The Mater Misericordiae Hospital becomes a teaching hospital in 1966

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In 1966 the first formal arrangement between the University of Sydney and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital was established. That year the Sydney University Medical Society approached the Hospital requesting training, and the Mater agreed to accept four fifth-year students for a period of five months. Coincidentally, at the same time John Westphalen the general Superintendent, had made a proposal to the Advisory Board of the Hospital that the Mater be affiliated with the University as a teaching hospital. From 1966-7 with the approval of the Board and the support of the Sisters of Mercy, discussions were undertaken with the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Professor John Loewenthal. An innovative arrangement was implemented whereby the Mater worked in conjunction with the established clinical school at Royal North Shore Hospital rather than create its own separate clinical school. The Mater was affiliated as a general teaching hospital in 1968 and teaching began in 1969, with students divided into two groups of seven on a rotating basis. The Mater and Royal North Shore association was considered to be very successful and was confirmed by the consistently positive feedback from students. At the time, this undergraduate teaching model was considered to be unique in Australia. The success of the union was considered to be largely due to the efforts and support of the Wardens of the Clinical School at Royal North Shore, and their Clinical Supervisors I. Monk and G. E. Bauer. These doctors were later joined by Professor D. W. Piper in Medicine, Professor T. S. Reeve in Surgery, and Associate Professor G. E. Coupland. These three men in particular monitored standards of teaching and developed ongoing academic arrangements with enthusiasm.[1]