff that they feel comfortable with, and that his door is always open if they feel that they are not being heard. We would like to that staff and students alike who work hard to build a culture of respect and support within our school and university.