What is the discipline of Primary Care (Rural)?

The UNSW discipline of Primary Care (Rural) heads the provision of primary care education within the medicine program, as well as strengthening the rural communities and health services they are based within.

Staff have a wide range of clinical, academic and sociocultural backgrounds and can include medical, nursing, allied health, administrative and research expertise.

Primary care provides a broad scope of medical care by a doctor in the rural context. Our primary care education in the rural environment delivers teaching excellence with a rural focus, and more personal supervision and mentoring that provides students an outstanding clinical education experience. 

The unique nature of rural primary care requires a specific curriculum structure, which includes a combination of multi-speciality learning areas specific to Rural Generalist medicine in rural communities such as Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Emergency Medicine, Anaesthesia and Surgery.

The discipline of Primary Care (Rural) supports high quality teaching, clinical practice and local rural health research. It has a critical role in the development of public health policies and preventive activities.

Current areas of research in Primary Care (Rural) include:

  • rural health and rural health workforce
  • medical education
  • Indigenous health and education.

UNSW has five major rural teaching campuses across New South Wales in Albury, Coffs Harbour, Griffith, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga. Clinical and academic teaching and research staff also work across a variety of public and private health sites within these regions.


  • One of the aims of our rural campuses is to help redress the imbalance in the rural medical workforce by increasing opportunities for rural students to study medicine and increase awareness of the avenues and pathways to live and work in rural communities.
  • Students have an opportunity to complete placements in regional and more rural and remote locations, as well as be active members of the community including social and recreational opportunities.
  • Rural students have increased access to small group teaching, patients, procedures and are well prepared for a future practising medicine in any part of Australia and the world.
  • The undergraduate students have the opportunity to learn and experience during their placements, rural and remote general practice.
  • Students gain exposure to a broad range of primary care presentations that are unique to rural general practice. A unique way to gain procedural and rural generalist skills whilst undertaking the primary care placements in rural areas.
  • Academic GP registrars are well supported by senior clinical academics whilst undertaking their research project as part of their extended skills training through mentoring and supervision in rural teaching hospitals.