Training is a barrier
Medical students Amy Vaux and Kitty Robertson are correct in stating that the barrier to keeping doctors practising in rural areas is a lack of specialist training opportunities in rural and regional areas (Saturday 9 December 2017).
It is well recognised that many medical graduates, otherwise enthusiastic about rural practice, are forced to return to cities for postgraduate training at a time when they are putting down roots and building networks, ultimately settling in metropolitan areas.
It is the aim of the federally-funded Regional Training Hubs to stem the loss of our rural graduates. The hubs, established across Australia this year, will create training a training pipeline – in rural and regional areas – from medical school to completion of postgraduate training.
The Monash University North-west Regional Training Hub will build on the existing medical school training program which have been delivered in Bendigo since 1993.
The work of the hub will be to better mentor medical students who express a desire to practise rurally, with the aim of building training pathways to link their undergraduate and postgraduate training.
An important part of being able to deliver extended training is supporting an expanded education and supervisory workforce in postgraduate training, with the key step to increase the amount of medical training that takes place outside metropolitan areas.
Among the early outputs of the hub, we have been working with local regional and rural health services to determine the most pressing specialist workforce shortages and we are now working to develop rural-based training positions in those areas.
Monash Rural Health has robust links with our Monash University metropolitan clinical school counterparts that will be leveraged to create longitudinal training programs for specialist areas that fit the needs of this community.
The program is truly collaborative one, drawing together other Victorian universities which also have rural clinical schools, health services, specialist colleges, regional training organisations and the state and federal governments.
Professor Robyn Langham, Head, School of Rural Health Monash University
Just not cricket
It’s bad enough that the English cricket team carry on like they run the world of cricket when the Ashes are played in the UK, but they also think they can come out to OZ and do the same, but it appears that the Poms attempt to regain the Urn has taken a turn for the worse after being head butted and having their stumps uprooted by those ghastly Australians.
Merry Christmas, Joe.
Ken Price, Eaglehawk
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