Initiative to Entice Rural Students into Medicine
The Minister for Indigenous Health and Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon today launched a University of Adelaide initiative which aims to get more rural students into medical school.
The Rural Students Pathway into Medical School program has received $980,000 in funding over three years from the Rudd Government.
The investment, funded through the Government's Rural Undergraduate Support and Coordination Program (RUSC), aims to increase the number of rural students entering medicine at University of Adelaide next year to up to 25 places, from a total intake of about 137 Commonwealth-supported places.
"Starting in 2011, the Pathway will allocate a certain number of medical school places to students who have lived for five years or more in a rural or remote location. The pathway places will be allocated on a competitive basis and students from across Australia will be encouraged to apply," Mr Snowdon said.
Mr Snowdon said evidence strongly suggests that students from rural backgrounds are two to three times more likely to become doctors in rural communities, than students from the cities.
"That is a very good reason to find new and improved way to attract and support students from rural areas and I commend the University of Adelaide for supporting this initiative," he said.
"Many regional and remote areas of Australia currently don't have enough doctors and other medical professionals to meet the demands of their communities."
The RUSC Program has been successfully working with Australian medical schools since the mid-1990s to increase rural student intakes and rural medical education. The Program funds rural activities in medical schools, including student and staff visits to rural high schools and short-term rural placements. It also encourages a rural focus in student admissions and curriculum development, and supports rural teaching staff.
The Rudd Government has greatly expanded the number of places in medical schools, with the number of medical graduates set to double between 2006 and 2012.
Media contact: Nick Cox 0439 475 885 (at launch) or Alice Plate 0400 045 999
The launch will take place from 1:30 to 2:30pm in the Baston Room, Level 1 Mitchell Building, the University of Adelaide. (Enter from North Tce, Mitchell Building next to SA Art Gallery)
SOURCE: Minister for Rural and Regional Health Warren Snowdon