RDN supports medical cadets to get a taste of rural living
2nd May 2021
Thirty-nine medical cadets from universities and hospitals across NSW have just returned from Albury-Wadonga where they went to learn about living and working as a health professional in rural NSW. The immersion experience is part of the NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship, administered by NSW Rural Doctors Network.
It was the largest number of cadets to attend this annual event since the program began in 1988.
At the three-day immersion trip to Albury-Wadonga, on the banks of the Murray River, cadets were given a unique opportunity to meet local doctors, shadow hospital staff at Albury Hospital, connect with fellow cadets and medical students and get a sense of what daily life in a rural NSW town is like.
"We’re thrilled to have so many medical students show such a keen interest in a rural health career and to see how engaged they were by the opportunities we offered them. Inspiring the next generation of rural doctors and supporting them on their career journey is what we're here for,” said Chris Russell, Future Workforce Manager at RDN.
The Cadetship Program is one of many initiatives funded by the NSW and Australian governments that RDN administers to support a high-quality rural medical workforce, and improve the recruitment and retention of General Practitioners, nurses. midwives and allied health professionals in remote and rural NSW.
Cadets receive financial support 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 one of five designated rural NSW hospitals – at Tamworth, Dubbo, Wagga, Orange or Albury. At least two of these cadetships are for Indigenous medical students.
The program has proven to be a successful strategy to increase the numbers of junior doctors in rural hospitals and has demonstrated that a student’s positive exposure to rural medicine increases their likelihood of choosing to practise in a rural location.
RDN would like to thank Albury-Wadonga Health, the Albury Border Regional Training Hub, Albury-Wadonga Health, Albury-Wadonga Medical Students’ Society for their support in organising the weekend. Special thanks also to Dr David Rutherford, Dr Achini Weeraratne, Dr Phillip Steele and Dr Tracey Merriman and the Albury-Wadonga community for sharing their time, experience and stories with the students.
Pictured: Thirty-nine medical cadets spent three days in Albury-Wadonga.