Skip to main content
Cows in a paddock
Faculties and schools_

School of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange)

Committed to developing the rural medical workforce
Established in 2001, we offer University of Sydney medical students the opportunity to live and study in a thriving regional community, while being supported by expert clinical, academic and professional staff.

About the School of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange)

We are a rural clinical school of the Sydney Medical School with campuses in both Dubbo and Orange. Our aim is to contribute to the development of the rural medical workforce by providing training in an environment that delivers medical graduates and doctors with the aptitude, knowledge and skills to provide quality care for rural, regional and remote Australia.

Our school combines a network of medical facilities, including public and private hospitals, general practices and private specialist practices to provide staff and students with excellent patient and doctor access across a variety of patient scenarios, all within a friendly team of medical professionals and administrative staff. We have living facilities in both Dubbo and Orange for students undertaking their clinical placements with us.

Studying at the School of Rural Health

University of Sydney medical students in their third or fourth year of study can undertake a one-year placement at the Dubbo or Orange campus. Some two-year placements are also available to eligible students. Placements at the School of Rural Health are only open to domestic students enrolled in the University of Sydney medical program.

Visit our clinical placements page for more information.

Our research

Our researchers conduct locally relevant and internationally significant research. We nurture researcher development and work with regional health services and the community to help understand, or ‘solve’ health problems. We pride ourselves on undertaking research and evaluation activities which reduce population health inequities and promote the rural health workforce.

Our research efforts therefore:

  • are applied to practical problem solving
  • use both qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • often include work with first-time researchers.

We collaborate and partner with health providers, community organisations and other universities on a range of research projects to inform and influence the development of strategies designed to ensure optimal health outcomes for the community.

Find a researcher and see our current research projects.

We collaborate and partner with health providers, community organisations and other universities on a range of research projects to inform and influence the development of strategies designed to ensure optimal health outcomes for the community. Our students are also involved in our research or evaluation during their rural placement. 

As a student you can be involved in research or evaluation during your rural placement. Talk to one of our academics about your research interests and you will be matched with a suitable project.

Projects can be small, where you can lead your own study (eg a clinical audit on a topic with the intent to publish later), or part of a larger study where you work alongside others (eg help to prepare a literature review or research protocol, or take part in data collection or analysis).

Our current research projects are listed on our staff's academic profiles.

Dubbo Graduate Medical School

The School of Rural Health is currently in the process of expanding the Dubbo campus into a fully-fledged Graduate School of Medicine, as part of the Federal Government’s new $95 million Murray Darling Medical Schools Network. The campus will soon deliver the University of Sydney four-year medical program end-to-end, expected to commence in 2021.

The Dubbo Graduate Medical School will aim to attract more students from the local region as well as those from other rural and remote communities. When fully operational in 2024, it is anticipated more than 10 per cent of domestic students enrolled in our medical program will be based permanently in Dubbo.

The development of the Dubbo Graduate Medical School will involve a major expansion of infrastructure at the campus, including teaching and simulation facilities, and the recruitment of more clinical and professional staff. It will allow us to greatly enhance the contribution we make to health education and clinical care in our region, while offering more students the chance to study medicine outside a major metropolitan centre.

Western NSW Regional Training Hub

In 2017, the Federal Government announced 26 regional training hubs would be established across Australia to aid and improve the delivery of rural clinical training. The initiative would be delivered through the existing network of rural clinical schools and university departments of rural health.

The Western NSW Regional Training Hub was established by the University of Sydney School of Rural Health in Dubbo and Orange. The hub is actively working to improve access to postgraduate medical training in our region and has several initiatives underway to support trainee doctors with an interest in practising rurally.

For more information please contact the Western NSW Regional Training Hub director, Linda Cutler, at linda.cutler@sydney.edu.au.

Our hospitals

Dubbo Hospital is the major rural referral centre and acute care hospital in the region. Servicing about 15% of NSW and a population of approximately 160,000, the hospital has specialty units in areas including acute renal dialysis, coronary care, diabetes, emergency, intensive care, obstetrics, oncology, paediatrics, psychiatry and alcohol and drug treatment.

The hospital is currently undergoing the $150 million Dubbo Hospital Redevelopment project that will provide new, state-of-the-art facilities to improve both patient care and learning opportunities for medical students.

Dubbo Private Hospital is a medical, surgical and post-natal hospital that services Dubbo and the surrounding catchment.  It offers a comprehensive range of acute medical and surgical services and rehabilitation programs, with consulting rooms and on-site radiology and pathology services.

Orange Health Service opened in 2011 when the former Orange Base Hospital and Bloomfield Hospital were amalgamated into a single hospital. Comprising 520 beds and housing a range of specialties, it is the largest rural hospital in NSW. 

The hospital provides a range of health services including child and adolescence, oncology, geriatrics, forensics, rehabilitation, acute mental health, intensive care, emergency, high dependency and extended care. It is located on the site of the former Bloomfield campus, which was home to a former major psychiatric referral centre. The new hospital has maintained a strong focus in this field. 

Dudley Private Hospital is a 57 bed facility that has been serving the Orange community since 1915. It provides a comprehensive range of medical, surgical, rehabilitation and psychiatric services. The hospital has five operating theatres and one procedure room. Apart from general medical and surgical beds, there are 17 licensed rehabilitation beds and a 13 bed mental health unit, known as the Dudley Clinic.

Head of Clinical School

Associate Professor Mark Arnold
Associate Professor Mark Arnold
View academic profile

School of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange)

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive regular updates from the School of Rural Health.