The Intermed program developed from the work experience of Dr Anthony Radford in many developing country contexts, including primary health care, the WHO Expanded Program on Immunization, control of diarrhoeal disease programs, maternal and child health activities and health program evaluation. Anthony also reviewed many educational programs for both professional and community-based primary health care workers

He discovered that very few health professionals from developed countries had any orientation in delivering health care in such situations, in particular to the most disadvantaged communities. In addition, many had not received any orientation or training for cross-cultural living, or in basic development issues

The common consequences of this among these health professionals were:

  • feelings of incompetence and inadequacy, often hidden under a variety of behaviours, and exacerbated because most had no obvious way to resolve these feelings, for example, easy access to continuing education and pastoral care; and

  • significant stress related disorders: psychological, somatic and spiritual, even a questioning of their call to serve, and sometimes true spiritual warfare.

Anthony therefore developed and implemented a short (3 week) multidisciplinary and introductory course at Flinders University in South Australia, which later became an optional elective unit in a Master of Science in Primary Health Care program at Flinders University in South Australia.

In 1994, when Anthony retired from Flinders University, the course was refreshed to be suitable Christian health professionals under an organization called Intermed SA. Tabor Adelaide, a theological college, generously provided access to their teaching facilities for what became the Intermed Summer School.

The course, or school, has been variously described as An Introduction or Orientation to Medical Mission or An Introduction to International Health & Development. This program has now been given in some form on five continents over the past two decades: Australia, Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Courses have also been adapted for missionaries with non-health care professional backgrounds in Australia, Africa, Brazil and India. These have been mainly primary health care workers and teachers who felt called to work in rural or slum areas.

In 2015 the Intermed Summer School transitioned to a fully tertiary accredited Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in International Health and Development at Tabor in Adelaide, in partnership with Intermed. This program ended in 2020.

The Intermed Scholarship Project of HealthServe Australia

For several years, until the start of the Graduate Certificate and Diploma program, Intermed offered financial scholarships to encourage health professionals with limited finances to participate in the Intermed program. The Intermed Scholarship Project was an approved Overseas Aid project of HealthServe Australia (www.healthserve.org.au ).

Track Record

Since Intermed was established in 1994, over 300 participants (average 25 per course), have come from all Australian states, Aboriginal communities, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Zambia, the USA, Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Many participants have gone on to work successfully for governments, aid organizations and missions, in Africa, Asia, South America, the Pacific and Australia.

Click here for more detailed info

Click here for more detailed info


Over 1000 health workers have now attended Intermed courses and its variations in a number of countries, including the USA, England, Brazil, Taiwan and Australia. The class in the Australian program grew from 3 in 1995 to an average of over 20 each year from 1998, until numbers declined from 2014. Most participants learnt about the Summer School by 'word of mouth' from former participants, or from their churches and mission organisations.

Participants have included those on furlough from programs in Australia (Aboriginal health), Bolivia, PNG, Tibet, Congo, Chad, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Fiji and Vanuatu. Participants have gone to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone in Africa; to Jordan in the Middle East; to Indonesia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Tibet, Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines in Asia; to Ecuador and Bolivia in Central and South America; to Fiji, the Solomon Islands, PNG, Vanuatu and outback Australia in Oceania.

click on the table above for large view

click on the table above for large view

Personal Stories

Intermed is a rewarding, insightful and engaging course that brings together passion, knowledge and skill development in the one place. Intermed has changed the direction of my career by offering qualified medical training that deepened my clinical understanding and awareness of global issues.
Bec Vallee, Registered Nurse, Queensland.

I was on my way to join a Christian NGO in Thailand working with the displaced people of Burma ... and was aware that my experience nursing solely in the Western context may be partially inadequate for what I was about to face.  Intermed opened my eyes to the international health context, specifically healthcare in places of poverty and the challenges this presents.  This gave me an essential platform from which to begin engaging thoughtfully in my new context. So much of the material we covered I saw on the ground when I got there so I felt well prepared and thankful for the course... I would recommend the Intermed Summer Intensive as a way to widen your perspective of health if you are moving from a Western to a Rest-of-the-World health context.
Claire Russell, Registered Nurse, New Zealand and Thailand

I did the Intermed course as a very junior doctor in 2005.  Throughout medical school, I had always told myself that I was going to be a "missionary doctor".  I enrolled in this course seeking wisdom and direction from the Lord.  The course confirmed this calling in no uncertain terms for me!  Later that year I undertook Intermed's optional 'Overseas Practicum'.  We went to East Timor and Indonesia.  Here again my calling was confirmed by the joy and excitement I had in being able to provide free health care to poor people in Jesus' name.  Since then, I have joined the Intermed Committee, have taught during the course and have helped to co-lead all the subsequent Overseas Practicums.  These on-going involvements with Intermed and its course have continued to enrich my personal, professional and ministry life each year.  
Sneha Kirubakaran, PhD BMBS, BComp, BAppSc(Hons),GradDip(ClinEd). Assoc Prof (University of Queensland Rural Clinical School), Rural General Practitioner (Central Queensland)

Intermed is invaluable in preparing health professionals for the rigours of cross-cultural living and health care provision in the developing world.  I am incredibly thankful I had the opportunity to attend and complete the Intermed Summer School for credit prior to going to Uganda and working amongst the impoverished.  It prepared me for so many health care situations I would face on a daily basis.
Karen Evans, Registered Nurse, NSW

I did Intermed to gain the opportunity to work and study alongside like-minded people who had the desire, calling from God and need to grow their medical skills, global awareness and compassion for developing countries and the people. Intermed provided an environment of knowledge, practical skills and fellowship. Outstanding medical specialists, skilled third world practitioners, experienced staff and opportunities to share on deep issues that face the developing world people provided fertile ground to enlarge my skills and knowledge. I made lasting friendships and was provided with answers to my own personal calling. Wonderful, inspiring and highly recommended. 
Kathryn White, Registered Nurse, Queensland.

and more…

'Nobody should go into medical mission without doing this course.'


'It was a fantastic opportunity to better prepare oneself for medical work as well as a refreshing reminder of God’s sufficiency in all situations to which He calls us.'

'A sense of increased confidence regarding my ability and skills…I feel confident to go…'

'Honestly , one of the best things I’ve done to prepare for my calling.'

'New, broader perspectives about global health problems.'

'The course was an awesome chance to upgrade my skills... to network and spend time with a fantastic group … a time of great encouragement and renewal.'

Founding Agencies

The organizations that supported the founding of Intermed were:


Intermed SA is a not-for-profit Association registered with the Office for Business and Consumer Affairs in South Australia (Registered No. A0022641J).

Under the Constitution, Intermed SA is managed by a Committee. Committee Members for 2022- 23 are:




Leigh Filmer


Registered Nurse

Sneha Kirubakaran


Assoc Prof (University of Queensland Rural Clinical School), Rural General Practitioner (Central Queensland)

Nigel Klein


RN WCH ED, Medical Educator AMPHeaT

Rose Skalicky-Klein


Emergency Physician, RFDS Retrieval Consultant, Prof (Hon) EM UM1 Yangon

Lawrie McArthur


Assoc Professor, General Practice and Rural Medicine, James Cook University

Douglas Shaw


Public Health Physician

Margaret Williams


Registered Nurse (Retired)

In May 2022, Anthony Radford and David Turnbull retired from the Intermed Committee after many years of dedicated service.

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