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Final year RCSWA medical students highlight their recent experience attending the ROAR.

Christopher Lloyd
University of Notre Dame Australia, The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia – Geraldton
Final Year Medical Student

The desire to take my career further and provide proactive health care for rural and remote communities prompted me to apply to study medicine, and my life experiences have shaped the career pathway I am undertaking. I was fortunate to receive sponsorship for the Rural Health West Rural Outdoor Adventure Race (ROAR) experience. For most of my life, I have lived in rural Queensland and have had the privilege to work alongside many Rural Generalist practitioners before commencing my medical school journey. I have experienced firsthand the benefits and disadvantages of living in rural and remote areas. Our beautiful country’s vast geographical distances can lead to healthcare isolation and a distinct lack of services. However, these communities are grateful to be located in the most spectacular parts of the world, with a great sense of community.

The ROAR experience exposed me to emergency medical situations in rural and remote areas. The scenario settings involved low resource availability and minimal access to definitive care, which many rural and remote communities in Australia experience.

The scenes and scenarios starkly contrast what many clinicians and medical students experience throughout their training.

The ROAR experience focused on adaptability and resourcefulness while maintaining a high level of communication and teamwork. I believe that this exposure has developed me, both as a clinician and personally. I encourage all medical students and junior doctors to get involved in any rural health training possible. Approach all situations with an open mind, challenge yourself to learn new skills and think outside of the metro box, and it will spur a rewarding, long-lasting career in rural health care.

Shanae McKenna
University of Western Australia, The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia – Bunbury
Final Year Medical Student

I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to attend the ROAR event under sponsorship from Rural Health West and Regional Training Hubs.

Being a final year RCSWA student presented an opportunity to apply for a bursary to attend the Rural Health West Rural Outdoor Adventure Race (ROAR). It sounded like a fantastic chance to put my newly learnt emergency department skills to work, in unique outdoor simulations.

Upon reflection, ROAR was not only a great place to practise emergency medicine scenarios, but it put my teamwork and leadership skills to the test!

The two day event took place in Kings Park Botanical Gardens. During this time, we were placed into teams which included an emergency physician, multiple junior doctors and multiple students. It was great to meet like-minded junior doctors and fellow medical students who all shared an interest in rural health.

The emergency physician on our team put us through simulations of bush medical emergencies, including managing snake bites, anaphylaxis, asthma, vertigo and trauma. All attendees had a chance to lead, act as an injured victim or be a part of a treating team. As someone who is not confident being a leader at times, this opportunity allowed me to put my leadership skills to the test in a supportive and fun environment.

I would highly recommend final year medical students attend the ROAR in future. It’s a great place to consolidate your medical school learning before exams, practise your leadership skills and experience being part of a medical team-while having fun.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities?
Check out the Rural Health West website for medical student and junior doctor opportunities to experience and practise elements of emergency care in a remote environment at our Rural Outdoor Adventure Race (ROAR). For more information visit

Acknowledgement of Country