Ochsner Extends Partnership with University of Queensland
NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The University of Queensland and Ochsner Health have extended their unique partnership, pledging to grow the world’s physician pipeline in the joint transnational doctor of medicine program through 2030. Officials from the organizations signed a contract on Sept. 11 renewing the joint venture, the University of Queensland Ochsner Doctor of Medicine program.
The UQ-Ochsner MD program welcomed its first class in 2009 and continues to educate medical students across two continents. Students spend their first two years at UQ’s Brisbane, Australia campus, consistently ranked among the top 50 global universities by U.S. News and World Report, before completing two years of clinical immersion in Ochsner’s facilities. Upon completion of the MD, graduates are qualified to enter U.S. residency and Australian internships. The unique collaboration allows students to broaden their medical training and experience, taking advantage of the exceptional educational opportunities offered by both UQ and Ochsner.
“When given the opportunity to partner with The University of Queensland, one of the world’s top universities, we saw so much possibility – and this partnership continues to make a difference for our community and beyond,” said Pete November, CEO of Ochsner Health. “By training and investing in physicians through the UQ-Ochsner MD program, we are addressing the critical physician shortage, improving the quality of life in our region and investing in our future.”
“UQ is extremely proud to continue this collaboration with Ochsner Health,” said Deborah Terry, vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland. “Learning in both Brisbane and New Orleans gives medical students the opportunity to foster unique perspectives and address a wide variety of healthcare challenges.”
The partnership is particularly relevant today, as the U.S. continues to experience a shortage of physicians. A recent Association of American Medical Colleges study estimates that the physician shortage could increase to as many as 124,000 by 2034. Pipeline programs such as the UQ-Ochsner MD program are proactive solutions to help create medical systems of the future.
UQ-Ochsner has graduated 856 medical students since 2009 with approximately 30% remaining in Louisiana. The UQ-Ochsner MD program averages an impressive 95% match rate through the National Residency Match Program. The UQ-Ochsner MD program also has national impact, as graduating physicians are practicing in 46 states and 24 specialties.
The UQ-Ochsner MD program has an emphasis on primary care, the foundation of a health system’s ability to proactively impact the health and wellness of a community. This emphasis is consistent with the Australian healthcare system, which has a curriculum that prioritizes primary care rotations. Because of this exposure, 55% of the medical school’s graduates have chosen a primary care specialty, which is more than double the average of U.S. medical schools.
In the past eight years, UQ-Ochsner medical students have also logged over 10,000 community service hours. By embedding in communities and volunteering at clinics, public schools and community health fairs, they have been invaluable to the collaborative Healthy State initiative. Through Healthy State, Ochsner partners with colleges and universities, non-profit organizations and government leaders to create healthier, happier and more productive communities, with health equity at the forefront of these efforts. As part of Healthy State, the UQ-Ochsner MD program is also supported by Ochsner Physician Scholars, which covers medical school expenses for students interested in careers in primary care and psychiatry, in exchange for commitment to working at Ochsner.
“A medical school does more than train future physicians – it also positively affects our community and its health,” said Leonardo Seoane, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for Ochsner Health. “Our UQ-Ochsner medical students prove that year after year. Because of our approach, our students understand culturally competent care and systemic barriers to wellness, and they make Louisiana a place where more of our community members can thrive.”