Decentralisation opens up opportunities
Since start-up, 216 students from the Bodø model and 33 from the Finnmark model have graduated. At NTNU, the first students will complete their studies in the spring of 2022. The benefits not only mean that these students gain extensive experience in patient contact and learning in small groups, but the study programmes in Tromsø and Trondheim will also be less crowded and will have smaller groups of students.
The three models largely reflect the potential benefits of decentralisation
The three models largely reflect the potential benefits of decentralisation. In 2009, the Bodø model was designed as a blueprint of Tromsø, while in 2017 the Finnmark model was introduced with a focus on the local community engagement, both in the education model and in student involvement. Its aim was also to increase students' cultural understanding and use generalists as role models – inspired by the Canadian model (6). NTNU Link adopted the pedagogical principle of longitudinal integrated clerkship, with an emphasis on continuity for the students in terms of care, curriculum and supervision (7).
The local hospitals are still the main clinical learning arenas in all three models, but the primary health service is also an important contributor as it provides general practitioners to act as group supervisors. It also enables students to gain practical experience at nursing homes, A&E departments, child health centres and in general practice. Among the first eight cohorts that studied in Bodø, a significant impact on local recruitment can be seen, not only at Nordland Hospital, but also in general medicine, particularly in rural municipalities (as described in an article by Åsa L. Westlie, Margrete Gaski, Birgit Abelsen, Hilde Grimstad and Eirik H. Ofstad – Leger utdannet i Bodø: hvem er de og hvor blir de av? – currently under peer review for publication in this journal).