UQ study shows doctors trained rurally, stay rural

19 February 2015

Medical students with a rural background who train in a rural setting are more likely to practice in regional and remote areas, a UQ study shows.
The study provides evidence that could help tackle the uneven distribution of doctors between urban and rural areas.
UQ Rural Clinical School Head Professor Geoff Nicholson and Research Director Associate Professor Srinivas Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan led the study.

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They looked at the background of UQ medical graduates and followed their careers to determine what led to their final practice location.
Professor Nicholson said the study showed that students from regional and rural backgrounds who did at least a year of their medical training at a rural clinical school were more likely to practice outside urban areas.
“The exposure to high-quality rural training at a rural clinical school enhanced the probability of that graduate practicing rurally,” he said.
Professor Nicholson said nearly a third (31.3 per cent) of the 754 doctors who responded to a research questionnaire had a rural background, while 36.6 per cent had attended UQRCS. Overall, 27.2 per cent were now working in a rural area.
Of those who had attended one of the UQ School of Medicine’s metropolitan clinical schools, 18.8 per cent were practicing rurally and that percentage rose to 41.7 for those students who spent time at UQ’s Rural Clinical School.
“The findings reinforce the need for medical schools to have a strong rural presence. Without it we run the risk of losing medical graduates to metropolitan areas,” Professor Nicholson said.
The UQ Rural Clinical School is one of the largest in Australia, and has campuses in Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Toowoomba.

UQ Medical School clinical placements

Clinical Placements are an integral component of the UQ MD program. Students complete an elective placement at the end of year 1. In years three and four of the program students undertake clinical rotations within the school’s clinical schools (including rural clinical school). Students wishing to undertake a clinical placement in an international location may be permitted to do so under certain conditions.

UQ Medical School Doctor of Medicine Program

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next semester intake: January 2016
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions (first come, first served) basis.
Entry Requirements

  • Completed degree (Bachelor, Master, PhD)
  • GPA equivalent to 5.0 on UQ’s 7.0 scale
  • MCAT score (minimum of 8/8/8 or 8/8/M/8) or GAMSAT score (minimum of 50 in each section)
  • Compulsory consultative meeting with the UQ School of Medicine

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Find out more about the UQ School of Medicine and the Doctor of Medicine program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Sarah Bridson at sarah@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.