Our BMedSc Students
Continuing access to general practice services for refugees in South Eastern Melbourne.
Supervisors: Prof. Grant Russell and Dr I-Hao Cheng
This project will sit within the scope of the OPTIMISE Project focusing on the refugee community perspective and experiences of issues relating to transitioning from the Refugee Health and Well-being Service at Monash Health, to mainstream GP services.
James (Jimmy) Ingram
An evaluation of a mindfulness-based retreat on the wellbeing of adolescents and young adults
Supervisors: Associate Professor Craig Hassed and Dr Debbi Long
This project aims to use mixed methods to measure the impact of a mindfulness-based retreat on the wellbeing of adolescents and young adults. Focus group interviews will be undertaken to qualitatively explore and describe the development of participants' attitudes towards mindfulness, their experience in applying mindfulness skills to everyday living, and ongoing barriers to practice. A variety of questionnaires will quantitatively measure the immediate and longer term impact on mindfulness, stress, rumination and mental wellbeing, while assessing the relationship between continued practice and these outcomes.
Exploring international medical students’ experiences of Family Violence education
Supervisors: Prof Jan Coles and Dr Heather McKay
Annabel’s research aims to explore family violence education from the perspective of medical students, who will have to manage FV victims in their future practice. Medical students from 17 different countries provided feedback regarding preferred content and delivery methods for FV education, as well as their opinion on the WHO pre-service guidelines. The goal is to identify key education priorities that can be used to improve and/or develop FV education internationally.
"I have had a wonderful year undertaking my BMedSc at the Department of General Practice. I was able to help create the study design of my project and choose a topic that interested me. My supervisors, Prof Jan Coles and Dr Heather McKay have been extremely supportive and helpful throughout the year. I would definitely recommend the DGP for students wanting to complete a BMedSc, particularly for students who have not had any previous experience in research. This project also provided me with fantastic opportunities to develop my understanding of primary care research. I was fortunate to be able to present my poster at the North American Primary Care Research Group conference in Colorado Springs, November 2016. The work I have done this year has been both challenging and rewarding, and I would love to continue working in this important area in the future."
Ben Crock (2016)
Investigating the eye health of refugees in South East Melbourne
Supervisors: Professor Grant Russell, Dr. I-Hao Cheng, Dr Riki Lane
Ben’s research aims to address the significant knowledge gap around the eye health of refugees resettled in Australia. Working with SAPCRU and in collaboration with Monash Health’s Ophthalmology Department, the project explored the relative prevalence of common eye diseases and visual impairment. Ultimately it is hoped that this can lead to further research and improvements in the field of refugee health.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my BMedSc year, in no small part due to my experience working at SAPCRU and the DGP. My supervisors were always within reach and willing to provide any advice or guidance I needed throughout the year, and the rest of the staff at SAPCRU and the DGP were equally friendly and available. Working in the environment of SAPCRU, where you’re treated very much as a researcher and a colleague, gave me a real sense of the research process – which was one of the major things I wanted to learn about over the year. Since I designed my own project my year was challenging at times but very rewarding. The support and help of the team at SAPCRU and the DGP helped me to have the best BMedSc experience I could have hoped for."
Luigi Zolio (2016)
Medical interpreting in an Australian context
Supervisors: Prof Paul Komesaroff and Dr Riki Lane
Luigi's project aimed to explore how professional interpreters influence the doctor-patient communication in the outpatient setting. Luigi drew on his fluency in the Portuguese language to study transcribed audio recordings of consultations with a Portuguese interpreter and complimented those findings with follow-up interviews of participants. The study also explored doctors' attitudes to telephone interpreting through semi-structured interviews.
"It's been extraordinarily rewarding to step outside clinical medicine for a year and explore medical research from a health sciences and humanities perspective. While we spend a lot of time in medical school learning about quantitative research, I am very grateful to have taken time to experiment with qualitative research and learn about the different types of answers which it can give us about clinical problems. I'm very grateful for the guidance and supervision which Paul and Riki were able to provide me, both of them offered me a lot of their time and were always incredibly positive and encouraging about my project. I am also very grateful to the entire department for being such a positive and welcoming environment for novices to medical research. As I prepare to go back into my final year of medical school, I genuinely believe that this research project has given me valuable perspectives which will allow me to be a better doctor for my future low English proficiency patients."
