The UCRH provides a comprehensive and innovative regional-rural clinical learning experience for medical students from 3 participating universities, University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney and University of Wollongong. We host medical students for up to a year from each of these universities.
The main objective of the collaborative is to expose students to living and working in a rural area with the aim that they will gain an understanding of the need for quality and competence as clinician and community leader, and provide commitment to servicing rural populations.
After completing the year with us students are work ready to practice as an intern. They have received a full and comprehensive experience and are advantaged by being supported by clinicians who are passionate and dedicated to working in a rural area. The clinicians provide a real insight on rural health as well as local experiences, lifestyle and work/life balance. We also offer shorter term placements to medical students from a range of other universities.
Rural placements are provided in a variety of hospital and community settings to meet the curriculum requirements of each university but with a focus on a rural environment. These placements include acute hospital placements in areas such as critical care, emergency, mental health, medicine and surgery as well as exposure to small rural hospitals, community centres, General Practices and Aboriginal Medical Centres.
The UCRH provides a comprehensive education program including simulation and clinical skills, a weekly time table of bedside tutorials, weekly student led clinical discussions, weekly opportunities for students to engage and practice long case exams, social and personal development activities, a cultural welfare program and opportunities to engage with the local community.
There are also opportunities for all students to meet and learn with other students from other universities and other disciplines in a variety of settings. UCRH has embedded a strong ethos in ensuring that students have a genuine understanding of social inequity, the implications of culture and demography, and the role of the health professional as a leader in the rural community.Students are supported in all aspects of their personal and professional development, with a support and administration team, and a faculty rich in experience and depth.
Continuous evaluation of our student program has shown excellent learning occurring as a result of their placement at the UCRH. In recent exit surveys, students overwhelmingly expressed a willingness to consider rural work in the future.
Extracts from the students’ end of year evaluation are shown below:
“The things that I enjoyed most about my placement were the diversity of the medicine and lifestyle available. Establishing a culture of togetherness between long-stay students from different universities is a good idea”
“I loved the placement. It was amazing to live in a small town and to meet so many people. I frequently went over to Doctor’s farms/houses for lunch/dinner. People were so friendly. Every Wednesday we went to trivia with other medicos: allied health, registrars, etc. It was great.”
“Meeting other students, the clinical experience, getting to know better the other students from my course, I particularly enjoyed the teaching sessions that ran on Wednesday and Friday afternoons”
“The things that I enjoyed most about my placement were the relaxed atmosphere of the North Coast, the scenery, my rotations and the doctors who taught me”
“Overall, I had a great time!! I felt very well supported”
“I vastly enjoyed my medical learning in Lismore and hope to be able to engage in further training and perhaps practice in the Northern Rivers Region in the future”
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