Providing opportunities for medical students to experience life in the country.

As part of their university curriculum, 160 medical students from Western Australian universities spent four days in towns across the Wheatbelt to learn about rural life.

The Wheatbelt Medical Student Immersion Program saw first-year medical students from The University of Notre Dame Australia School of Medicine (Fremantle) and second-year Curtin University Medical School students participate in a four-day placement across several Wheatbelt towns: Bruce Rock, Cunderdin, Kellerberin, Merredin, Narrogin, Southern Cross and Westonia.

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The program built student understanding of a rural patient's life and healthcare experience. During their placement, the students visited local health services such as the local general practice and hospital, and attended a farm safety demonstration. All members of the Steering Committee are committed to run the program for three years, starting in March 2018.

"We acknowledge many of the students will become metropolitan doctors in the future, however this program will give them an understanding of what a country patient experiences when travelling to Perth for treatment. If a student is influenced by the program to consider a rural career, that will be the cherry on top."

Steering Committee members

  • Rural Health West (lead)
  • Country WA Primary Health Network
  • The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Curtin University Faculty of Sciences
  • Wheatbelt East Regional Organisation of Councils (WE-ROC)