Student opportunities

Students learning in the Medicine & Health facilities at the UNSW Kensington campus

We offer students the opportunity to undertake short and long-term rural placements, to expand experience and build skills. See below for specific details of how to apply and what to expect.

Short term placements

All Commonwealth Supported (non-international) medical students at UNSW have the opportunity to undertake a four-week rural clinical placement.

  • Students will be given the opportunity to express their interest in a short term four-week rural placement. An expression of interest form will be sent out in September the year preceding Phase 3, where you can indicate which discipline you would like to be allocated (it must match your sequence).

    As there are limited places in specific terms at each rural site, students may not receive their first preference. MESO allocates the sequence of terms and the RCS fills each rural placement according to this sequence.

    The GP Department in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine allocates students to rural GP practices. For more information, please contact Sarah Jacobs.

    The following terms are offered for the four-week rural placement:

    • primary care
    • medicine
    • surgery
    • psychiatry
    • children’s health
    • women’s health
    • emergency medicine.

    The rural clinical sites used by UNSW Medicine in its teaching for a four-week rural placement are:

    • Griffith Base Hospital
    • Kempsey District Hospital
    • Grafton Base Hospital
    • Broken Hill Hospital
    • Bloomfield Hospital, Orange (Psychiatry term only)
    • Wagga Wagga Base Hospital.
  • A limited number of students who have not been allocated their four-week rural placement for Year 5 may be able to complete their rural placement during their elective term in Year 6. The Elective must be undertaken in one of the following Rural Clinical School sites:

    • Albury Base Hospital
    • Broken Hill Base Hospital
    • Coffs Harbour Health Campus
    • Grafton Base Hospital
    • Griffith Base Hospital
    • Kempsey District Hospital
    • Bloomfield Hospital, Orange (Psychiatry term only)
    • Port Macquarie Base Hospital
    • Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. If you wish to do this, you must gain prior written approval from the Rural Clinical School. Approval is not automatic, and retrospective approval will not be granted.

    After you have gained approval, you will need to make your own arrangements with the Hospital. Once confirmed send the following information to Rural Clinical School before making any travel plans:

    • name of the supervisor at the clinical site
    • discipline of the term
    • dates of the placement
    • location of the placement.

    Applications for all electives must be submitted to the Medical Education and Student Office by May of the year preceding the proposed term as per MESO guidelines.

    Early application is recommended (preferably at the end of Year 5 when rural allocations are advised) as applications will be considered in order of receipt and a quota applies.

    Note: Accommodation at a location on the coast will be particularly expensive during the placement period due to the school holidays.

  • Wherever possible, students stay at accommodation provided by the hospital. Charges vary from hospital to hospital but are usually less than $80 per week.

Long-term placements

As UNSW is a publicly funded university, it is subject to various government requirements. One such requirement of the Commonwealth, the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program, requires UNSW to achieve the following outcomes, with respect to rural clinical placement whilst undertaking studies:

  • At least 30% of UNSW medical students must undertake an extended clinical experience at a Rural Clinical School campus. There is an expectation that students admitted to Medicine under the RSES will undertake an extended clinical experience in rural environments.
  • All other local students must have an opportunity to undertake a rural placement and at least 50% must undertake a minimum of four weeks of clinical learning in a rural location.

Allocation to a Rural Clinical School campus

Students complete the online preference form for the allocation of students to a clinical environment for Phase 2 and Phase 3 the year preceding the phase.

The Medical Education Student Office administers the preferences process for all phases.

For information on each campus please review the Policy on Allocation of Students in the Medicine Program to Clinical Environments.

Contact us

Rural Clinical School – Port Macquarie Campus
26 Highfields Cct
UNSW Rural Clinical School 2444
Ph: 02 6580 7536
Email: unswrcs.schoolservices@unsw.edu.au

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