UOW Lismore Hub  students visiting Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service on their first Regional Academic Day

The Lismore, Grafton and Murwillumbah hubs of UCRH have welcomed 18 University of Wollongong (UOW) Phase 3 medical students for their 12-month rural clinical placement. The longitudinal placement offered by UOW enables senior medical students to develop extended clinical competence and achieve a range of professional development objectives, including greater understanding of and appreciation for the complex personal and professional demands of rural clinical practice.

Students will participate in multifaceted interactions with patients and their families, clinical teachers and other health care professionals through their placements in our local hospitals, community centres, Aboriginal medical services and general practice clinics. These rural based learning opportunities provide rich experiences into their medical journey and evolving notions of professional identity as rural practitioners.

Lismore Hub students during their first week participated in a range of activities including a clinical skills session with FACEM and medical educator Dr Charlotte Hall, their first Case Based Learning (CBL) session with UOW’s Lismore Hub Regional Academic Leader Dr Jane Barker, and orientations to Lismore, Ballina and Byron hospitals.

At a welcome dinner on their first evening, some students were able to meet their GP preceptors. This also provided an opportunity for the new cohort to network and reconnect with UOW medical elective and pre-internship students as well as UOW Graduate Medicine graduates who are currently working at Lismore Base Hospital. The majority of the new UOW Lismore Hub students have strong ties to rural Australia, and all students are very keen to engage with the local community and join in community based groups such as sporting teams in their down time.

Murwillumbah students share the warmth around a bonfire
Murwillumbah students share the warmth around a bonfire

Murwillumbah UCRH Hub welcomed eight new senior UOW longitudinal (12 month) medical students on Monday 16th July.  The first week comprised of tours of both Murwillumbah District Hospital and Byron Central Hospital, including the Tuckeroo (Mental Health) Unit, introductions and presentations by the Nurse Unit Managers, Indigenous cultural awareness immersion training, medical records training and practical compliance sessions in PPE, CPR, scrub competency, aseptic technique and IV therapy.

Orientation week activities provide the students with the necessary groundwork to begin their placements on various wards in local hospitals and GP practices.

UOW medical students were welcomed to the Murwillumbah Hub with a roaring bonfire and scrumptious BBQ dinner. UOW Regional Academic Leader Dr John Moran graciously welcomed students, supervisors and staff to his home for a most enjoyable evening of introductions, storytelling and laughter.

The evening rounded off with marshmallow toasting and the students expressed appreciation for a great introduction to the rural life in ‘Murbah’.  It was obvious that this group is raring to go – to maximise learning opportunities while making a positive contribution to our communities.  We are set and excited for a great year ahead.

Grafton students with a spectacular Clarence Valley vista view from their backyard.
Grafton students with a spectacular Clarence Valley vista view from their backyard.

Grafton Hub welcomed four UOW senior medical students in July. The students enjoyed a diverse and thorough first week of activities, designed to welcome and orientate them to the Clarence Valley region.

They immersed themselves in two days of orientation and practical competencies at Grafton Base Hospital, led by UOW Regional Academic Lead Alastair McInnes, then travelled to Grafton CBD, Maclean and Yamba to visit their general practice placements. They met various clinicians, staff and locals and were offered valuable advice about how to get the most out of their year in the Clarence Valley, both professionally and personally. Students have already visited our beautiful beaches and plan to explore more of the area during their stay.

All University of Wollongong long and short stay medical training placements are supported in collaboration with the North Coast University Centre for Rural Health