A new generation of prospective rural doctors made their first visit to Bendigo on Wednesday, as part of Monash University’s long-term program to fill rural doctor vacancies.
The 22 medical students began their studies in Melbourne in March, and will spend up to three years training in Bendigo and wider north-west Victoria.
Director of Monash Rural Health Bendigo associate professor Chris Holmes, said the program the students are part of particularly targets applicants who are from regional or rural Australia or have an interest in working there.
“It’s well known that medical students who come from rural areas, and any who are provided rewarding rural and regional placements are more likely to consider a career in rural practice,” he said
“This visit aims to start that rewarding experience very early in their student career.”
Hosted by final year Monash medical students on placements in the Bendigo hospital, the new medical students toured the hospital and student accommodation, took part in a simulated exercise in Monash’s high-tech simulation centre, and went for a walking tour through Rosalind Park and the View Street café and arts precinct.
“In this short visit we wanted to make them feel part of the Monash Rural Health family right from the start of their studies,” Prof. Holmes said.
“While these students are focussed on their foundation theory studies for the next two years, they’ll know what sort of welcome and opportunities await them here.”
Monash Rural Health has been training medical students in Bendigo for more than 25 years with many of its graduates taking up rural practice all over Australia.