July 19, 2021

Dr Leonie Griffiths awarded grant for Outstanding Women

The Melbourne Medical School’s Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women, offered biennially, is designed to assist high-performing, early to mid-career women in academia, negotiate some of the challenges faced as they pursue career progression towards senior academic and leadership roles.

This year’s recipients include Dr Leonie Griffiths from the Department of Medical Education, Melbourne Medical School and Northern Health. Leonie is Chair of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Clinical Placements Committee, and a member of the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Portfolio.

In granting the award, Melbourne Medical School recognized that through her work, Dr Griffiths ‘facilitates curriculum design that enhances students’ integration of their learning experiences to increase their readiness to practice. ‘

The grant will enable Dr Griffiths to pursue her research interests in a practice-led pedagogy that optimises workplace learning. It will enable her to design innovative curriculum that will prime learners for the clinical environment of the twentieth-first century, and to make a leading contribution to the research on Work Integrated Learning.

Dr Griffiths says she is honoured to receive this grant, “As medical education research is critical to improving the quality of patient care, through graduating doctors who are humanistic, culturally competent and flexible to practice excellent health care in a multidiscipline team.”

Dr Griffiths has worked for Northern Health since 2010. With a background in General Practice, she initially worked in the After Hours Clinic in the Emergency Department and was the GP Liaison Consultant. During this time she developed a passion for education and joined the Northern Clinical School, University of Melbourne, of which she is now the Director.

Says Leonie, “I feel like I have the perfect job. I have the privilege of working in the Renal Clinic with a dedicated team of clinicians, nurses and allied health practitioners, caring for patients with complex chronic disease while also having the opportunity to influence the experience of medical students learning from patients and staff.”

“My research is in the area of work integrated learning which considers ways to best prepare health professional students for the complexities of workplace learning and practice.”

“I’m interested in how educators can promote students to be efficient, self regulated learners in an environment that is high stakes and prioritises service to patients. Work based learning pedagogy focuses on priming and promoting development of skills and professional identity through authentic clinical experiences and assessment.”

Leonie says Northern Health patients provide great motivation for her. She describes them as “generous and trusting, and being part of their healthcare journey is immensely satisfying. Remaining curious is a trait that I often talk to students about, it helps drive reflection and improve practice.”

“Staff at Northern Health are also incredibly supportive of the clinical school, the students love their time in the hospital, finding the culture welcoming and inclusive. There’s no going back once you’ve made a connection with the North!”