Faculty of Health

Award winning Patient Partner Program recognises volunteers

Patients and supporters of the Launceston Clinical School’s Patient Partner Program (P3) have been recognised for their efforts at a special thank you event.

A unique program connecting medical students and volunteer patients, P3 relies on community patients with chronic illness to volunteer their time to help students gain practical experience.

This generosity from the community means medical students can conduct consultations and learn through taking medical histories, carrying out examinations or discussing the management of a patient’s condition.

Volunteer Jenny Peebles said the program reaped great benefits, not only for the students but also for the volunteers involved, offering them a greater level of involvement in their own care.

“Being able to interact with students gives not only myself, but also the other patients in the program, the opportunity to take back a little control over our illnesses. It gives us a voice and thus enables the students to learn from us at the same time,” she said.

The program, which is hosted by the Faculty of Health’s School of Medicine, was established in Launceston in 2005 and expanded to Hobart in 2011.

In 2012, it was recognised for its innovation in teaching and learning with a national teaching excellence award from the Office for Learning and Teaching for Programs that Enhance Learning.

Program Co-ordinator Michelle Horder said the thank-you event was held every two years to recognise the contribution of the patient partners.

“It allows our patients to meet other like-minded people who also volunteer, and is a great community event which brings a diverse range of patients together in the one location,” she said.

Image caption: P3 patient volunteer Lisa Coppe and medical  student Eliza Burke-Polden