Medical Students visit regional WA

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 29-1-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



Spending a week in one of Western Australia’s wheat belt towns is an important part of the rigorous academic program which students are required to undertake as part of their Graduate degree in Medicine at The University of Notre Dame Australia.

Notre Dame opened Western Australia’s first Graduate School of Medicine in 2005.
The Graduate degree is particularly designed to encourage medical students to consider careers in rural or remote general practice and first-hand experience has been seen as the best way to encourage students to consider rural placements.

Over the past two years students have travelled to the wheat belt towns of Cunderdin, Kellerberrin and Merredin where they have stayed with local families. By all accounts the experience has been a great success for both the families and the students.

This year the trip is planned for the week of 26-30 March and due to the increased intake by Notre Dame’s Medical School, the town of Narrogin will be included.

An important component of the experience is for students to interact with the community. In the past they have visited local schools, hospitals, general practitioners and allied health professionals. They were also taught about farm safety and took on some community service projects such as one in Merredin which saw them cleaning 300 windows at the railway museum and taking on their own ‘backyard blitz’ for a person with disabilities.

“The purpose of this important week is to experience first-hand what living in a rural community means,” said Professor Jenny McConnell, Deputy Dean of the School of Medicine.

“They are also required to investigate the characteristics of the shire they are staying in; to look at the strengths and assets and to access what health problems there are. For example what resources and support is available for minority groups or people with special needs.”

On the final evening students are required to give presentations at the local shire to elected representatives, shire staff, their host families and people who have assisted during the week.

Notre Dame is very keen to hear from members of the Cunderdin, Kellerberrin. Merredin or Narrogin Shires who would be willing to support this important program by billeting students this year. Please contact Dr Ilse O’Ferrall on 9433 0270 to register your interest.