RACGP Conference Perth: GP 16 Presentation

Doctor on-campus: an innovative model providing accessible health care for young people

Author: Jane Cooper1


1Don Medical Clinic

* Bolded names indicate a presenting author


Devonport, North West Tasmania, population of 25000, is classified as one of the most disadvantaged socioeconomic areas in Australia. There is high incidence of youth unemployment, school non-attendance, domestic violence, antisocial behaviour, homelessness, criminal activity and limited public transport. Consequently there are high levels of youth mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, high teen pregnancy and high chlamydia rates in an area with limited youth friendly health services.


To provide a youth friendly health services, on-campus at a public education institution for years 11 and 12 students.


In 2013, I established an on campus bulk-billing clinic at Don College. This complimented a program that incorporated a social worker, youth worker, police officer and chaplain.

The College provided a room with basic furniture and with my own funds I purchased medical equipment, laptop, medical software and consumables. To keep costs to a minimum I established an online booking system and a webpage through an online print company service.

I attended new student orientation meetings, and in the classroom, role-played along with students, visits to the doctor with differing scenarios.


Referrals were from teachers, social workers, parents and self -referral. Presentations included mental health, contraception, sexual health and check ups.

UTas year 4 medical students attended as part of their mental health training and an extended skills post was established for GPs in training to gain skills in Adolescent Health.

In 2014, to offer more comprehensive care I established a 3 doctor practice in Devonport, where the on campus clinic became a branch practice.


The clinic proved to be a successful project providing accessible confidential health care to young people and an educational opportunity for doctors in training. It also led to the establishment of a mainstream youth friendly general practice clinic.