A new La Trobe University undergraduate degree will help realise a longstanding commitment to deliver more doctors for rural, regional and remote communities.
The new three-year bachelor degree is a partnership with the University of Melbourne.
It is also a ground-breaking, alternative pathway for rural and regional students to become doctors and, in turn, address the shortage of medical practitioners outside metropolitan areas.
La Trobe will welcome its first cohort of Biomedical Science (Medical) students to its Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses in 2019.
Fifteen students commencing this degree will be provided with a guaranteed pathway into the University of Melbourne’s rural Doctor of Medicine in Shepparton, subject to a rigorous joint selection process designed by the two universities.
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Students who do not receive a guaranteed pathway can still complete the La Trobe undergraduate degree and then apply for a place in the rural Doctor of Medicine in Shepparton, as some places will be available on a competitive entry basis.
University of Melbourne’s head of Department of Rural Health Professor Julian Wright said: “I welcome the partnership La Trobe and the University of Melbourne are creating together to make it possible for regional students to complete their entire undergraduate and postgraduate medical studies across North East Victoria.”
He said the partnership would enable rural and regional students to achieve their career goals and create better long-term health outcomes for the communities they chose to work in.
La Trobe’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Science, Health and Engineering Professor Rob Pike said the new degree would specifically equip students for a career in rural, regional and remote communities.
“This joint initiative builds on each university’s complementary strengths,” he said.
“It also means students from a wide range of health disciplines from both universities will work together more closely in regional Victoria to strengthen inter-professional education.”
Selection is under way for next year’s course. Visit www.latrobe.edu.au/courses/bachelor-of-biomedical-science-medical.