Roma Hospital played host earlier this month to 10 medical students from the University of Queensland during an orientation week.

South West Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Tim Smart said the health service was very pleased to work with universities to provide valuable rural exposure and experiences for medical students.

“This year, for instance, will have 12 medical student positions available at our Roma, Charleville, St George, Mitchell and Cunnamulla health facilities through which students will be
rotating every six weeks,’’ he said.

“This is a great way of introducing the future generation of doctors to the benefits and advantages of working in rural practice.’’

State-wide Rural and Remote Clinical Network Chair Dr Bruce Chater – who is also University of Queensland’s Rural and Remote Medicine Head of Discipline – said almost 300 3rd  year UQ medical students completed a compulsory Rural and Remote Medicine placement each year.

“Previously, these students travelled to UQ rural clinical schools in Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Toowoomba,’’ he said.

“But for the first time this year, students also travelled to Roma, Emerald, Theodore, Kingaroy and Goondiwindi to participate in preparation week teaching and clinical skills workshops to introduce them to rural and remote medicine.

“These workshops and education sessions are delivered by highly experienced local rural clinicians.

“The students also were taken ‘on country’ by local Aboriginal mentors to learn about the local Indigenous history and culture.

“It’s great to see the University of Queensland’s commitment to sending all its medical students out not only to regional health facilities but also to rural facilities and general practices throughout the state.

“It’s also great to see rural health services and general practices stepping up to provide opportunities to gain local experience for medical students, and not just from University of Queensland but other universities as well.’’

For further information contact:

James Guthrie

Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld Media and Communication

Department of Health (07) 3708 5379