Medical cadets get a taste of rural careers in Orange
5th May 2022
Thirty-five future doctors met last weekend in Orange, NSW, as part of an NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) immersion program offering students the opportunity to learn about rural medicine and experience the lifestyle and career advantages available in rural NSW.
The ‘Cadet Weekend’ is designed to help medical students accepted onto the NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship program decide where they will train, by connecting them with regional medical practitioners, health service providers and former cadets now working in rural hospitals. Cadetships are offered to medical students from universities across the state and the program is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and administered by RDN.
Cadet Maddeson Hardman said the opportunity to meet like-minded people and explore rural areas in NSW that she has never been before, was fantastic.
“I learnt so much from both colleagues and keynote speakers, and this opportunity has been unforgettable.
“It is a privilege to be an RDN cadet,” said Maddeson.
Cadets receive up to $15,000 per year for the final two years of their medical degree, together with mentoring and support, to encourage them to take up rural medical practice. In return, the cadets undertake two of the first three years of their hospital training in a major NSW hospital west of the Great Dividing Range including Tamworth, Dubbo, Orange, Wagga Wagga and Albury.
This group of cadets received a Welcome to Country by Jamie Newman, CEO of Orange Aboriginal Medical Service, and over the two-days heard from guests, panellists and industry speakers about the opportunities and lifestyle on offer in rural NSW.
The cadets also toured Orange Base Hospital and Orange Aboriginal Medical Service.
Dr Louis Christie was the guest speaker at the dinner on the Saturday and talked about the importance of clinician mental health.
RDN Future Workforce Manager Chris Russell says the evidence shows that positive exposure to rural medicine early on increases the likelihood of students choosing to practice in a rural location.
“This program is just one of many initiatives administered by RDN and funded by the NSW and Australian Governments to support a high-quality, rural medical workforce, and improve
the recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural and remote NSW,” he said.