Victorian Public Health Medicine Trainee
The University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences


The Victorian Public Health Medicine Training Scheme (VPHMTS) has been established to address an identified gap in public health medicine training and workforce capacity. It is a collaboration between the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Victorian Regional Committee of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM), a faculty of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP).

The Victorian Public Health Medical Scheme (VPHMTS) is a competency-based, work-based training scheme aimed at developing specialist public health medical practitioners with high-level knowledge and skill in public health. The VPHMTS will provide on-the job learning to develop a broad range of applied public health competencies, managerial, professional and operational, through completion of projects aligned with the priorities of the Victorian health system.

The Trainee will rotate through a series of six-month (to a maximum twelve-month) placements in a range of public health settings, including the Department of Health and Human Services, non-government public health agencies and other academic institutions or research institutes. It is anticipated that most trainees will complete 6 six-month placements, and a minimum of 3 placements, over three years.

Through these placements and the projects that they offer, experience is gained in the use of epidemiological tools, population-based health assessment, accessing existing information systems, analysing data and developing new systems to address public health problems and improve health outcomes.

The University of Melbourne led Consortium, consisting of the Alfred, the Burnet, MCRI, the Doherty and Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (University of Melbourne) has been tasked with hosting the VPHMTS for 5 years of intakes. Each year of the intake 2 VPHMTS trainees (public health medicine registrars) each year who will each be employed for a duration of three years. The consortium provides a comprehensive training program for public health medicine registrars to become public health physicians. A range of work placements cover the range of competencies as set out in the AFPHM Program Requirements Handbook. In addition, the location of work placements must comply with the requirements for accreditation and for maintaining their accreditation status with AFPHM.

The Melbourne Consortium will provide leadership and professional development activities for the VPHMTS trainees.

In addition, the VPHMTS structure and competency framework makes graduates highly sought after as experienced and flexible public health professionals with the capacity and skills to manage a broad range of public health areas within the priorities of the Victorian health system.

There are 3 levels of supervisory involvement:

The Melbourne Consortium Host institution will allot a training supervisor to oversee the 3-year experience
Each placement will be undertaken under the guidance of local skilled supervisor
The learning experience will also be scaffolded by the requirements of the AFPHM Advanced Training Program as per the RACP AFPHM Program Requirements Handbook. This includes the requirements for supervisors, the use of learning contracts for each placement and the requirements to assess the development of competency and progression to Fellowship of the Faculty.
In year two (2020) The MSPGH and the Doherty will host the 2 VPHMTS trainees. They will each appoint one trainee who will be employed with this host for the duration of the 3 years training and will be seconded out to placements at other host institutions:

Year one (2019): 2 x six month placements associated with their host (negotiated).
Year two (2020): 2 x six month placements at DHHS.
Year three (2021):
One six month placement at the Doherty or Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (negotiated).

One six month placement external to the host institution (negotiated)
Trainees are required to fulfill management and organisational responsibilities which are also linked to competency attainment; these may include preparing briefings, chairing meetings, running a community forum or representing a work program at a public/community/stakeholder forum, media interviews (real or mock), or site visits/inspections/audits. There will be training opportunities that the Trainees themselves will help organise, such as running a journal club or a teaching session.

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