Spotlight on Rural Health

University of Tasmania medical students will swap the city for the countryside this week as part of their education and training to become doctors.

Year 2 Rural Week (16-20 September) is an annual program that places more than 120 second-year medical students in rural communities across Tasmania to learn first-hand how healthcare is accessed and delivered in the regions.

Students will learn about the unique health issues which affect people living rurally during their clinical placements at general practices, regional hospitals, aged care facilities, health hubs and local pharmacies.

They will learn from local government and community services about community health needs and priorities.

Industry visits will allow the students to see the many positive effects industry can have on health and community, as well as learn how occupational health and safety can reduce health risks.

College of Health and Medicine’s Rural Clinical School Director Dr Lizzi Shires said experiencing rural health was a vital part of each student’s overall training.

“Rural Week forms an integral part of the medicine curriculum as it complements what the students are already learning about rural health with practical first-hand, experiences,” Dr Shires said.

“Students live and work rurally, talking to residents, health professionals and community representatives to gain a better understanding of what the everyday health issues really are.

“There are many rewarding aspects of pursuing a career in health in rural areas, so we hope this experience inspires the students to consider a future career outside the city.

“It is important that all future doctors understand rural health issues, so wherever they end up working, they can identify and treat rural people appropriately to improve access to health care.”

Students are traveling to rural locations in Tasmania’s North, North-West and South until Thursday, 19 September.

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