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Media release: Medical cadets in Dubbo for a taste of rural living

4th May 2019

This weekend, 28 medical cadets from universities and hospitals across NSW are in Dubbo to learn about living and working as a health professional in rural NSW.

The students and doctors all hold the highly-regarded NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship, funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and administered by NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).

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.

The cadet weekend is an annual event that connects the cadets with regional medical practitioners, health service providers and former cadets now working as doctors in rural hospitals. This year’s guests include Dr Randall Greenberg, Chief Medical Officer of the Royal Flying Doctor Service for Western NSW; Associate Professor Mark Arnold, Head of Sydney University’s Rural Clinical School in Dubbo; and Linda Cutler, Director of the Western NSW Regional Training Hub.

NSW Rural Doctors Network CEO, Mr Richard Colbran, said the Cadetship program, established in 1988, was a successful strategy to increase the numbers of junior doctors in rural hospitals.

“A 2016 longitudinal study of students who completed a cadetship between 1989 and 2010 showed that more than half the study respondents went on to work in rural areas, so the evidence is in that a student’s positive exposure to rural medicine increases their likelihood of choosing to practise in a rural location,” he said.

“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.” 

Download the Media release

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