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Curtin appoints Foundation Head of Medicine

Media release

Following an extensive international search, Curtin University has appointed Professor William Hart to the position of Foundation Head of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Professor William Hart
Professor William Hart

Professor Hart’s role will be to lead the Department of Medical Education and Curtin’s proposed medical school.

With a particular interest in public health, epidemiology and medical psychology, Professor Hart’s career in medical education and research has spanned more than 30 years. He is currently the Director of the Gippsland Medical School, Monash University’s rural medical school based in central Gippsland, which he helped to establish.

Curtin University Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor David Wood said the inaugural appointment would work toward achieving federal funding for Curtin’s proposed medical school based at its Bentley Campus.

“Professor Hart’s extensive experience in establishing a medical school focused on rural health will be of great benefit to developing Curtin’s interprofessional clinical schools in rural and regional areas,” Professor Wood said.

“His dual training in medicine and psychology, former roles in health sciences and medical education, and deep understanding of interprofessional learning will ensure our proposed medical degree is relevant, with a team-based approach to teaching that will improve patient safety and quality of care.

“Over the coming months, Professor Hart will lead the ongoing development of the medical curriculum, the clinical partnerships and the resources required to deliver Curtin’s proposed medical degree.”

Professor Hart said his appointment was an exciting and unique opportunity to contribute to the future of healthcare in Western Australia.

“By establishing a medical school at Curtin, we would make a major contribution to the availability and quality of healthcare, particularly rural-based and outer metropolitan GP services, in Western Australia,” Professor Hart said.

Professor Hart is pleased to be leading the drive for WA’s only five-year undergraduate Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery degree.

“Students deserve the option of an undergraduate medical degree. WA has the fastest growing population in Australia and major expansions in public and private hospitals are planned, so Curtin’s proposed new doctors would greatly improve access to medical services and reduce doctor shortages and uneven distribution of healthcare services.

“It’s also important that we give school leavers the opportunity to study medicine here in WA. Curtin’s degree would keep talented young people in WA and mean more locally-trained doctors for the future.”

Professor Hart graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery with Honours (MBBS Hons) from Monash University in 1973. Over the past 30 years he has been a public health physician, a part-time GP and chief executive of a medical research consortium (Neurosciences Victoria Ltd) securing many millions of dollars in research funding. Professor Hart has also been very actively involved in medical and health sciences education, mainly in the fields of medical psychology and community health.

Professor Hart will take up his new role on Monday 24 September.

Contact:

Kristy Jones, Public Relations Consultant, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Email: k.jones@curtin.edu.au

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