More than a quarter of students training at the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia have a rural background, the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia, Professor Alan Robson, said today.
“It is significant in that not only are we attracting some of the State’s top medical students to The University of Western Australia but, we are also ensuring that students who’ve grown up in regional WA are keen to go back and study there,” Professor Robson said.
He was speaking in Kalgoorlie at the opening of the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia building by the Prime Minister John Howard. He paid tribute to the Prime Minister and the Federal Government for its financial contribution to the new building, co-located with the Goldfields Esperance General Practice Network, in the grounds of Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the support of the State Government, which provided the land for the new building,” Professor Robson said.
The University of Western Australia first opened a Rural Clinical School in 2002 and last year joined forces with the University of Notre Dame to create the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia.
“The partnership between UWA and Notre Dame symbolises the high value both institutions place on rural education for professionals, particularly in the area of medicine,” Professor Robson said.
Professor Robson said the school played an important role in educating medical students about the practical demands of rural and remote medicine.
“At UWA, rural medical education has always been enormously important and we have a significant number of scholarships aimed at rural and indigenous students wishing to embark on a medical career. These scholarships are designed to attract the very best students, no matter where they live in the State, which in geographic terms represents one-third of Australia,” he said.
Professor Robson said UWA was also instrumental in the creation of the WA Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine 17 years ago.
“We have long recognised that supporting future and current country practitioners in both their study and professional development is crucial to the maintenance of a vibrant, sustainable rural medical workforce,” he said.
“Today’s event underpins the significant role The University of Western Australia – which serves the whole of this great State, not just metropolitan Perth – plays in training our medical workforce.
“As an institution achieving international excellence, we have always been committed to producing world-class medical graduates – whether they choose to work in Kalgoorlie, Cairo or Cannes.
“In the year in which UWA’s School of Medicine celebrates its 50th anniversary, I can think of no more fitting event to symbolise our many achievements in training a medical workforce able to meet any challenge.”
Professor Alan Robson 61 8 6488 2809