The LIME Network is a dynamic network dedicated to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning of Indigenous health in medical education, as well as best practice in the recruitment and retention of Indigenous medical students and trainees.
We do this through establishing a continuing bi-national presence that encourages and supports collaboration within and between medical education institutions in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand and by building linkages with local Indigenous communities and with other health science sectors.
The LIME Network is a program of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand and receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Health*.
The aims of the LIME Network are designed to:
- Enable the continuing development and implementation of quality Indigenous health curriculum to improve medical education
- Build on and strengthen appropriate recruitment and retention initiatives for Indigenous students
- Build the capacity of those working in Indigenous health at medical schools and colleges
- Develop pathways for vertical integration of Indigenous health curriculum and student recruitment strategies with specialist colleges
- Strengthen Indigenous health initiatives across health disciplines
- Facilitate key relationships between Indigenous community controlled health organisations and medical education institutions to improve collaboration, student placement opportunities and research initiatives
The LIME Network recognises and promotes the primacy of Indigenous leadership and knowledge.
*The LIME Network is hosted by the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at The University of Melbourne.
Members of the LIME Network
The LIME Network consists of a range of participants from key stakeholder groups including medical educators, specialists, policy makers, medical students and community members engaged with Indigenous health and health professional education. LIME Network members come together every two years at the LIME Connection conference.
The LIME Network has a Reference Group made up of representatives from all medical schools around Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. The Reference Group develops and supports the implementation of program initiatives.
Project Objectives and Activities
1. Quality Review
Encourage universities and specialist medical colleges to devise and implement internal review processes by which they can evaluate the quality of Indigenous health curriculum and the effectiveness of initiatives to support the successful participation of Indigenous people in medical education programs. The university and specialist medical college audits and evaluations will assess the:
- Quality of Indigenous health curriculum; and
- Effectiveness of initiatives to support the participation of Indigenous people in health professional programs.
Maintain and improve LIME online Tools:
- Maintain Medical Schools Accreditation Tools
- Adapt and trial Accreditation Tools for Specialist Colleges
- Implement Accreditation Tools for Specialist Colleges
- Maintain the Critical Reflection Tool.
2. Professional Development, Capacity Building and Support
Encourage Network members and their colleagues to engage with and deliver initiatives in Indigenous health education.
- Facilitate meetings:
- Medical School Reference Group
- Specialist Medical Colleges Reference Group
- Maintain LIME Network website and social media
- Distribute LIME Network Newsletter
- Support peer mentoring
- Conduct professional development and capacity building workshops
- Host Slice of LIME Seminars
3. Recruitment and Graduation of Indigenous Health Professionals
Encourage best practice in the recruitment and graduation of Indigenous doctors and specialists.
- Resource development and maintenance:
- maintain, develop and promote Pathways into Medicine resources
- develop Pathways into Specialisation resources
- Support the development and promotion of mentoring activities for Indigenous medical students and specialists.
4. Professionalisation of the Discipline, Research and Evaluation
Encourage the development of Indigenous health as its own discipline by providing opportunities for networking, collaboration, and information sharing.
- Maintain the Indigenous Health Resources Hub
- Distribute and promote peer reviewed publications
- Publish and distribute peer reviewed conference proceedings from LIME Connection
- Contribute to research papers and articles
- Enable research collaboration across and within medical schools and specialist colleges
- Scope the need for an Indigenous Health Framework for medical schools and specialist colleges
5. Multi-sectoral Networking
Encourage LIME Network members and their colleagues to work collaboratively, build linkages and share information across disciplines in health professional education, Indigenous health networks, Indigenous communities and organisations, medical student representatives and other health education networks.
- Host the biennial LIME Connection conference
- Support engagement and collaboration across and within medical schools and specialist colleges
- Collaborate with medical schools and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations regarding:
- student placements
- curriculum development
- recruitment and support to graduation
- Partner with Organisations including:
- Australian Medical Council (AMC)
- Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA)
- Te Ora – Māori Medical Practioners Association
- National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
- Develop proposal to extend the LIME Network across dentistry and health sciences.
6. Advocacy and Reform
Contribute to Indigenous health education, and related health workforce issues through the provision of policy advice and recommendations to relevant organisations as appropriate.
- Facilitate meetings and committees between the Medical Deans and LIME Network Secretariats
- Establish and facilitate twice yearly meetings between the Committee od Presidents of Medical Colleges and the LIME Network secretariat
- Advocate LIME Network initiatives in medical schools and specialist medical colleges
- Conduct conference presentations
- Publish articles on the LIME Network in other media
- Respond to feedback
- Develop evaluation framework
LIME Network Program Outcomes
The LIME Network Program has achieved significant outcomes including:
- The facilitation of bi-annual Reference Group meetings to provide the opportunity for those working in Indigenous health within medical schools to collaborate, share information, provide feedback and peer network
- The biennial LIME Connection conference to provide a forum for knowledge transfer and dissemination
- Publication of the tri-annual LIME Network Newsletter promoting best practice and sharing successes in the field
- Maintaining the LIME Network Website housing information on LIME Network projects and other news and events
- Building the evidence base of the efficacy of Indigenous health curriculum development and implementation as well as Indigenous student recruitment and retention initiatives through publications such as the Good Practice Case Studies Booklet and the Special Edition of the ANZAHPE Focus on Health Professional Education Journal
- Developing and implementing internal review tools to support medical schools to reflect and evaluate their performance
- Supporting Indigenous high school students to understand the pathways to studying medicine through the online Pathways into Medicine Resource
- Building linkages across health disciplines and with medical colleges through networking and information sharing
- Supporting collaboration between medical schools and their local Indigenous Community Controlled Health Organisations through the facilitation of Regional Meetings
History and Background of the LIME Network Program
In 2002, the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand, formerly the Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools (CDAMS) partnered with the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) to establish and implement the CDAMS Indigenous Health Curriculum Development Project, later referred to as the Medical Deans Indigenous Health Project.
In June 2005, the LIME Network was established and formalised at its inaugural conference called the LIME Connection in Fremantle that year. The Medical Deans Indigenous Health Project was completed in December 2007 and the LIME Network became a stand-alone project in 2008, forming part of the broader Medical Deans ‘Closing the Gap’ program, and has secured funding from the Australian Government Department of Health until 2015.
More detail is available on the implementation and outcomes of the Medical Deans Indigenous Health Project.