Medical students eager to get started with rural placements

Heading South to study: Rural Clinical School of WA students Michael Ratcliffe, Fiona Spencer and Ariya Alimoradian. Photo: Emily Sharp.
Heading South to study: Rural Clinical School of WA students Michael Ratcliffe, Fiona Spencer and Ariya Alimoradian. Photo: Emily Sharp.

Twelve medical students hailing from the University of WA and the University of Notre Dame arrived in Bunbury last week to begin their third year of study at the Rural Clinical School of WA. 

The cohort have moved to the South West for the year in order to gain hands on experience in a rural setting with many hoping to return to work in the region as doctors. 

Rural Clinic School of WA director Andrew Kirke said there were a number of benefits of having the students in Bunbury who got involved with sporting, charity and community groups. 

“For the students the benefits for them are living in a country area and experiencing everything that has to offer, so being part of a community, living away from home and seeing the scenery,” he said.

“They get a much better clinical experience, they get one-on-one teaching with doctors and mentors and we find longer term they are much more ready to work as interns and doctors because they’ve had practical experience and they know what to do for when they hit the hospitals as newly formed doctors. 

“Longer term we want them to come back as country doctors, and they are – we now have five interns dedicated to Bunbury.”

Bunbury-raised Fiona Spencer said it was good to return home and see it through adult eyes with new found appreciation for the beaches and places to go out. 

“I wanted somewhere rural that also had access to specialists and I’m really eager to come back to Bunbury or somewhere in the South West in the future and get a grip on what it’s like to work rurally,” she said.