SIMPLER – Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands Medical Partnerships for Learning, Education and Research (SIMPLER)* exists to assist and support in the supervision and training of large numbers of returned foreign-trained medical graduates to Solomon Islands, while also providing continuous medical education opportunities.

Currently, students cannot study medicine in Solomon Islands. Instead, aspiring young doctors are sent to Cuba under a scholarship program offered by the Cuban Government or else study at approved out-of-country institutions including Fiji National University, University of Fiji, University of Papua New Guinea and universities in China and Taiwan.

When they return, they must enter into an apprenticeship model, where, as students and interns, they are immersed in clinical placements, supervised and taught by their seniors. During their intern years these medical graduates develop and consolidate skills, abilities and knowledge as they move towards more independent medical practice.

However, there is a significant shortage of appropriately trained doctors to upskill these newly qualified doctors. This is where SIMPLER comes in.

Through SIMPLER, Australian Medical Professionals are sent to Solomon Islands to work side by side with local colleagues, helping supervise and train large numbers of foreign-trained medical graduates returning to Solomon Islands.

SIMPLER is a collaboration between AVI, the Australian Volunteers Program, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Ministry of Health & Medical Services – Solomon Islands and the National Referral Hospital, Honiara.

All available positions for SIMPLER are advertised on the Australian Volunteers Program website.

*formerly known as Solomon Islands Graduate Intern Supervision and Support Project (SIGISSP)



Training for medical interns & skills development for Australian volunteers

Bridging Program
The Bridging Program supports foreign-trained medical graduates to consolidate, expand and apply their knowledge and skills under close supervision, through clinical immersion and regular, structured education sessions.

Intern Training Program
The two-year Intern Training Program allows medical graduates (either directly from university or after completing the Bridging Program) to complete the prescribed minimum standards in a range of clinical disciplines in order to become fully registered doctors.

Post registration training
Volunteers are also involved in the development of a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Medicine and supporting candidates undertaking the Diploma in Emergency Medicine.

Medicine in the Pacific

SIMPLER provides an opportunity for Australian medical health professionals to develop their skills and knowledge about healthcare delivery in a limited resource setting, learning from highly experienced local specialists about the burdens on healthcare in Solomon Islands.

Participants also develop their skills as a medical educator, sharing knowledge with young doctors to increase their capacity to deliver medical care across the Solomon Islands.

Field reflections