Mehul Srivastava (2015)
Mapping Family Violence Curriculum in Asian and Pacific Nations
Supervisor: A/Prof Jan Coles
Mehul's research aims to identify and document the current family violence curriculum for medical students and general practitioners across the Asia Pacific region. With this project, she has had the opportunity to attend the Asian Pacific Conference of World Family Doctors (WONCA) hosted in Taipei."I am very excited to work in this field because this project integrates women's health and primary prevention, and that too at a global level! It is an excellent opportunity and after helping out with this project since December 2013, I have decided to complete it as a BMedSc under Jan's excellent supervision. The department creates a very supportive environment for all students and I feel well equipped to tackle and understand the research process."
Tooba Mollah (2015)
Barriers and Enablers to Delivering Culturally Competent Mental Health care to CALD populations: Frontline Service Provider Perspectives
Supervisors: Dr Bianca Brijnath, Josefine Antoniades
Tooba’s research aimed to explore the factors which influence how mental health providers deliver optimal mental health care to their culturally and linguistically diverse patients. This project explored the barriers and enablers to practicing in a culturally competent manner in mental health care. Ultimately the outcome is to make recommendations to influence current practice.
"Prior to my BMedSc I had very little research experience and even less so in qualitative research techniques. The world of qualitative research is so different to the world of numbers and statistics that makes up quantitative research. I really enjoyed that qualitative research allows you a way to translate human narrative and experience into academia. Working with the department was a great choice because they were very supportive and Bianca and Jo were absolutely superb in guiding me through a completely new experience. I would recommend doing a BMedSc to any medical student because it broadens your mind, your academic abilities and gives you a sense of autonomy and achievement very different to medicine."
Sexual Violence and Women's Health: Educating Future Clinicians
Supervisors: A/Prof Jan Coles, Prof Gabrielle Casper
Sarah's research aims to explore practising medical clinicians' attitudes towards Sexual Violence education as part of the undergraduate medical curriculum. This research provides evidence for how sexual violence education should optimally be delivered and structured in the undergraduate curriculum and what content is relevant. Ultimately, the goal is to have evidence for a comprehensive sexual violence education program in the Monash medical curriculum as well as medical curriculums nationally and worldwide."Undertaking my BMedSc at the department of general practice with A/Prof Jan Coles has been a wonderful experience. Not only have I gained important experience in medical research but have done so in a supportive environment with lots of opportunities. Early last year I was able to go to New York to the 58th Commission on the Status of Women conference at the United Nations. This gave me invaluable experience, as I saw first hand the global efforts taking place to end violence against women and how my research would contribute to that. In addition I have been fortunate enough to receive a Better Learning, Better Teaching bursary to try and implement the findings of my research into the Monash medical curriculum. I have also received a John Snow scholarship for my work, presenting at the Population Health Congress in Hobart in September. Undertaking research at DGP really does open up many opportunities for the future."
Rifath Sana Syeda (2014)
The Effect of Mindfulness Training in Cancer Survivors Reporting Chemotherapy-related Cognitive Impairment.
Supervisors: A/Prof Jan Coles and Dr Craig Hassed
Rif is in the final year of undergraduate medicine at Monash. Her Bachelor of Medical Science year began with a research project that was close her heart, and over the course of the year it was refined with valuable input and advice from her supervisors, A/Prof Jan Coles and Dr Craig Hassed, and made into a reality. The primary aim of her year was to investigate whether online mindfulness training could improve perceived cognitive impairment and quality of life through a mixed methods research design.
"Overall, it was a challenging year but in the best kind of way. I was left with a sense of accomplishment by the end of it. Being able to pursue your own idea is very important, and although my project was very niche and outside the scope of most people in the department, I was enabled to carry it out. The staff at DGP were very supportive and encouraging, and my supervisors were very patient and knowledgeable."
Jacinta Christiansen (2013)
Impact of the Asylum Seeker Health Orientation Program (ASHOP) on asylum seekers’ knowledge and understanding of the Australian health system.
