NEW CAREERS: 13 undergraduate medical students are starting work placements at The Lismore Base Hospital. Pictured medical student Emily O’Donnell and The Nationals Member For Page, Kevin Hogan.
NEW CAREERS: 13 undergraduate medical students are starting work placements at The Lismore Base Hospital. Pictured medical student Emily O’Donnell and The Nationals Member For Page, Kevin Hogan. Patrick Gorbunovs

Med students to call Northern Rivers home - for now

FOR the next 12 months, Emily O'Donnell and a dozen of her fellow med students will be calling the Northern Rivers home, as they undergo clinical placements at hospitals around the region.

Having completed their first two years of medical school, the students will spend their third year in placements at Lismore Base Hospital, Grafton Base Hospital and smaller district hospitals such as Murwillumbah and Ballina, Aboriginal Medical Services and GP practices.

Ms O'Donnell said competition for placements on the Northern Rivers was fierce.

"The feedback we get from people is that you get more hands-on learning, more time with patients and more help from doctors because it's a smaller and more intimate setting," she said.

"If you're in a big urban hospital, you get lost in the midst of students."

The University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) coordinates the placements for students from The University of Sydney, University of Wollongong and the University of Western Sydney.

Dr Michael Douglas, Director of Education at UCRH, said students undergoing placement at rural hospitals were much more likely to get a general clinical approach, as opposed to a more limited, specialised approach in larger areas.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said he hoped to see the students return to the region once they finished their studies. "I very much welcome them to the area and I encourage them to fall in love while they're here, fall in love with a local, and return," he said.



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