Rural Week 2 – from 17-21 October - provided 59 urban-based second year medical students an opportunity to experience aspects of rural living in the country town of Bega and broaden their exposure to rural medicine.
Ms Deborah Ferguson, the Administration Officer for the Bega Rural Clinical School who organised the activities for the students said, “It was an informative week for the students. It started with a Welcome to Country from local Yuin elders and participation in Yarning Circles. There was a panel discussion from specialists based at the South East Regional Hospital followed by practical clinical skills rotations within the hospital.”
“The students also undertook community work, with blood pressure screenings and visits to local nursing homes. Plus, a half day of hands-on GP clinical skills rotations. It was a full schedule that gave all students a good understanding of what rural medicine looks like.”
Medical student, Mr Pranesh de Silva said, “Hearing about the various specialities that operate in Bega, being able to step inside a surgical theatre, speaking to community members and having the opportunity to learn about the basics of obstetrics where some of the highlights for me.”
“Rural Week was a great opportunity to hone our clinical skills, spend time with peers, learn from the clinicians and experience the camaraderie across the community.”
Mr de Silva continued, “The quality of the hospital and health facilities were impressive. The scope of specialties that were accessible through the hospital and general practice made me realise the breadth of work and range of opportunities that are available for doctors seeking to work in rural locations.”
“Plus, the small town rural charm was evident. The clinicians were very friendly and relaxed yet highly skilled across a wide scope of practice. Everyone within the community we met were welcoming, happy to share knowledge and made sure none of us went hungry with delicious food provided.”
Bega is one of the five Rural Clinical School campus where long term rural students are placed for their full third year of study.