SA country health to improve with more training

A new Regional Training Hub will enable Flinders Rural Health SA to work closely with stakeholders in the Limestone Coast and Riverland regions to instigate and coordinate more medical training programs.

The federally funded SA ‘Training Hub’ gives Flinders University Rural Health South Australia the capacity to expand its award-winning undergraduate program to junior doctor and postgraduate internships and education.

For the past 20 years, Flinders Rural Health SA has built a network of high-quality educational facilities which support medical, nursing and allied health students in primary care, community, emergency, inpatient, aged care, research and allied health settings.

The network already supports rural clinical programs in the Riverland, Limestone Coast, Adelaide Hills-Mallee-Fleurieu and Barossa regions.

The new training hub will focus on future strategies for the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program (RHMT).

“We are now working to establish rural programs along the medical training continuum to assist doctors as they move through the stages of their career – from intern to registrar to fellow,” says Professor Jennene Greenhill, Rural Health SA director.

“Our aspirational goal is to create rural training pathways for undergraduate medical students to continue their training at the postgraduate level in rural South Australia to become part of a resilient rural health workforce, including into rural generalism.”

Professor Lucie Walters, Professor of Rural Postgraduate Medical Education with Flinders Rural Health SA, says “our aspirational goal is to create rural training pathways for undergraduate medical students to continue their training at the post graduate level in rural South Australia and to become part of a resilient rural health workforce”.

“Through the RHMT program, Flinders University provides medical education, clinical placements and student support across all of South Australia, with a major focus on the training of rural based medical students under the internationally recognised Parallel Rural Community Curriculum,” Professor Walters says.

“Now, in conjunction with our partners the University of Adelaide and Country Health SA, we are expanding our reach to develop programs for intern and junior doctor training in regional South Australia, assisting doctors to move through the various stages of their career while living and working in a rural environment.”

A special launch at Flinders University this month marked the formal start of the innovative South Australian postgraduate medical training program.

This month’s launch was attended by Federal Liberal Senator David Fawcett, Professor Greenhill, Professor Walters and guest speakers Dr Michelle McIntosh, a GP from Hawkins Medical Clinic in Mount Gambier, and Dr Jason Bament, Clinical Director at the South Coast District Hospital Emergency Department in Victor Harbor.

It coincides with Flinders University gaining accreditation for the new workplace-based assessment program which is open for international medical graduates to commence a 12-month program at the Mount Gambier Hospital and then obtain full-time work at health sites around the Limestone Coast.

Visit Flinders Rural Health SA to find out more about the expanding range of Flinders University initiatives in rural health and medical education and research.

Flinders Rural Health SA has had a 10-year partnership with the Mie University in Japan. This year’s delegation visitors Dr Shuji Hashimoto, Dr Yuta Esumi, and Dr Young-Jae Hong (pictured front) met Flinders Rural Health SA’s Amy Schulz, Dr Elena Rudnik, Kiara Hoffmann, Tahlia Blythman, Professor Greenhill and Jacqui Will during their visit to the Barossa.
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