Rural visitors to University of Sydney

19 July 2010

(L-R) The students Sarah-Rebekah Clark, Jason Sines, Luigi Zolio and Olivia Coleman.
(L-R) The students Sarah-Rebekah Clark, Jason Sines, Luigi Zolio and Olivia Coleman.

The University of Sydney last week hosted the annual Rural High Schools Workshop, a week-long program designed to encourage selected rural students to consider careers as doctors or health science practitioners.

The University of Sydney collaborated with the University of NSW and University of Newcastle to inform high school students about the prospects of studying medicine in the city.

The University's Discipline of General Practice hosted the last day of the workshop on Thursday 15 July.

Discipline of General Practice's Rural Placement Co-ordinator, Fiona Ismay, said the program aimed to inform rural and remote students of the opportunities available when they undertake tertiary studies at the University of Sydney.

"We also present the pathway of learning enabling them to become doctors and the contribution they can make to the health of their communities when they return as a health professional," she said.

"The enthusiasm and desire of these students to participate in this program is to be commended and we look forward to welcoming some of them to the University of Sydney."

The program, now in its ninth year, accepts only 40 students every year. Applicants with the most passionate responses based on their knowledge of university and medicine are considered, as well as their current level of academic attainment.

Sarah-Rebekah Clark, a student from St John's College Woodlawn, said the week-long event helped her clarify her tertiary preferences.

"It has helped me confirm that I want to do medicine and it has also been very informative about undergraduate and postgraduate courses," she said.

Jason Sines, a student from Ballina High School, said the program offered a good way of getting a taste of university life.

The program included a tour of the Blackburn Medical Pathology Museum and the Quadrangle. Speaking sessions included presentations by Dr Cathy Marshall, Associate Professor Geof Marshall (Discipline of General Practice) and Felicity Kiernan (Senior Policy Officer from the University of Sydney Scholarships Office).

Representatives from the NSW Rural Doctors Network and MIRAGE Club also talked about scholarships and the opportunity of bringing medical skills back to rural towns.

The Discipline of General Practice also runs other programs to ensure University of Sydney medical students attain some rural medical experience designed to remedy the rural doctor shortage.

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