Faculty of Health

Medical students to explore health challenges in rural communities

More than 120 first-year medical students from the University of Tasmania are preparing to spend a week in the state’s North and North-West, to learn about the health challenges of living and working in rural communities.

Beginning Monday (5 September) , Rural Week forms part of the Faculty of Health medical program, providing an engaging and educational experience for future doctors to meet with health professionals and learn first-hand about how services in rural areas are accessed differently.

Students will put their medical knowledge and skills into practice as they participate in simulated rural emergency rescue scenarios and health stations, discover the role of regional hospitals, meet with community representatives and hear how remote workplace injuries are prevented during a visit to a local farm.

They will also spend a day with the Aboriginal community, in an on-country experience at Narawntapu National Park, providing them with background to Tasmania’s rich Aboriginal heritage and its importance in the health of Aboriginal people in the state.

Co-Director of the University’s Rural Clinical School Associate Professor Lizzi Shires and Associate Professor Jan Radford from the Launceston Clinical School said Rural Week was also about demonstrating the important partnerships between health professionals to improve patient outcomes.

“Rural Week is designed to expose Year One students to practical clinical skills in a rural environment. This reinforces some of the academic program they have in Hobart. They also participate in team-building exercises which reinforces the importance of team work in medicine. We find that following this visit many students choose to return to the North and North-West to complete their final years of study at the Rural Clinical School.”