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Go Rural student roadtrip visits central west


21st August 2023
Twenty more medical, nursing and allied health students from around NSW set off last Thursday 17 August on a four-day tour of the central west designed to encourage the future health professionals taking part, to consider the benefits and rewards of a rural health career.

Twenty more medical, nursing and allied health students from around NSW set off last Thursday 17 August on a four-day tour of the central west designed to encourage the future health professionals taking part, to consider the benefits and rewards of a rural health career.

This was the third of this year’s ‘Go Rural’ road trips, hosted and funded by RDN where students got to experience GP practice and hospital tours, clinical activities, community events, farm visits and social functions in towns including Mudgee, Coonabarabran, Coonamble, Brewarrina, Nyngan, Parkes and Orange. 

Go Rural day 1At Mudgee, the travellers were met by Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, while sampling some of the great cafes in town, before a tour of Mudgee Health Service. Mr Gee was very impressed with the students. "The ‘Go Rural’ road trip, hosted and funded by NSW Rural Doctors Network, is a great opportunity for health students in the city to discover what a career might look like west of the sandstone curtain," he told his social media followers. "I hope to see some of their faces back in our region after they finish their studies!"

Encouraging graduates to work in rural areas

Over the past four years, ‘Go Rural’ has borne out research findings that show rural exposure during medical training is strongly associated with an increased likelihood of students entering rural practice after graduating.  

Final year medical student Lavina Mital from Western Sydney University was drawn to this Go Rural trip after enjoying her Indigenous Health placement in Tamworth. “It was a privilege exploring western NSW because I have now gained insight into how remote and rural communities really operate with such scarce medical resources," she told RDN.

"Hearing statistics of the complicated and long-standing staff shortages is one thing but witnessing it first-hand, as we drove many hours, town to town, and speaking to the locals provided a deep understanding of the hardships faced in rural country. The experience and exposure sparked a desire to return to these communities and engage in short term contracts or fly-in-fly-out services in the future.”  

A privilege to travel with these students

For RDN Program Lead Ella Roch-Perks, it was a privilege to take the students through NSW, "From hospital and medical centre visits in Mudgee, Nyngan, Parkes and Orange, to a barbeque at the Coonamble AMS, a spectacular tour of the Brewarrina fish traps, and trying our hand at sheep shearing in Coonabarabran, this Go Rural has been a truly incredible experience. 

"Over the four days, the students fully immersed themselves in the culture and lifestyle of the communities we visited and made the most out of each experience. We were incredibly privileged to have met such welcoming and inspiring individuals along our way, and we look forward to coming back out west in the future! A huge thank you to everyone we met along the way, and to our students for being so incredibly open to learning about the beauty of all things rural NSW."

RDN receives funding for Go Rural from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

                                                                               MicrosoftTeams-image (10)


Read more:

  • Image 1: Students visit Orange Hospital with a tour from RDN cadets
  • Image 2:Students get a taste of country life in the shearing sheds at Tannabah farm 
  • Image 3: The Honourable Andrew Gee MP meets students in Mudgee for breakfast

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