Teamwork essential ingredient for career in medicine

Medicine students collaborate to practice skills
such as emergency, airways management and intubation.

05 February 2015

Problem solving, communication, teamwork and a hint of artistic flair will underline the Collaroy Orientation Program for Medicine students at The University of Notre Dame Australia's Sydney Campus on 5 to 6 February 2015.

The two-day program aims to improve teamwork and building personal relationship skills in second year Medicine students across a number of activities including emergency, airways management and intubation.

Professor Christine Bennett, Dean of the School of Medicine, Sydney, says Notre Dame students are encouraged to develop strong team skills and to recognise the strengths which others bring to the group environment.

"Effective teamwork is a core component of medicine in today's world. The Collaroy program sees a number of team building activities occur, including a sand sculpture competition, a trivia night and beach emergency response drills. The Collaroy Surf Lifesaving Club supports us in these beach emergencies sessions," Professor Bennett said.

"In addition to water rescue, students also practice the skills of airway management – including intubation, intravenous cannulation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and anaphylaxis recognition and management."

The highlight of the program is the traditional sandcastle competition held on Collaroy Beach. Students work in groups to sculpt 15 sand creations that represent the first letter of their learning group for the year, with extra points awarded for creativity.

The activity is designed to help students build camaraderie, further highlight the importance of teamwork in medicine, accentuate critical thinking skills which are essential for any health-related career.

"The activity happens first thing in the morning and gets the students to start thinking as a team, on their feet and under time pressure – all skills needed to work in emergency situations. In previous years it has also been a nice surprise to early morning beacher-goers," Professor Bennett said.

The program is designed to reflect the practical and collaborative nature of the Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery curriculum at Notre Dame which is underpinned by a Problem Based Learning (PBL) model.

PBL is an education model in which a clinical problem sets the context for a student's learning material in an academic year. In groups of eight, students explore a series of these problems supported by lectures, practical sessions and private study.

Applications to study Medicine at Notre Dame in 2016 are open. For more information on the Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery program, please visit


Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;