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EIM Australia Launches Hospital Education Program

November 06, 2020 by EIM Australia

At the beginning of 2020, Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Australia was preparing to launch the Hospital Education Program, delivered in partnership with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). This program involves the delivery of 30-60 minute presentations to medical interns in the hospital system, presented by Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) and Physiotherapists.

Recent work found that the average amount of total time spent on general practitioner (GP) physical activity training in Australian medical schools ranged from 6-12 hours.1 Teaching physical activity in the medical school setting faced significant barriers including time and the lack of a champion advocating for physical activity training. Only 42.9% of Australian medical schools reported preparing their students to properly counsel patients about physical activity. Nevertheless, educating future physicians on the importance of exercise for prevention and treatment of chronic disease is vital for the health and wellbeing of the Australian population. With this in mind, the Hospital Education presentations are designed to address gaps in undergraduate medical programs in Australia and increase the confidence of medical interns to counsel patients on physical activity and refer to appropriately trained exercise professionals.

The target audience for the Hospital Education program are medical interns. The EIM Australia Project Officer coordinates presentation times with the Medical Education Officer at each hospital for session delivery to the interns. The presentations are then delivered by EIM-endorsed Hospital Facilitators to help interns develop their skills through the attainment of the following learning objectives:

  1. Understand the benefits of exercise for the prevention and management of chronic conditions.
  2. Recall the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines
  3. Recognise the safety issues of graded exercise therapy
  4. Describe the 5 A’s behaviour change framework in relation to the adoption and maintenance of physical activity
  5. Understand the role doctors play to increase the physical activity of their patients in a time-poor environment
  6. Understand the role of exercise professionals, and referral pathways in the public compensable and private health systems.
  7. Apply the knowledge gained in the session by working through relevant case studies.

Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 delayed the implementation of this Hospital Education Program; however, EIM Australia is now relaunching the program across most Australian states with nineteen presentations scheduled between September and December 2020. Meet our EIM-Endorsed Hospital Facilitators here.

For more information please contact the Australian EIM Project Officer.


1 - Strong A, Stoutenberg M, Hobson-Powell A, Hargreaves M, Beeler H, Stamatakis E. An evaluation of physical activity training in Australian medical school curricula. J Sci Med Sports. 2017 Jun; 20(6):534-38.

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