I was delighted to see an article on the Mudgee Guardian website today about the sod-turning ceremony at the site of a new house for medical students. I warmly welcome any future University of Wollongong Graduate students into the community, and encourage them to get out and about and see what a great town this is!
Whilst this project is definitely an Australian first in terms of graduate placements, it’s not the first time that this sort of relationship between a metropolitan university and a regional centre has occurred, for example students from the University of Sydney often spend time doing practical study just down the road from us in Dubbo. The success of this and other programmes like it in regional NSW is further encouragement that this concept will flourish.
Due for completion by November next year, the house will be a college style residence with separate external access to each room combined with shared living areas. It’s hoped that 38 week placements for each young doctor will immerse them in our community and give them a taste of rural life.
Anyone who’s been in a public hospital in the Central West will know that our area is still hurting in terms of the rural doctor shortage; the closure of Gulgong hospital cemented this for many residents. My personal and sincere hope is that the development of Mudgee as a hub for medical education will not only result in more doctors being attracted to our beautiful town, but in an increased educational presence.
University towns tend to attract more young people, be better educated and have higher level facilities than you might see elsewhere (the growth of the Charles Sturt University comes to mind) and these improvements can only be a good thing for Mudgee!
Are you excited about the new medical program?