Scholarly Intensive Placements (SIP)
All Monash medical students complete a six-week Scholarly Intensive Placement (also known as a SIP) during the final year of their MD program. Scholarly Intensive Placements allow you to focus on a particular medical or professional practice issue, in-depth, by taking part in scholarly activities, such as analysing relevant literature, collecting data, reviewing policies, or developing new resources.
Why do your Scholarly Intensive Placement with Monash Rural Health?
At Monash Rural Health, the majority of our SIP rotations are embedded within rural health care services. This gives you the opportunity to gain additional clinical time and experience while completing your project - alongside developing important professional skills in research, analysis and communication.
There are other significant benefits to completing a SIP in a rural setting, including:
- Be part of a project that matters: Our projects are based within local health services. Your SIP project will contribute to improving their systems and practice and help make a tangible difference to health outcomes within the community.
- Grow your professional network: You’ll be part of a multidisciplinary team and work directly with clinicians, researchers, nurses and allied health practitioners, as well as professional and administrative staff, building your future career network.
- Build on research experience: You may have the chance to work towards publishing your findings or even continue working on your project beyond your six-week rotation.
Hear from Associate Professor Bernadette Ward, our SIP Coordinator about what’s unique about completing your Scholarly Intensive Placement with Monash Rural Health:
Where can I complete my Scholarly Intensive Placement?
We offer Scholarly Intensive Placements across many of our teaching sites, embedded in health services across the north-west and south-east (Gippsland) regions of Victoria.
In 2021, our students had the opportunity to participate in a range of research and professional practice projects in surgical, palliative care, ED, ICU, psychiatry, rehabilitation, aged care, oncology, women’s health, renal and respiratory units. The 2022 project offerings will be similar. Explore the types of project, learn more about our different sites and hear from previous students about their experiences completing a rural SIP below:
SIP projects on offer at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) are based in a wide range of areas, including the emergency department and surgical unit. This provides a rare opportunity to gain additional clinical time, while also developing experience in project work. BRHS provides a range of healthcare services to the East Gippsland community and each year provides ED services to more than 24,000 patients.
Dr Cris Cuthbertson, SIP supervisor - Bendigo Health
“Having students doing SIP projects in Women’s and Children’s Services has been a beneficial experience for both the student and the department. We have been able to provide students with projects that are both challenging and interesting which has developed their knowledge and skills in the audit process. Being embedded in the department has provided not just clinical experience but has also provided an alternative perspective on the provision of healthcare. Being clinically relevant audits the results have directly influenced the clinical practice of the specialty.”
Dr Robin Burr, SIP supervisor - Bendigo Health
“Medical students doing SIPS projects is beneficial for both them and our department. We can help them to learn more about clinical problems in a real sense, and their work can provide data for our department that can help us to audit and adjust practices if necessary. It can also be a good insight for them into certain aspects of our day-to-day clinical work.”
Dr Verity Nicholson, SIP supervisor - Bendigo Health
SIP projects in Bendigo are based at Bendigo Health and its affiliated health services. Projects are embedded in one of the many hospital units including renal, medical, surgical, anaesthetics, theatre and palliative care. These SIPs generally include clinical time. We also offer some research-focused projects with leading researchers at Monash Rural Health Bendigo.
"Being a SIP supervisor was a fantastic experience for a few reasons: there are always questions that one has or certain anecdotal observations that one takes note of but never had a chance to find out or confirm. SIPS projects can answer these which I find fascinating. Secondly, it is nice to see medical students interested in doing research even over a short period; the findings are significant in their own ways. It was a pleasure to supervise Harrison who was keen to learn and very hard-working!"
Associate Professor Hieu Pham, SIP Supervisor - Mildura Base Public Hospital
SIP rotations in Mildura are in the psychiatric unit and the emergency department of Mildura Base Public Hospital (MBPH), which is located adjacent to Monash Rural Health Mildura. This hospital serves an area of over 22,000 square kilometres including areas of New South Wales and South Australia. You’ll spend time rostered between clinical placements and scholarly intensive activities. Hands-on experience, being part of a small team and regular contact with consultants are all benefits our previous students named as highlights from their time in Mildura.
SIP rotations in Sale are based at Central Gippsland Health (CGH). Projects are offered in the emergency department, medical and surgical units and focus on quality improvement through the use of policy enhancement, education and audits. All SIPs in Sale have a clinical component, providing you with an immersive, practical experience that will complement your project.
“My knowledge of hospital administration was very limited as well, so being placed with the governance team at Latrobe Regional Hospital gave me a great insight into the running of hospitals, the guidelines they must obey and the standards they must meet to keep running. It was a fascinating look at the behind the scenes work that occurs so that hospitals can run. I was very appreciative of the support given to me by Dr Rob Dawson and the governance team at LRH.”
Harry Botta, Traralgon 2021
Rob Dawson, SIP supervisor and Clinical Dean - Monash Rural Health Traralgon
SIP rotations in Traralgon are based at Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH), the Gippsland region’s specialist referral health service and trauma centre. Projects are available in a range of clinical and medical administration areas at LRH and are complemented by valuable, hands-on clinical experience. SIPs at LRH are focused on quality improvement audits that aim to improve knowledge translation between clinical practice and patient outcomes.
In Warragul, SIP rotations are in collaboration with the West Gippsland Healthcare Group, an organisation providing health services to over 53,000 people within the growing Baw Baw Shire. Your project may be based in a variety of clinical areas at WGHG, including ED, medical and surgical units, where you’ll be supervised by multidisciplinary teams, along with passionate and knowledgeable supervisors. During your time in Warragul, you’ll not only learn highly sought after clinical auditing skills, but also gain invaluable clinical experience while completing your scholarly project.
"SIPs supervision is fun, fulfilling and adds to the quality activities of our hospital, but more importantly you can make a difference to the wellbeing and self-esteem of the student. All 3 projects I supervised were audits that demonstrated gaps in common healthcare processes like: antimicrobial prescribing for pneumonia, analgesic medications for postoperative joint surgery and documentation and efficacy of colonoscopy, all leading to a change in hospital policy with improvement in quality and safety. These will all make a difference to the well-being of our patients. Monash medical students in action making a difference!"
Associate Professor Bruce Waxman, SIP supervisor and Clinical Dean, Monash Rural Health Wonthaggi
SIP rotations that are based in Wonthaggi are in collaboration with Bass Coast Health. Bass Coast Health offers a varied range of clinically based SIPs, in multiple areas of their health care service. You’ll have the rare opportunity to work closely with a multidisciplinary team and senior consultants, focusing on areas of clinical quality improvement.
Interested in completing your SIP at Monash Rural Health? To learn more, or ask any questions, contact Associate Professor Bernadette Ward.