Nine fourth year University of Queensland medical students who studied at the rural clinical school (UQRCS) in Bundaberg this year are graduating today.
Medicine student Elspeth Norton said studying rurally was the best thing for learning and gaining confidence in a hospital, and growing as a person in a really positive environment.
“I chose to study rurally because I wanted to see what a smaller hospital was like after hearing it provided a more individualised and hands on experience,” Ms Norton said.
“After the first year, I discovered everything I had heard was true and I loved it, so I couldn't exactly go back to the city!
“My key highlights from studying in Bundaberg are getting to know the people around me personally, the student group really felt like family.
“The connections I had with people at the hospital: the administration officers, the lady at the cafe, the consultants and the interns, was really enjoyable.
“I’m staying in Bundaberg for my hospital internship and eventually would like to work somewhere rural or remote in this big country,” she said.
UQRCS Bundaberg Acting Director Dr Denise Powell said the graduations confirm the school's commitment to rural and remote communities, and to training future rural doctors.
“By doing this we will improve the longevity of our rural medical workforce so that we can have the right doctor in the right place at the right time,” Dr Powell said.
Seven of the nine UQRCS graduates will stay rural and begin their internship program in a rural hospital setting next year.
Dr Powell said the statistics are impressive and show that giving medical students the opportunity to live and experience a rural clinical practice encourages them to stay in rural areas after they graduate and become rural doctors.
“We wish our 2019 graduates all the best in their future medical careers and congratulate them on a fantastic year in Bundaberg.”
During 2019, UQRCS Bundaberg trained a total of 26 Year 3 and 4 students.
For further information on the UQRCS visit www.rcs.medicine.uq.edu.au.
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