Top teaching honour for Orange doctor

ORANGE paediatrician Dr Jo Rainbow has received one of the highest honours in her career, because it came from her students. 

Medical students at the School of Rural Health nominated Dr Rainbow for Excellence in Teaching, awarded by the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health of the University of Sydney. 

Each year the University of Sydney medical students nominate clinicians for these awards, in acknowledgement of their teaching contribution to the curriculum and how they inspire up and coming rural doctors.

But the five-year rural health teacher played down the award, saying her success was due to how well-equipped the Orange campus was compared to others in regional centres.

“We’ve done two innovative things, first we’re teaching in both Orange and Dubbo, which means there is combined skills,” she said. 

“And the students get to do lots of hands-on stuff like with the high-fidelity mannequins.”

Workshops driven by Dr Rainbow allow students to experience a variety of simulated scenarios using the mannequins available in Orange. 

The mannequins replicate life-threatening conditions such as severe asthma or a prolonged seizure, yet enable the students to apply their new knowledge and skills in a safe environment. 

The high-fidelity mannequins are the closest thing students can get to a real critically-ill human without being in the emergency department.

“In a real emergency situation there’s doctors everywhere and it is hard for a student to get a go and practice,” Dr Rainbow said. 

In addition to Dr Rainbow’s recognition, the school’s registrar, Dr Jasmine Eldridge, won the University’s award for Excellence in Teaching, nominated by trainee paediatricians. 

“So out of all the rural campuses, Orange has done particularly well this year,” Dr Rainbow said.

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