Rural experience


Rural placements

Rural placements in the Doctor of Medicine allow students to see and experience a range of clinical problems that don’t present in metropolitan settings. Clinical practice often reflects local resources and custom, and exposure to new ways of doing things can be an important learning experience.

Each student undertaking Doctor of Medicine is required to spend a minimum of eight weeks of the course on placement in a rural location - the requirement of the rural placement is limited to Australia. Four of these weeks are usually spent working in rural general practice and other community-based clinical services during the Community Rotation. Other opportunities for rural experience exists throughout the rest of the course (see below) and students are expected to take advantage of these opportunities to obtain at least four more weeks of rural experience.

The School of Rural Health is the University’s rural clinical school. It has campuses in the regional centres of Dubbo and Orange, and provides clinical placements throughout central and western NSW.

Each year, 25% of local Stage 3 students spend a Rural Clinical Year at the School of Rural Health. These students are based at the Dubbo or Orange campus for either Terms A, B, C and D; or Terms, E, G, H and I.

A limited number of additional places are available in the Elective and Pre-Internship terms (Terms F and J).

Rural placements also take place in a number of University Departments of Rural Health including: Department of Rural Health, Broken Hill and University Centre for Rural Health which has a number of locations on the upper North Coast of NSW

rural map
Other rural opportunities

Opportunities exist for rural experience outside the Community Rotation. Students can choose from the following options, based on resource availability:

  • Options of up to one week during Stages 1 and 2 of the Doctor of Medicine.
  • Rural hospital placements during Stage 3.
  • Rural placements during the Psychological Medicine and Child and Adolescent Health Rotations in Stage 3.
  • Students who are interested in working in one or more rural locations during their Elective Term are encouraged to do so.
  • Five-week placements with country hospitals during the Pre-Internship (PRINT) Term.
Scholarships for rural experience

There are several types of scholarships available to students to help them gain experience in rural medicine. The best way to obtain up-to-date information on them is to search for scholarships on:

In addition, the National Rural Health Alliance administers the RAMUS Scheme on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing:

MIRAGE - a student club

Multidisciplinary Interest in Rural And General health Education (MIRAGE) is the student club which caters for University of Sydney students with an interest in rural career options.

The University has two major health faculty campuses, the main city campus and Lidcombe campus, and activities are undertaken on both.

MIRAGE implements local activities, excursions and skills-training programs, and provides input and student members for scholarship interview panels. Medical School staff provide input and support for MIRAGE via the Rural Careers Project Steering Committee.

Go to the website : MIRAGE