Focusing on rural and remote health at James Cook University

13 January 2021

Known for its focus on rural and remote health, James Cook University (JCU)  is the perfect spot for students looking to expand their horizons and make a difference.

JCU medical school building in Townsville
Learn more rural and remote medicine at JCU Medical School

The JCU medical program recognizes the gap in healthcare between cities and rural regions, with a focus on training a fit-for-purpose health workforce ready to ensure that remote communities have access to high-quality healthcare.

With clinical experience starting after just 12 weeks into the program, and twice as many clinical hours as other Australian medical schools, it’s easy to see why JCU graduates are some of the most work-ready medical professionals in Australia.

Students gain extensive clinical experience across northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, with a particular program emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This community oriented practical approach gives students the chance to gain firsthand skills and knowledge in tropical medicine, medical care in rural hospitals and community settings, distance and remote delivery of medicine, and more.

Of course, doctors aren’t alone in providing healthcare, so every other week, students from JCU’s various healthcare programs, like nursing, speech pathology, occupational therapy, or physiotherapy, come together for interdisciplinary learning. It’s a chance for students to learn about how all healthcare professionals can work together to bridge the gap for underserved communities.

Of course, it’s not all work! While not in class or clinicals, many students love to get to know their communities. They hang out with the locals, partake in community events, and build relationships to last a lifetime.

To see what a future in JCU medical school could look like, check out the video below!


Study medicine at James Cook University

JCU medical school combines integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine, and incorporates the best aspects of student-centred, problem-based learning combined with systematic instruction.

The Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree at JCU produces graduates who will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

As a JCU medical student, you will attend clinical placements in sites other than Townsville in each year of the program. More than half the students in Years 4, 5, and 6 are expected to relocate to other clinical teaching sites such as Cairns, Darwin and Mackay—which underpins JCU’s focus on tropical and remote medicine.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Intake: February each year
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: Generally the end of August each year

Start your application to James Cook University Medical School!


If you have any questions about the James Cook University Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, please contact OzTREKK’s Medicine Admissions Officer at