Twenty health students ‘go rural’ in Far West NSW
9th June 2022
Last week, 20 medical, nursing, occupational therapy, social work and optometry students from across NSW travelled across the state on a road trip designed to encourage future doctors and health professionals to consider the benefits and rewards of a rural health career.
The four-day ‘Go Rural’ road trip, funded by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN), incorporated practice visits, clinical activities, community events, themed dinners, cultural events and historical exhibitions in towns including Dubbo, Nyngan, Cobar, Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Wentworth, Griffith, Temora and Goulburn.
Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia shows rural exposure during medical training has been associated with an increased likelihood of medical students entering rural practice after graduation.
Christopher Katsinas, first-year medical student at Western Sydney University, was selected to go on the road trip and says the trip has changed the way he thinks about medicine as a whole.
“Growing up I didn’t really think about going out rural, but when I saw this opportunity to be exposed to a rural atmosphere I thought why not take it. It has changed the way that I view medicine as a whole.
“Made me think personally about my career going forward and the great opportunities that rural life has to offer,” said Christopher.
RDN’s Future Workforce Manager Chris Russell said RDN’s Go Rural road trips provide students with a taste of how rewarding careers in rural health can be.
“The trip to Far West NSW gave the students the opportunity to see for themselves the amazing opportunities that working rurally offers, both professionally and socially,” he said.
“By coming out here, the students can really get a true appreciation of what rural health can offer them. It opens their eyes to the potential experiences, training opportunities and lifestyle on offer.”
“Go Rural is one of many RDN strategies in place to develop more sustainable long-term health solutions for our remote, rural and regional towns.”
A number of other Go Rural trips are planned for later this year.