Rural Clinical School Offers Invaluable Experience

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 6-2-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



The Western Australian (WA) towns of Narrogin and Bunbury have joined Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha, Albany, Esperance and Derby as the host sites for the UWA – Notre Dame Rural Clinical School.

Third year medical students from The University of Notre Dame Australia and fifth year from The University of Western Australia (UWA) will spend 2007 being tutored by medical, nursing and allied health staff, working alongside staff in healthcare centres, such as Aboriginal Controlled Health organisations, hospitals, specialists rooms and local doctors’ rooms in the country towns.

Notre Dame and UWA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2006 which established the partnership for delivering rural medical education. It has combined expertise and resources from both universities to support rural clinical training for WA medical students. The pooling of expertise and resources between the two medical schools was a national first.

"At Notre Dame we aim to provide our students with excellent rural experiences, in the hope that these experiences will encourage our graduates to practise in areas of unmet need," said Professor Adrian Bower, Dean of the School of Medicine, Fremantle.

Student Anna Robson will be based at the Kalgoorlie RCS.

“This year promises to be a very exciting one. The Rural Clinical School seems to offer the kind of integrated approach to medicine that the Notre Dame School of Medicine has emphasised so it is exciting to witness this in practice, as opposed to discussing it over the last two years of ‘virtual medicine’ in our weekly classes!

“There’s bound to be some great adventures ahead. It has been apparent from the outset, that we have LOTS of hands on opportunities. Given the doctor shortage in the bush medical students are very welcomed and we are able to participate actively as part of the health team.

“In Kalgoorlie we are all heading off within the next few weeks to communities north of here, conducting health screening as part of a unique renal health study paediatrician Dr Christine Jeffries-Stokes is undertaking at the request of the local Indigenous communities.

“The Kalgoorlie community has warmly welcomed us - our schedules seem so busy I’m wondering where in there we fit time for sleep!”

Students will return to Fremantle at the end of the academic year to rejoin their colleagues and to prepare for their final year.