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Posts Tagged ‘medical graduates’

Monday, November 13th, 2017

JCU researchers look at innovative ways to solve the GP shortage in the bush

Researchers from the JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry have been awarded $150,000 to investigate how best to address the GP shortage in the bush.

“For decades, rural and remote regions across north and western Queensland have struggled to attract and retain specialist GPs,” said Professor Tarun Sen Gupta, Director of Medical Education at JCU.

JCU researchers looking at innovative ways to solve the GP shortage in the bush

JCU medicine graduates are uniquely qualified to work in rural and remote areas

“James Cook University is working to address the crisis through its specialist GP training program to build a rural, regional and remote health workforce for the most underserved regions across the state,” Professor Sen Gupta said.

The JCU team is working in partnership with researchers from the Monash University School of Rural Health.

The funding will enable the research team to determine where the GP shortage is greatest, and how best to ensure specialist GP training places can be established to meet the demand.

They’ll also identify innovative training and supervision models to increase the delivery of high quality GP registrar training in underserved communities.

“We aim to identify the challenges and opportunities associated with developing and strengthening the provision of high-quality training in areas of greatest need, and to increase rural workforce recruitment and retention,” said lead researcher, Associate Professor Carole Reeve from JCU’s specialist GP training program, GMT.

“Results from the study will assist JCU’s Generalist Medical Training (GMT) program to work with communities and practices to strengthen health care in underserved north and west Queensland communities,” Associate Professor Carole Reeve said.

Professor Sen Gupta said there’s strong evidence that JCU medical graduates are practicing in regional and rural locations in a very different pattern of distribution to that of other medical schools.

“JCU’s GMT program has enhanced this by training registrars in rural and remote locations, where many remain after completing training,” Professor Sen Gupta said.

“This study will help better understand where the need is greatest, and how we can recruit graduates to train and work in the most underserved communities.”

About GMT

Generalist Medical Training is James Cook University’s specialist training program within the College of Medicine and Dentistry. This program has been contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver Australian General Practice training (AGPT) in North Western Queensland. The AGPT program is a vocational training program for medical graduates (registrars) who are pursuing a career in the specialty of General Practice.

About the JCU Medical Program

JCU Medical School offers an undergraduate-entry medical program that specializes in rural, remote and indigenous medicine and is located in north Queensland, Australia. Rather than having to earn a bachelor degree first, undergraduate-entry medical programs allow students to enter directly from high school. If you have completed high school studies or would like to apply to a medical school in Australia without using your MCAT score, you may wish to learn more about undergraduate-entry medical programs offered by Australian universities.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next available intake: February 2019
Duration: 6 years


Discover more about JCU and its medicine program. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Kaylee Templeton at kaylee@oztrekk.com.

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

James Cook University answers the call for rural doctors

James Cook University is answering the call for more doctors in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

James Cook University answers the call for rural doctors

Study medicine at James Cook University and be a specialist in rural medicine! (Photo: JCU)

This year, the university is training 593 GP registrars through the provision of its specialist training program, Generalist Medical Training (GMT).  This program has been contracted by the Australian Government Department of Health to deliver Australian General Practice training (AGPT) in North Western Queensland.

Associate Dean Strategy and Engagement, Professor Jacinta Elston from JCU’s College of Medicine and Dentistry said 123 of the current registrars are JCU medical graduates.

“We have a regional mission with a focus on the needs of rural, remote and under-served communities, tropical medicine and the health of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

“In the 2005 to 2016 JCU Medicine Graduate Survey, 84% of students said they intended to practice medicine outside of capital cities, compared to the national average of 16%.

“We are now seeing the follow through of those intentions with 92% of GMT registrars placed in regional, rural and remote areas, according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Remoteness Area index.”

Steven Bajwa is a sixth-year medical student at JCU in Cairns. He said he is looking forward to a career in a rural hospital.

“Being from Brisbane when I started my degree, I always envisaged I would return or work in another tertiary centre (metropolitan hospital),” he said. “The degree and placement from JCU have completely changed my perspective on my graduate location. I no longer want to work in tertiary centres, but in smaller, more rural hospitals.”

Cloncurry registrar Dr Cameron Hoare said it was his JCU medical degree that set him on the rural career path: “When I started doing medicine I really enjoyed emergency medicine. Then I found a place (Cloncurry) where I could do proper general practice and still do emergency medicine.”

After his first medical student placement in the rural town, Dr Hoare returned in his sixth year of medicine, and then again later to undertake GP training with JCU’s GMT. He applauded the GMT program, saying it strongly encourages doctors to take up rural and remote posts.

“GMT definitely has an advantage there that they are providing registrar training and trying to support registrars training out west, which is actually a great success.”

Mackay GP and GMT Medical Educator Dr Ciara Ross is also a JCU medical School graduate. She said it set her up for a career in rural practice.

“I liked that their focus of the medical degree was more in rural and remote medicine, which was where I ultimately wanted to end up, working in more of a rural community,” she said.

As a Medical Educator, Dr Ross guides Mackay region GMT registrars through their training. She said the program is attracting more people who, like her, genuinely want to stay in rural areas.

“I’ve had quite a number of registrars come to me who live in Mackay and want to stay in Mackay, worried that they could potentially be moved. I am quite happy to be able to reassure them that if Mackay is the place they want to be, then generally they can stay here.

“There is a new generation of doctors coming through who are really interested in remote medicine and want to work in regional hospitals. I think maybe in years gone by, the epitome of medicine was working in a tertiary centre (metropolitan hospital), but I think people are genuinely chasing these rural jobs now because they are a bit different and exciting.”

Dr Ross encouraged anyone considering becoming a GP to study with James Cook University and GMT.

“I would recommend GMT for GP registrar training because they offer good quality and supportive education in a variety of training posts with experienced supervisors.

