Medical students study in Busselton

Medical students will be in Busselton for their third year of study with the Regional Clinical School of Western Australia.
Medical students will be in Busselton for their third year of study with the Regional Clinical School of Western Australia.

A new batch of medical students are in Busselton to undertake their third year of study with the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia.

The students will based in Busselton during their third year of university giving them greater access to practical experience and one-on-one time with doctors.

The program was initiated in 2009 as a way to encourage graduate doctors to work in regional and rural areas of Western Australia.

The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia medical coordinator and senior lecturer Dr Sarah Moore said they now had a significant cohort of students who had graduated from the program.

"We've had quite a few students come back to work as health professionals and GP's in the region, which is really exciting and reflects that the program is having a positive effect and doing what it was created to do," she said.

"We have also started a fourth year program in Bunbury, and two of our students who finished in Busselton last year are now doing their final year in Bunbury.

"We are growing the program longitudinally so students can stay in the region for longer.

"One of our students who finished two years ago has just finished her internship and has had two babies at the Busselton Health Campus.

"We are showing that students are coming and immersing themselves in the community, wanting to stay and give back to the community that trained them."

Student Thomas Filmer is the representative for UWA students who are participating in the program and communicates any compliments and complaints students may have while they are studying in Busselton.

"We have been really enjoying it, the student to doctor ratio has been fantastic," he said.

"In the city, you would have three or four students to one doctor and maybe one intern, here there are three or four doctors and maybe one student.

"In Perth, there are a lot more junior doctors, there are not really many down here or trainee surgeons, so a lot of stuff that would be done by trainee doctors in Perth can be done by us down here."

Student Kiera Sanders said she was given the opportunity to help with a c-section which would not normally be provided to students in Perth.

"There would be too many people in a small work space, here we get more emergency department experience, along with other things," she said.

Student Katelyn Keymer said it was their first experience in a regional area and that the teaching had been fantastic.

"I really enjoy being in the hospital and GP clinics," she said.

"Being in a regional area has been really good to see the ways GPs here have other specialties in the hospitals or working in the emergency department.

"That seems appealing as a future career path, you do not really get the opportunities to do that in the city."

Student Dennis Nixon said it was the first time he been in a regional area as part of his degree and the first time he had been given experience in a hospital.

"Coming to Busselton has been good because you have more one-on-one contact with doctors because there are less students and more doctors teaching you," he said.

Student Mia McCluskey said the experience had been great because not only was Busselton a small town but had many of the resources available in the city.

"I feel like I have hit the jackpot," she said.

"Busselton, Broome and Albany are the most popular places [on the course] because they are big enough that you get enough people coming through but still has that small town feel."

Student Brad Maloney said all the doctors had been really keen to teach them and were happy for them to be involved as much as they could be.

"A lot of the time we are left on our own which is quite good to be by ourselves with a patient then go and discuss with the doctor what you think," he said.