Clarence Valley Independent

Educational opportunities draw medical students to Clarence

Medical students get acquainted with the GBH Emergency Department. L-R: students Tollan Conway, Billy Tran, Dr Alastair McInnes (Academic Leader), students Rebecca Bromwich, Harriet Raleigh and Alexander Mills. Image: Contributed

Five new medical students have recently commenced their year-long placement in the Clarence Valley, the latest in a growing cohort of students taking up the opportunities that rural and regional placements can offer.

The University of Wollongong (UoW), in collaboration with the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH), has been placing students in the region for the last 10 years, and the word amongst students is spreading, making the North Coast a favourable site for medical students wishing to take up a rural clinical placement,

“The word amongst my peers and classmates that have completed placement in the Clarence Valley, is that the educational opportunities are excellent,” UoW medical student, Alexander Mills says.

“Staff are welcoming and so willing to teach, and the clinical experiences are so diverse.”

The University of Wollongong’s medical program is committed to training doctors with the capacity and desire to work in regional, rural and remote communities.

The program involves a year-long clinical placement where students spend time learning in General Practices, community and hospital settings.

UoW Regional Academic Leader and Senior Medical Officer at Grafton Base Hospital Emergency Department, Dr Alastair McInnes, said this unique type of placement offers students an insight to what living and working as a doctor in regional and rural areas might look like.

“They get to know the community and are able to add value as a team member within the medial workforce,” Dr McInnes, said.

Medical student, Harriet Raleigh said the location and lifestyle was also a big drawcard to her wanting to come to Grafton.

“One thing that attracted me to complete my placement on the North Coast is the great work and lifestyle opportunities that the Clarence Valley offers,” Harriet said.

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