MEDICAL students with a rural career goal can look forward to a seamless training experience from university through to postgraduate level and accreditation.
It is all in the name of building the rural and regional health workforce.
The federal government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program will give health and medical students greater opportunities to live, study and work in rural and regional areas.
The University of NSW will operate a regional training hub on the Mid North Coast as part of the program.
UNSW Medicine Port Macquarie head of campus Associate Professor Sandy McColl said they were looking to create a roadmap so medical students could see their options.
“We hope to provide a seamless integration from identifying students who have displayed or told us they have an interest in regional practice and provide them improved or priority access to a career pathway,” he said.
Associate Professor McColl said the university’s main role would be organisational in liaising with interested parties and bodies that had a role in postgraduate medical education and making connections to enable an efficient and integrated pathway for students.
Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie said the 26 new regional training hubs across rural and regional Australia formed an essential component of the integrated rural training pipeline for medicine.
“These hubs will work with local health services to help move medical students through the pipeline, enabling students to continue rural training through university into postgraduate medical training, and then working within rural Australia,” he said.
“Supporting high quality regional and rural health training is not only an important way to address rural health workforce shortages, but also maintain and improve overall services in the bush.”
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said the announcement would help create the medical workforce of the region’s future.
“Kempsey is one of 26 regions across rural and regional areas that will benefit from the federal Coalition Government’s $28.5 million investment in regional training hubs over coming years,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
He said all too often, young medical students were forced to leave regional Australia to access the training opportunities necessary to progress professionally.
“The initiative will coordinate more opportunities for medical students to stay in our region to complete their training,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
The regional training hub initiative is part of $54.4 million Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program, which also includes University Departments of Rural Health.