Rural practice in mind

FORWARD THINKING: Metro students Georgina Wells and David Trench were impressed by local facilities. Photo: Gareth Gardner 240217GGF01TAMWORTH’S medical facilities have got the goods, according to the state’s next batch of allied health professionals.

A group of medicine and health students from universities based in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle iscurrentlyon a three-day trip of the region, getting a taste of rural medicine.

And the metro-medicos reckon Tamworth’s facilities are as good as any in the state.

Second-year University of Notre Dame medicine student, David Trench, said the hospital surpassed hisexpectations.

“It’s probably above and beyond what I personally expected to see and what a lot of the other students expected to see as well,” he said.

“I don’t think people come into regional areas expecting to see trouble and poor facilities.

“They know there is going to be decent facilities, a lot ofthe real issue these days is getting medical professionals to move into those facilities.”

Georgina Wells, a social work student from the University of Wollongong, was equally impressed and said getting a rural perspective would help working with clients, later on in her career.

“I’ve been really, really impressed, especially the new hospital,” she said.

“It was just really nice, probably nicer than the Wollongong hospital.”

The group also visited the University of Newcastle department of rural health andthe Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service (TAMS), before checking outfacilities in Boggabri and Narrabri.

The tour was hosted by the Rural Doctors’ Network (RDN) and Rural Health Workforce Australia.

RDN chief executive officer Richard Colbran said the excursion was part of a ‘Go Rural’ campaign, to address rural health workforce shortages.

“We need doctors and other health professionals working in our rural and remote areas,” he said.

“Go Rural is an opportunity for medical, nursing and allied health students to learn about the rewards of a career in rural health, and how rural NSW has some of the best training opportunities in the country.”

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