Vision

The Intermed vision is to provide a unique summer intensive Introduction to International Health & Development course for Christian health professionals.

History

The Intermed program developed from the work experience of Dr Anthony Radford in many developing country contexts, including primary health care, the WHO Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), control of diarrhoeal disease, maternal and child health and health program evaluation. Anthony also reviewed educational programs for both professional and community-based primary health care workers

He discovered that very few health professionals from developed countries had any orientation in delivering health care in such situations, in particular to the most disadvantaged communities. In addition, many had not received any orientation or training for cross-cultural living, or in basic development issues

The common consequences of this among these health professionals were:

  • feelings of incompetence and inadequacy, often hidden under a variety of behaviours, and exacerbated because most had no obvious way to resolve these feelings, for example, easy access to continuing education and pastoral care; and

  • significant stress related disorders: psychological, somatic and spiritual, even a questioning of their call to serve, and sometimes true spiritual warfare.

Anthony therefore developed and implemented a short (3 week) multidisciplinary and introductory course, which later became an optional elective unit in a Master of Science in Primary Health Care program at Flinders University in South Australia. 

In 1994, when Anthony retired from Flinders University, the course was established as one for Christian health professionals under an organization called Intermed SA. Tabor Adelaide, a theological college, generously provided access to their teaching facilities for the Summer School.

The course, or school, has been variously described as An Introduction or Orientation to Medical Mission or An Introduction to International Health & Development. This program has now been given in some form on five continents over the past two decades: Australia, Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Courses have also been adapted for missionaries with non-health care professional backgrounds in Australia, Africa, Brazil and India. These have been mainly primary health care workers and teachers who felt called to work in rural or slum areas.

From January 2015 the program will take on a new form by offering a fully accredited Graduate Certificate or Diploma in International Health and Development in addition to the course for audit (no credit) option.

Statistics

Over 1000 health workers have now attended these courses in various countries, including the USA, England, Brazil, Taiwan and Australia. The class in the Australian program has grown from 3 in 1995 to an average of over 20 each year from 1998. Most participants learn about the Summer School by ‘word of mouth’ from former participants, or from their churches and mission organisations.

Participants have included those on furlough from programs in Australia (Aboriginal health), Bolivia, PNG, Tibet, Congo, Chad, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Fiji and Vanuatu. Participants have gone to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone in Africa; to Jordan in the Middle East; to Indonesia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Tibet, Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines in Asia; to Ecuador and Bolivia in Central and South America; to Fiji, the Solomon Islands, PNG, Vanuatu and outback Australia in Oceania.

click on the table above for large view

click on the table above for large view

Personal Stories

Intermed is a rewarding, insightful and engaging course that brings together passion, knowledge and skill development in the one place. Intermed has changed the direction of my career by offering qualified medical training that deepened my clinical understanding and awareness of global issues.
Bec Vallee, Registered Nurse, Queensland.

I was on my way to join a Christian NGO in Thailand working with the displaced people of Burma (where I still am!) and was aware that my experience nursing solely in the Western context may be partially inadequate for what I was about to face.  Intermed opened my eyes to the international health context, specifically healthcare in places of poverty and the challenges this presents.  This gave me an essential platform from which to begin engaging thoughtfully in my new context. So much of the material we covered I saw on the ground when I got there so I felt well prepared and thankful for the course. Now that the course can be done as a Graduate Diploma or Certificate it makes it all the more appealing.  I would recommend the Intermed Summer Intensive as a way to widen your perspective of health if you are moving from a Western to a Rest-of-the-World health context.
Claire Russell, Registered Nurse, New Zealand and Thailand

I did the Intermed course as a very junior doctor in 2005.  Throughout medical school, I had always told myself that I was going to be a "missionary doctor".  I enrolled in this course seeking wisdom and direction from the Lord.  The course confirmed this calling in no uncertain terms for me!  Later that year I undertook Intermed's optional 'Overseas Practicum'.  We went to East Timor and Indonesia.  Here again my calling was confirmed by the joy and excitement I had in being able to provide free health care to poor people in Jesus' name.  Since then, I have joined the Intermed Committee, have taught during the course and have helped to co-lead all the subsequent Overseas Practicums.  These on-going involvements with Intermed and its course have continued to enrich my personal, professional and ministry life each year.  
Sneha Kirubakaran, BMBS, BComp, BAppSc(Hons),GradDip(ClinEd). General Practitioner and Lecturer, Flinders University.

Intermed is invaluable in preparing health professionals for the rigours of cross-cultural living and health care provision in the developing world.  I am incredibly thankful I had the opportunity to attend and complete the Intermed Summer School for credit prior to going to Uganda and working amongst the impoverished.  It prepared me for so many health care situations I would face on a daily basis.
Karen Evans, Registered Nurse, NSW

I did Intermed to gain the opportunity to work and study alongside like-minded people who had the desire, calling from God and need to grow their medical skills, global awareness and compassion for developing countries and the people. Intermed provided an environment of knowledge, practical skills and fellowship. Outstanding medical specialists, skilled third world practitioners, experienced staff and opportunities to share on deep issues that face the developing world people provided fertile ground to enlarge my skills and knowledge. I made lasting friendships and was provided with answers to my own personal calling. Wonderful, inspiring and highly recommended. 
Kathryn White Registered Nurse, Queensland.

and more…

'Nobody should go into medical mission without doing this course.'

'5 SHINING GOLD STARS'

'It was a fantastic opportunity to better prepare oneself for medical work as well as a refreshing reminder of God’s sufficiency in all situations to which He calls us.'

'A sense of increased confidence regarding my ability and skills…I feel confident to go…'

'Honestly , one of the best things I’ve done to prepare for my calling.'

'New, broader perspectives about global health problems.'

'The course was an awesome chance to upgrade my skills... to network and spend time with a fantastic group … a time of great encouragement and renewal.'

Founding Agencies

The organizations that supported the founding of Intermed were:

Governance

Intermed SA is a not-for-profit Association registered with the Office for Business and Consumer Affairs in South Australia (Registered No. A0022641J).

Under the Constitution, Intermed SA is managed by a Committee. Committee Members for 2017- 2018 are:

Name

Position

Background

Shelley Elder 

Committee Member

Nurse/Midwife

David Griswood

Committee Member

General Practitioner

Sneha Kirubakaran

Practicum Coordinator

General Practitioner
Lecturer, Flinders University

Lawrie McArthur

Committee Member

General Practitioner
Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide

Anthony Radford

Chairperson
(to May 2017)
Course Advisor

Emeritus Professor, Flinders  University

David Turnbull

Committee Member

Senior Lecturer, Tabor Adelaide

Douglas Shaw

Secretary
Course Coordinator

Public Health Physician

Margaret Williams

Treasurer

Nurse




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