Future doctors are discovering rural health as Tassie medical students are swapping the city for the countryside this week
As part of their University Of Tasmania education and training to become doctors, these students are using Rural Week (30 April – 4 May) to learn more as the annual program places more than 120 second year students in rural communities so they discover first-hand how healthcare is accessed and delivered differently in the country.
Students will find out what health issues affect people living rurally during their clinical placements at general practices, regional hospitals, aged care facilities, health hubs and local pharmacies.
They will learn from local government and community services about community health needs and priorities.
Industry visits meanwhile will allow the students to see the many positive effects industry can have on health and learn how occupational health and safety can reduce health risks.
Dr Lizzi Shires, Director of the Rural Clinical School said experiencing rural health was a vital part of each student’s overall training. “Rural Week forms an integral part of the Medicine curriculum as it compliments what the students are already learning about rural health with practical first-hand experiences,” Dr Shires said.
“Students live and work rurally, talking to residents, health professionals and community representatives to gain a better understanding of what the everyday health issues really are.
“There are many rewarding aspects of pursuing a career in health in rural areas, so we hope this experience inspires the students to consider a future career outside the city.
“It is important that all future doctors understand rural health issues so wherever they end up working, they can identify and treat rural people appropriately to improve access to health care.”
Students departed Hobart today, (Monday, 30 April), travelling to rural locations in Tasmania’s North, North-West and South.
Professor Ben Canny, Head of the University’s School of Medicine said Rural Week was a crucial program that helped prepare the students in becoming doctors.
“Rural Week provides our medical students with rural experiences that help shape their knowledge and develop their practical skills,” Professor Canny said.
“Students will be conducting community interviews throughout their placement to help them broaden their understanding of health in these towns.
“Students have already undertaken some research on their communities’ health, and further information gathered will contribute to formal presentations they deliver in their host communities that form part of their academic assessment.”