Student medics get a taste of practising regional medicine

Albany Advertiser
Medical students from the Rural Clinical School of WA on their first day in Albany. Far left is Saskia Ivanhoe, second from right is Kate Mannolini and far right is Vikas Bhat.
Camera IconMedical students from the Rural Clinical School of WA on their first day in Albany. Far left is Saskia Ivanhoe, second from right is Kate Mannolini and far right is Vikas Bhat. Credit: Liam Croy

A dozen Perth medical students have arrived in Albany to start their 12-month placement and get a first-hand look at regional WA’s doctor shortage.

Students from the University of WA, the University of Notre Dame and Curtin University have been sent to regional areas across WA to gain hands-on experience.

The Albany-based cohort will work in practices across Albany, Mt Barker, Denmark and Katanning. They will work in a range of areas, from obstetrics to the emergency department.

For some of the students, the rural placement is the first time they have lived out of home, away from family and friends.

UWA’s Kate Mannolini has already completed 28 weeks of practical experience, but this is her first stint out of Perth.

“They really try to encourage us to work rurally afterwards,” she said.

“They expose us to that kind of community and lifestyle as well which is really important.

“I grew up in Perth my whole life so I didn’t really have that exposure.”

Vikas Bhat, who went to school in Albany, is now in the penultimate year of his studies at UWA.

Mr Bhat said he was looking forward to getting a taste of everything medicine had to offer.

He said students were aware of the doctor shortages in regional and rural WA.

“I think that’s one of the aims of this — to try to encourage us to come back rurally and practise there,” Mr Bhat said.

“I think it’s an opportunity to see first-hand what the shortage is and then we can go back and tell our mates what the shortage is like and how good it is to be in the country.”

Saskia Ivanhoe has moved to WA from the Gold Coast. The Curtin University student said she was looking forward to the more relaxed ambience in regional WA.

“Everything I’ve loved about WA is the stuff out of Perth,” Ms Ivanhoe said.

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