Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Growing our own: Gippsland showcases pathways to medicine

A local collaboration aimed at ‘growing our own’ medical practitioners in Gippsland recently attracted more than 30 senior secondary school students from across the region to an information session on medical pathways.

Pathways: secondary school students from across Gippsland took part in a clinical skills session during a recent information day.
The day session included a hands-on clinical experience for students and was initiated through a partnership between Monash Rural Health Latrobe Valley and West Gippsland and the Gippsland Medical Students Network. It formed part of a widespread effort to encourage local students to study medicine locally and consider returning to rural practice.

Monash Rural Health Latrobe Valley and West Gippsland Director Dr Joseph Tam said the number of students who came from all over Gippsland to attend the session – the first of its kind to be held locally - was “very encouraging” and had prompted organisers to plan for further sessions.

Dr Tam said there was compelling evidence to show that increased recruitment of medical students from rural backgrounds, and the provision of training in rural settings, improved the chances of those students returning to practice in rural areas after graduation. “This is vital to ensuring the local medical workforce is supported into the future,” he added.

During the information session local secondary students learned about pathways into medicine and heard from local medical professionals and current medical students about why they chose a medical career.

Advice on the UMAT, a test used specifically to assist with the selection of students into medicine, and study tips for enhancing students’ ATAR scores were provided, as was a description of the multiple mini interview format (another selection tool). Personal stories of journeys into and through medicine from students and qualified doctors were followed by a hands-on clinical skills opportunity in the MRH simulation ward.

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