Message from Director of Rural Clinical School

Associate Professor Riitta Partanen

Associate Professor Riitta PartanenIn 2021, The University of Queensland Rural Clinical School (UQRCS) launched a five-year Strategic Plan to help guide our work and achieve our vision of providing world class medical education and research for better rural health outcomes.

Throughout the year we provided year-long medical education for 164 Year 3 and Year 4 medical students based in our four regional communities - Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Toowoomba. Our students experienced the ‘Rural Advantage’ with a regional and rural contextualised curriculum, complimented by a comprehensive and innovative clinical skills and simulation program. The feedback from our students has been positive and is reflected in the high proportion of Year 3 students who will return to the UQRCS for Year 4 in 2022. Many of our 2021 graduates are also now working in Queensland regional hospitals for their internship.

Tremendous progress has been made in developing the Central Queensland – Wide Bay Regional Medical Pathway and Darling Downs – South West Medical Pathway. This end-to-end training will enable students to undertake their undergraduate degree with a regional university; the 4-year UQ Doctor of Medicine program in the regions; and complete a significant proportion, if not all, of their specialties in vocational training in these regions. We know the longer medical students live and learn in regional and rural areas, the more likely they are to work in these areas. We know that if they are from a rural background, it further
increases the likelihood. These bold evidence based, and innovative initiatives ensure we are contributing
to the solutions needed to address regional, rural and remote medical workforce shortages.

I am grateful to my UQRCS team and our external partners who are committed to supporting and teaching our students, and being part of the village that nurtures them to become the best doctors they can be, whilst sharing their love for working and living in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

Last updated:
26 April 2022