Supervisor: Dr I-Hao Cheng
“As a BMedSc student, SAPCRU provides a good balance of autonomy and support. From the outset, I was encouraged to select a topic and develop a project of interest to me, creating a sense of ownership and commitment towards its completion. While I enjoyed the independence and responsibility given to me in managing my own project, my experienced supervisors were invaluable sources of knowledge and advice. I arranged weekly meetings with my supervisors and felt comfortable popping into their offices for advice. As a learner researcher, I enjoyed the supportive and friendly environment of SAPCRU and was made to feel welcome by all members of the team environment for all students and I feel well equipped to tackle and understand the research process.”
Sathya Manoharan (2013)
An International Study of Working in and Researching Sexual Violence: A Qualitative Study.
Supervisor: A/Prof Jan Coles
Sathya is a BMedSc student working with Associate Professor Jan Coles at the Department of General Practice. Her research aims to examine the experiences of those working in and researching sexual violence. Sathya has recently been selected to present her research findings at the International Sexual Violence Research Forum hosted in Bangkok, Thailand at the end of this year. Sathya is co-author of Guidelines for the prevention and management of vicarious trauma among researchers of sexual and intimate partner violence. (2015) Sexual Violence Research Initiative.
"Working at the Department of General Practice this year has been an amazing experience. I've had the chance to work with a lot of helpful and supportive people who have taught me a lot about the research process. Next year I will be entering my final year in medicine. This year has shown me how enjoyable research can be and I hope to undertake further research in the future".
Elizabeth Prime (2013)
How can medical students be better prepared to deal with the health consequences of sexual violence in clinical practice?
Supervisor: A/Prof Jan Coles
Elizabeth's research aims to uncover medical students' perceptions of sexual violence as part of the medical curriculum. The ultimate goal is to discover ways to deliver education in a way that medical students will want to engage with, which will lead to improved health outcomes for women who have experienced sexual violence.
"Undertaking research with the department has been fantastic. I have not only been able to gain an experience of medical research, but also feel like I have been part of a project that has the potential to make a real world impact. I am very excited to be presenting my research at the Sexual Violence Research Forum in Bangkok in mid-October, and hope to be able to publish my research upon completion of my BMedSc".
Sujatha Harding (2013)
How General Practitioners manage their mentally ill culturally and linguistically diverse patients.
Supervisors: Dr Bianca Brijnath and A/Prof. Peter Schattner
Sujatha is a practising GP and current BMedSc student with the Department of General Practice. She entered the BMedSc program after completing her MBBS degree from Punjab University in India. Her research aims to identify the methods that GPs use to manage mental illness in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients. This project involved undertaking qualitative interviews with GPs from in Melbourne.
"I have had a wonderful experience in the Department of General Practice this year, getting a feel for research and getting to know a wonderful group of people with a strong sense of collegiality. The outcome of my research is a Thesis paper which I have recently submitted. Next year I hope to increase my time in general practice in order to sit the fellowship exams, so I may not be directly involved in research, even though the experience will help me in clinical practice through broadening my critical thinking abilities."
Pranshanti Manchikanti (2011)
What are the experiences of Afghani refugees attending primary care practices in south east metropolitan Melbourne?
Supervisors: Dr I-Hao Cheng, Prof. Grant Russell
"I think a good working environment and good supervision is fundamental to an enjoyable BMedSc year. You will definitely be able to have great people around you at SAPCRU.
The two things I found most important in choosing a project were 1) Supervisors, and 2) If the project suited your fundamental values regarding health/health care. These two aspects of the project will be able to sustain you during challenging times through the year.
Supervision is very important to the unit and a good supervision system is put in place early in the year at SAPCRU. I had regular meetings twice a week with my supervisor for the first four weeks of the year as I began to understand the research year. After this meetings were weekly and as needed as I transitioned to a more independent working style.
Students can expect to have real ownership over their project- ‘their baby' - which is a pretty great feeling as a junior researcher. Having a sense of real ownership of my project was a huge reward as I was able to create my own research question (with great assistance from the team) and understand its place within the field of refugee health literature."