Most clinician teachers of acupuncture would agree that the best way of teaching this art, is by face to face with the student, in the clinical situation. Hence when requested to set up a distance education course in this subject some six years ago, I felt it would not be a satisfactory method, and commented in this manner to the Department of Community Medicine and General Practice, Monash University, in Melbourne.
Having been persuaded to attempt this task, I was inducted into the interesting, and to me entirely unknown world of Distance Education. Although the majority of medical practitioners are in the major cities, many are dotted throughout this huge continent, and have difficulty in taking extensive amounts of time away from their practices, even if they could get a locum tenens, and could afford such a process. Hence such a course of training would be a more suitable means, or perhaps the only means that a doctor could have to learn this subject.
The methods employed, and the changes that have been made due to feedback from our students, together with the outcomes, will be explored in this paper.