What do Australian medical programs teach medical students about breastfeeding?

Brodribb, W., Jackson, C., Fallon, A. and Hegney, D. (2007) What do Australian medical programs teach medical students about breastfeeding?. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal, 9 2: 83-94.

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Author Brodribb, W.
Jackson, C.
Fallon, A.
Hegney, D.
Title What do Australian medical programs teach medical students about breastfeeding?
Journal name Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Disciplinary Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-1100
Publication date 2007-08
Year available 2007
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 9
Issue 2
Start page 83
End page 94
Total pages 12
Editor T. Egan
K. Jones
Place of publication Australia
Publisher ANZAME
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
730201 Women's health
740301 Higher education
321101 Midwifery
Abstract Objectives To investigate what breastfeeding information is included in Australian medical program curricula and how and by whom it is taught. Method The ten Australian medical schools who have graduated students from their current programs were asked to nominate a person to complete an 11-item questionnaire. Data collected from the questionnaire included: if and where breastfeeding is located within the medical program; who teaches medical students about breastfeeding; and other opportunities medical students have to learn about breastfeeding. Results The questionnaire was completed and returned by nine of the ten nominated people, giving a response rate of 90 percent. One respondent did not know whether breastfeeding was included in the curriculum. The advantages of breastfeeding, normal breastfeeding management and breastfeeding problems were taught within the curriculum in the remaining eight programs. All medical programs encouraged contact with breastfeeding mothers and infants although it was not clear whether this included clinical teaching. Teaching about breastfeeding was undertaken by people from a number of different professional areas (e.g. midwives, doctors, lactation consultants) with all schools utilizing a minimum of three professions. Conclusions While most Australian medical students received some instruction about breastfeeding, the subject areas taught and the method of teaching varied widely between medical programs. Some students received little formal teaching, with patient contact being the main avenue for gaining breastfeeding knowledge and experience. Others had minimal clinical contact. Ideally breastfeeding should be incorporated into the broader curriculum whenever it is applicable and include both formal teaching and clinical instruction.
Keyword medical students
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Created: Thu, 13 Dec 2007, 10:43:12 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work