Exterior of Westmead Children's Hospital

The University of Sydney Children's Hospital Westmead Clinical School

Based at NSW's largest paediatric facility
The Children's Hospital at Westmead is within the University’s Westmead Precinct located in western Sydney, the demographic heart of Sydney.

The Children's Hospital Westmead Clinical School deliver the child and adolescent health components of the Doctor of Medicine to over 500 medical students each year. We are dedicated to delivering innovative approaches to medical education and conducting high-quality medical education research.

We have around 100 students undertaking higher degrees by research in the clinical school. We also have many skilled researchers, including clinician researchers, many of whom are international leaders in their respective fields.

Our staff work across numerous specialties at the Sydney Medical School and our clinical school is the location for the heads of child and adolescent health, ear, nose and throat, emergency medicine and genomic medicine.

Elective placements

Please refer to the FMH elective placements page.


Research is intrinsic to delivering excellence in clinical care, and there is a thriving research environment at our clinical school. Our research has directly and rapidly resulted in significant health benefits for our patients, their families and the community. 

We undertake research in partnership with Kids Research, the research arm of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. We also have close research links Westmead Hospital (adult facility), the Westmead Institute of Medical ResearchChildren’s Medical Research Institute, other parts of the University of Sydney, and many national and international collaborators. 

Our research areas include:

  • cancer
  • clinical sciences
  • genomics rare disorders
  • infectious disease and immunity
  • medical education
  • neurosciences and mental health
  • obesity, metabolism and nutrition
  • renal medicine and transplantation
  • tissue engineering and bone repair
  • trauma

Research centres, institutes and groups

  • Professor Louise Baur - Obesity Research Group
  • Associate Professor Patrina Caldwell - Medical Education/Enuresis
  • Professor Russell Dale - Neuroinflammation Research Unit
  • Professor Elizabeth Elliott - Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, Centre for Evidence-based Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
  • Professor Adam Guastella - child neurodevelopment, autism, cerebral palsy, mental health, assessment and treatment, and early detection of delays in infants.
  • Professor Andrew Holland - Children's Hospital Burns Research Institute
  • Professor Ben Marais - Infectious Diseases
  • Professor Rachel Skinner - Adolescent Medicine
  • Professor Kate Steinbeck - Adolescent Medicine (Chair)
  • Associate Professor Nicholas Wood - NCIRS - Vaccine Research
  • Dr S V Sounappan - Centre for Trauma, Prevention, Education and Research (CTCPER)

Research projects


Mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous in health. Our work focuses on the use of personal mobile devices (smartphones, tablet computers and laptops) to aid the learning and teaching of university students when they are on work-integrated learning placements in health practice settings. As future health professionals, university students in health-related programs need to become familiar with the use and development of mobile health, both for their health practice and to guide patient self-care and monitoring. We aim to improve the quality and effectiveness of learning experiences and learning outcomes by investigating and recording innovative cases of mobile device use for improving learning and teaching in health practice settings. We include a range of health specialties (allied health, dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy) and health settings (hospitals, community health centres and clinics).


Smartphones and tablet computers enable the functionality of a computer in a hand-held, portable device that students can access at the patient bedside or chair-side. Mobile devices enable students and teachers to engage in evidence-based healthcare by connecting to web-based sources of knowledge, including those offering video and audio files. They can also take notes and photographs, share information with fellow students, communicate with teaching and administrative staff, and organise their day through a variety of calendar tools.


Devices in health practice settings can raise issues of privacy, security, confidentiality, trust and distraction. Students and teachers may be perceived as distracted from patient care and untrustworthy, putting patient privacy and data security at risk through social media. 

Because devices provide internet access and communication facilities they can be problematic in health practice settings.

Students can receive mixed messages, with prohibitions from some teachers, directions to use their mobile device from others and observation of health staff using their mobile devices in violation of existing policies. To make use of the learning opportunities afforded by mobile learning in health practice settings, teachers need to ensure clear communication about their aims and methods with patients, colleagues and students


We have identified six broad learning designs:

  • Evidence-based practice – teachers encourage students to be computer-assisted health practitioners by using their devices for evidence-based practice that is relevant to the patients with whom they interact on clinical placement.
  • Patient movement video – allied health teachers use their devices to video record patient movement which they review with students to analyse and monitor mobility and balance issues.
  • Self-directed learning – teachers develop tailor-made self-directed learning resources for devices.
  • Applying knowledge to practice – teachers use apps on their devices to teach specific concepts to students while they are at the patient bedside. The apps facilitate immediate application of knowledge and skills to practical patient cases.
  • Guiding clinical practice in the clinical setting – using videos of clinical procedures to inform the practice of students, junior staffs and patients. The videos can be used to stimulate recall of how to set up equipment or how to undertake a procedure before performing it.
Academic leads

The project was jointly developed by the following academic staff in health-related faculties at the University of Sydney in 2015:

  • Drs Karen Scott, Megan Phelps and Amanda Harrison - Sydney Medical School
  • Dr Susie Dracopoulos - Sydney Dental School
  • Natalie Pollard - Faculty of Health Sciences
  • A/Prof Sandra West - Sydney Nursing School
  • Dr Nial Wheat and Paulina Stehlik - Sydney Pharmacy School

This project was funded by a University of Sydney 2014 Large Education Innovation Grant, with additional generous contributions from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sydney Pharmacy School.


Based at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, and partnered with Kids Research, we have access to world-class laboratories and equipment.

The Kim Oates Australian Paediatric Simulation Centre (KOAPSC) is a unique facility designed to train staff and students in cutting-edge treatments for sick children, especially in emergency scenarios. This is part of Kids Simulation Australia (KSA), the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network simulation program.

Find out more about the Children's Hospital at Westmead, and the facilities of the Kids Research.

Teaching opportunities

If you are interested in offering your assistance as a tutor, please reach out to us for more information or to complete our EOI Tutor recruitment form.

Education Support Officer
Phone: 02 8627 3065
Email: chw-cs.education-support@sydney.edu.au

Study options

The clinical school offers opportunities to study at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, through the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program or postgraduate courses (research and coursework) through the Specialty of Child and Adolescent Health.

We operate in partnership with the Children's Hospital at Westmead to set the direction of teaching and education for medical and allied health staff and are actively involved in the recruitment of high-quality educators and researchers and their professional development.

Paediatric teaching occurs across the four years of the Doctor of Medicine (MD).

The major paediatric component of the course is the seven-week Stage 3 Child and Adolescent Health Specialty Block, which includes clinical placements.

We offer research degrees through the Specialty of Child and Adolescent Health:

For more information, please contact:

Learn more about applying for research degrees.

We offer the only fully online postgraduate degrees in Child and Adolescent Health Medicine in Australia, allowing flexible integration of your studies with your professional and personal life.

Learn more about postgraduate degrees in medicine and health.

For more information on honours projects at Westmead, visit our honours page.

Our people

  • Professor Russell Dale, Head of Clinical School
  • Professor Louise Baur, Chair of Child and Adolescent Health
  • Professor Russell Dale, Academic Leader (Research)
  • Dr Anne Morris, Academic Leader (Education)

Head of Clinical School

Rusell Dale
Professor Russell Dale
View academic profile

Children's Hospital Westmead Clinical School

Please contact us for general enquiries, to join a clinical skills teaching workshop, or to find out about teaching opportunities (for tutors).