University of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Teaching complex problem-solving for rural and remote contexts: is climate change an answer?

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 10:12 authored by Bell, EJ
The teaching of complex problem-solving presents as one of the major challenges faced in rural and remote medical education and training. The complexity of clinical and non clinical problems faced in rural and remote medical practice is generally acknowledged in the literature and may be one of the reasons some doctors feel ill-prepared for practice in these contexts. There is a growing body of scholarly research about what is a complex problem-solver in medial practice and how to teach the necessary knowledge and skills in medical education and training. However, little has been written about the specific complex problem-solving needs of rural and remote practice and how best to prepare docots for meeting those needs. This presentation explores the relevant scholarly and applied literature, building on the presenter's previous publications in climate change and medical education, to explore new opportunities for teaching complex problem-solving in rural and remote medical education and training. It does so with reference to the central ethos of rural and remote medcial ecuation: that health is complex because it is shaped by interactions between people, their communities and their geographics. Drawing on the work of medical education researchers interested in complex problem-solving, such as Mylopoulos, Varpio, Evan and Norman, the presetner offers a conceptual model of what is complex problem-solving, adapted for rural and remote medical practice. Using case study examples of health effects of climate change, the presenter demonstrates with reference to this model that climate change content offeres a relatively neglected opportunity to create complex problem-solvers. The presenter concludes that, if properly developed and prestended, climate change learning situations could help meet one of rural and remote medical education and trainer's biggest challenges: the challenge of creating innovative, adaptive, and flexible (complex) problem-solvers for rural practice.


Publication title

'Bringing it all together'


Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine




School of Health Sciences



Place of publication

Brisbane, Queensland

Event title

Rural Medicine Australia 2010

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager