by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Click here to view past issues
Campus News : October 2012
OCTOBER 2012 CONNECT :UOW 7 CONNECT: GSM FEATURE ACROSS NEW SOUTH WALES University of Wollongong third year medical students who do their 38-week clinical placement in Mudgee are feeling right at home after the opening of a five-bedroom house for them to use during their rotation in the central western NSW town. Mudgee House was built for UOW's Graduate School of Medicine in partnership with Club Mudgee, Moolarben Coal, Mid-Western Regional Council and Peabody- Wilpinjong Coal, who have all contributed in various ways towards the project. The student doctors will use the house during their 38-week rural rotation in Mudgee, where they spend time in general practice, the local hospital and other community-based health care settings. With five bedrooms, the house has been designed to cater for singles or couples and families as the situation requires. Speaking at the opening in September, UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said building the accommodation for UOW's medical students has been a true community partnership, with the people of Mudgee contributing in all kinds of ways to bring the project from concept to reality. "We are extremely grateful to you STUDENTS RIGHT AT HOME IN MUDGEE all, and we're sure that our medical students will be grateful for many years to come," Professor Wellings said. "Having such well-designed and comfortable accommodation for their 38-week stay in Mudgee will certainly enhance their experience in your town. "Obviously we all hope that this home will help build connections between your community and our medical students, and encourage some of them to consider returning to Mudgee to practise medicine when they are fully qualified." Medical student Vanessa Hewitt spoke at the opening on behalf of the three GSM students currently based in Mudgee, thanking the community for providing the house. "On behalf of ... the first lucky residents of this house, and the medical students to come here in the future, thank you to the local council and to all the sponsors, who have given so much and to (GSM Dean) Professor (Alison) Jones and the Graduate School of Medicine staff who pushed the idea and worked tirelessly to have the project finished on time," Vanessa said. "The big word that comes to mind is privilege. We feel so incredibly privileged to have this opportunity in Mudgee. Over the past few weeks I've learnt that there are many challenges working in a country town with limited manpower and technological resources but it is also very rewarding and stimulating, and we are lucky to have really dedicated mentors and supportive nursing and allied health staff." Professor Wellings said UOW opened the GSM in 2007 with a specific vision to train excellent doctors interested in working in regional, rural and remote areas, to help address the unacceptable imbalance between medical services and facilities in Australian capital cities and the services available to people in the bush. "Fifty-seven percent of the students in our Graduate School of Medicine come from regional communities. This is a great statistic because we feel that these people will be more likely to seek opportunities to practise medicine in regional and rural areas," he said. The long-term clinical placement rotation of third year students in communities across regional NSW is a key component of the course's focus on training doctors for regional and rural communities. Professor Wellings praised the GSM's Regional Academic leader in Mudgee, Dr Gary Moore, for his role in mentoring the GSM students and instigating the house project. NH Meanwhile, Professor Garne had been studying for a Master of International Public Health, with the idea of working in a developing country. However, he realised there were also huge unmet medical needs in Australia, particularly in remote rural and Indigenous communities. "An opportunity arose to go to Broken Hill and work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service," he said. While the RFDS employs its own pilots he was able to indulge his passion for flying as Broken Hill is considered one of the best light plane centres in the state, with generally good weather and clear skies for flying. Professor Garne enjoyed his seven years as a doctor in Broken Hill, and is now focused on showing the next generation of doctors the attraction of practising medicine in the "bush". "Living and working in a rural environment can be very rewarding personally and professionally, and that's the message we try to get across to our medical students. For a start you will have more opportunities to undertake procedural medicine -- obstetrics, anaesthetics, some surgical procedures ... "The whole idea is to immerse our students in a regional or rural community for 38 weeks, and help them make their career choices after that. Whether they want to be a GP or to specialise, hopefully they will have an underlying desire to work in a regional or rural setting." Professor Garne said the Wollongong model that provided for a 38-week placement in the third year was already proving successful in encouraging graduates to consider basing themselves outside Sydney. "It's early days yet but the evidence so far is quite encouraging. Of our first cohort of graduates (in 2010) 52 percent applied for regional and rural internships, and that figure rose to 67 percent for the second cohort (in 2011)." NH Pictured at the opening of Mudgee House (above) are (from left): Dr Gary Moore, medical student Vanessa Hewitt and UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings. Pictures: Sandy Smith.
CONNECT:UOW July 2012