Media release: Medical cadets to experience careers in Tamworth
5th April 2018
Nineteen future doctors will this weekend meet in Tamworth to learn about rural medicine and the lifestyle benefits and career advantages of living and working in rural NSW.
The medical students, from universities across the state, hold NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetships funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and administered by the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).
Cadets receive up to $15,000 per year 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.
This weekend is designed to help the students decide where they will train, by connecting them with regional medical practitioners, health service providers and five former cadets now working as doctors in rural hospitals.
Former cadet Dr Lauren Cone – a Tamworth GP and Clinical Dean at the University of Newcastle’s Department of Rural Health (UONDRH) – said Tamworth was well-placed to showcase the benefits of rural medical practice.
“This weekend we will highlight the outstanding medical facilities of the Tamworth Health Service so the cadets can see the diversity enjoyed by medical practitioners working in rural NSW,” she said.
“Cadets will tour Tamworth Hospital and spend time at the UONDRH. We have a program of tuition and clinical skills workshops and we hope the students will be inspired by what the city offers and want to work in the region once they graduate.”
NSW Rural Doctors Network CEO, Richard said the Cadetship program, established in 1988, was a well-established strategy to increase the numbers of junior doctors in rural hospitals.
“The evidence shows that p exposure to rural medicine increases the likelihood of choosing to in a rural location,” he said. “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 – that’s an incredible success story.
“This program is just 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 and allied health professionals in rural and remote NSW.”
The students will also visit the Taste Tamworth Festival and dine at a local pub and top restaurant to experience country hospitality. The cadet weekend runs from Friday 6 – Sunday 8 April.