The University Centre for Rural Health North Coast wants more local GP practices to become involved with providing placements for long-term medical students attached to UCRH for this university year.

“We are looking for more practices and more commitment to undergraduate teaching,” education coordinator Dr Jane Barker said.

Placement programs of varying lengths are offered by three universities, Sydney, Western Sydney and Wollongong.

“A majority of medical students will become GPs and we want them to embrace general practice with enthusiasm as a specialty in itself,” Dr Barker said.

“Those who do not become GPs need a comprehensive and realistic understanding of the breadth of General Practice… which offers the student a wider, holistic perspective on health - continuity of care, of patient centred care, preventative care, care across ages, care across medical disciplines.”

Dr Barker stressed the importance of “succession planning” as many students return to join the GP training program and stay on as GPs in the area.

“Alternatively they are choosing rural general practice in other areas, thus increasing the rural workforce,” she added.

Details for Dr Jane Barker, UCRH, (02) 6620 7570, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.