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Outreach Student Placement Program’s Jessica Clark grateful for Broken Hill experience

13th May 2024

Last month, Jessica Clark travelled to Broken Hill to shadow Outreach Provider Dr Ian Porteck as part of her Outreach Student Placement Program (OSPP) placement with RDN. OSPP provides selected medical, nursing and allied health students in NSW/ACT with the opportunity to shadow an Outreach Provider in a rural or remote community.

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“Dr Ian Portek is absolutely amazing,” Jessica said. “He has over 40 years experience and I learned so much from him during my time [in Broken Hill].” 

“It's heartwarming to see the difference doctors like him make. Accessibility is a huge hurdle in rural communities and I saw first-hand, the importance of making access to specialists possible through the Rural Doctors Network. 

“I saw a lot of success stories evidenced by the treatment over the years by Dr Portek. Looking at their initial presenting reports and scans compared to where they are today… I saw how much the patients’ symptoms improved. Hearing their stories about how they are able to live a better life was a huge highlight for me.” 

While invaluable clinical experience is a sure highlight of the OSPP, students also have the opportunity to experience all that rural life has to offer within the towns they’re placed in.  

Jessica loved exploring Broken Hill and said she was welcomed with open arms. 

“Broken Hill is a lovely rural town and the people are welcoming,” Jessica said. “I had an opportunity to see some places including visiting The Palace which is where the Australian film Priscilla Queen of the Desert was filmed. It also had beautiful antique decor and artwork.” 


Learn more about the OSPP here.

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