“Because GMT was developed by JCU, they have the staff and resources of a university with experience in post graduate education, so you know you will be in good hands.

“The program also prepares registrars well to face the college exams, with lots of practice throughout the program and additional support.”

JCU will now look to expand upon its success in the provision of General Practice Training via additional funding from the Australian Government (Regional Training Hubs Funding). This funding will allow JCU to further build and connect regional specialist training pathways across Queensland.

JCU Medical School MBBS

The 6-year, full-time MBBS degree is a comprehensive program with integrated instruction in biomedical sciences, professional practice and clinical medicine. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 30, 2017 (Note: Early offers of admission may be made to high-achieving international applicants! Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible and well before the August 30 deadline.)

Apply to JCU Medical School!


Do you have questions about James Cook University and its medicine program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Courtney Frank at courtney@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

JCU to train the GPs of tomorrow

In a first for an Australian university, James Cook University has been selected to provide training for medical graduates seeking to become specialist general practitioners (GPs).

The Commonwealth Government has advised that JCU will be contracted to provide postgraduate education and training for doctors specialising in general practice, under the Australian General Practice Training Program (AGPT).

JCU Medical School

JCU has been selected to provide training for medical graduates seeking to become specialist GPs

Commencing from Jan. 1, 2016, JCU will deliver GP training for the ‘North Western Queensland’ region, an area that covers all of regional Queensland except Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Darling Downs.

Nationally, there are more than 4,000 doctors training to be GPs in the AGPT program, around 1,000 of whom are in Queensland.

Medical graduates normally undertake three to four years of post-graduate training to be registered as a specialist GP, with either a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or a Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

The Dean of the College of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University, Professor Richard Murray, said JCU had a long history in general practice training, having worked closely with GP Colleges, with current GP training providers, with general practices, hospitals and communities across the north.

“The university has a proud record of achievement in producing a skilled medical workforce for northern Australia, with a particular focus on rural, remote, tropical and Indigenous communities,” Professor Murray said.

JCU plans the establishment of a distinctive model of general practice training for North Western Queensland, to be known as ‘Generalist Medical Training’ (GMT).

Associate Professor Harry Jacobs, a respected GP Educator who is originally from Mackay and now based on the Sunshine Coast, will lead the program.

“JCU will build on a strong foundation that has been established by current GP training providers. Through GMT, we will be growing this as a community-engaged and distributed training network, with a special emphasis on remote and underserved communities. I am excited about the benefits of connecting the training pipeline from medical school to a career in general practice.

“I have a personal passion for excellent GP training in a strong apprenticeship model that prepares and inspires the next generation of my colleagues to serve our communities, particularly those communities who most need them,” Associate Professor Jacobs said.

About the JCU Medical School MBBS program

Located in Townsville, JCU Medical School offers the MBBS medical degree and aims to produce graduates of the highest academic standards who can progress to medical practice and to further studies in medical specialties. Graduates will be uniquely qualified in the fields of rural, remote and Indigenous health, and tropical medicine.

Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 6 years


Do you have questions about JCU Medical School or the MBBS program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Officer Sarah Bridson at sarah@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada).

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Monash discusses rural doctors shortage

The importance of rural clinical schools and regional medical schools in helping to overcome rural medical workforce shortages was highlighted at a recent conference.

Monash University’s Professor Judi Walker facilitated a panel discussion at a Canberra policy forum on Friday, May 24, addressing how to attract more students from rural areas to study medicine.

Professor Walker is head of the School of Rural Health at Monash and Chair of the Federation of Rural Australian Medical Educators (FRAME), the peak body for the Australian Government’s Rural Clinical Schools Program of 16 Australian universities that deliver rural medical training.

“Eight years of Rural Clinical Schools data indicate consistently that the most significant predictor of rural practice intention is the winning contribution of recruiting rural-origin students and providing them with rural clinical training and experiences to maintain their interest in rural careers,” Professor Walker said.

“Currently, at least 25 percent of medical student intake into Australian medical schools are from rural areas. There are now over 1,200 medical students a year undertaking clinical training in rural Australia which is 40 percent of total medical student intake.”

Professor Walker said the number of domestic medical graduates was expected to rise three-fold, from 1,266 in 2003 to a projected 3,185 in 2015, but that the rural medical workforce was not adequate.

“Despite a growing number of rural clinical school graduates, there is a real shortage of regional-based internships and career-pathways available to these doctors after completing their medical degree,” Professor Walker said.

“Providing rural communities with an adequate health-care workforce still poses a major challenge. Without rural postgraduate training pathways it is difficult for our rural and regional medical schools to support graduates to stay on to practice in local communities.”

Rural GP and Monash PhD candidate Dr Jenny May’s keynote presentation at the conference explored the relationship between health outcomes and medical workforce shortages in rural Australia.

“Geographical mal-distribution of doctors remains a matter of concern with the future projected growth in medical graduates unlikely to make significant inroads under current policy settings,” Dr May said. “The health of rural communities is in difficulty, and a concerted effort is required to address rural doctor shortages, including measures to address the complete rural medical training pipeline.”

About Monash Medical School

The Monash Medical School in Australia offers the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree, which first began at the Gippsland Campus in 2008, and is a four-year graduate-entry medical program. The Monash Medical School‘s graduate-entry degree emphasizes clinical communication skills and early clinical contact visits to medical practices, community care facilities and hospitals. All students spend the majority of their time in rural and regional areas in eastern Victoria as part of a health care team.


Are you interested in Monash University Medical School and other Australian Medical Schools? Are you wondering about medical school entry requirements, application deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships, and what it’s like to study in Australia? Contact OzTREKK for the latest information about medical programs at Australian universities.

Email OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free 1 866-698-7355.