Med students embark on new course option as pointy end of training begins
By Nadia Surace
FIFTH year Melbourne University medical students at Shepparton Campus were shown the local ropes last week during orientation week.
After four and a half years study in Melbourne, the students now begin their final year and a half of hospital and clinic training based from Graham Street’s Rural Health Academic Centre, formally the School of Rural Health.
As part of their eighth semester the students are the first able to opt for a new course pathway, training under established general practitioners instead of completing six subjects.
26 of the students’ 61 student class have taken the option and are now training at clinics in Shepparton, Echuca, Yarrawonga, Corowa, Benalla, Mansfield and Mt Beauty.
“I did this because I wanted to spend more time in smaller communities,” Melbourne University Medical Student, Louise Boyle said who has taken on the new pathway.
“I think that there are greater learning opportunities in rural areas for a start. There is a much lower student-to-teacher ratio and so we receive a lot more attention from the staff.
“I took the new option because I think it is going to be just a great hands-on learning curve.”
Louise grew up in Kyabram and although hasn’t ruled out further metropolitan-based training says she sees herself eventually settling and practising in a rural area.
“Obviously we’re never going to see the major surgeries that you would in the big city hospitals throughout the semester but you still get a huge breadth of experience and at a level city students miss out on.
“Being from the country I feel more at home being in the country. I’m really glad to be back.”