For the third consecutive year more rural medical graduates than ever before took their professional oath at The University of Western Australia at the weekend as numbers continue to rise under UWA's successful Rural Student Recruitment Program.
Five Indigenous students and 44 rural students (from 23 country towns) graduated from the UWA Medical School's six year course - the largest number of indigenous and rural background doctors to graduate in a single year.
There is good evidence that Rural origin students are more likely to return to the country than their urban origin counterparts, and as well as that, many of these students also spent a year training in the country as well with The Rural Clinical School of WA which makes it even more likely that they will return to the bush.
The graduates will undergo more vocational training before they can practise in regional communities.
The Head of the Rural Clinical School of WA, Winthrop Professor Geoffrey Riley AM, said the increase in rural graduates was good news for healthcare across country Western Australia.
"It's very pleasing to see the increasing numbers of UWA rural medical students," Professor Riley said. "Each graduate has a unique story to tell about how they achieved their six-year goal."
The number of UWA medical graduates from country areas has grown from four per cent of the University's overall intake in 2000 - when the Rural Student Recruitment Program was launched - to 25 per cent.
Professor Riley said 50 more rural medical students from UWA are expected to graduate in 2015.
The Faculty will next year be out in rural WA facilitating workshops for aspiring rural students who are considering medicine as a career option.
Rural medical graduates who took the Hippocratic Oath at weekend were from:
- Christmas Island
- Margaret River
Photo: (left-right) Dr. Janelle Jurgenson (Bunbury), Dr. Dustin Sprigg (Narembeen), Dr. Frances Tolman (Esperance), Dr. Professor Geoff Riley AM, Dr. Pippin Holmes (Mingenew), Dr. Erin Staines (Kondinin), Dr. Kyle Fairclough (Denmark).