IN SAFE HANDS: UQ medical students Patrick Biggins and Gabriel Land practise their CPR skills.
IN SAFE HANDS: UQ medical students Patrick Biggins and Gabriel Land practise their CPR skills. Taylor Battersby

Students go rural

LAST week, 12 city kids had their eyes opened when they attended their rural medical training and induction program in Emerald.

Hailing from The University of Queensland in Brisbane, the students were welcomed by regional doctors at the Emerald Hospital.

The medical undergraduates spent a week in the community preparing for their upcoming six-week rural placements.

For some, it was not only their first experience of clinic practice in a rural community, but of life in regional Australia.

Matthew Hamilton, one of the students attending the program, said rural doctors have a lot more to think about than city doctors.

"There's 150 different things that could happen and there's not a whole lot of people to support them (rural doctors),” he said.

"In the (city) hospitals, there's a massive amount of support... Out here, you're pretty much on your own.”

Mr Hamilton said while Emerald Hospital does not compare in size to hospitals in Brisbane, it did compare in quality.

"The medical facilities (here) are modern and very nice,” he said.

"From a facility point of view, they are as good as what we've got in Brisbane.”

Emerald Hospital senior doctor Dr Maureen Shuttleworth, who oversaw the medical students' training, said the week had been very educational for the students.

"Most of them haven't done any sort of rural placement before or had any of the experiences that they've managed to have this week,” she said.

"They've really embraced it, I think, and really gone with the experience.

"They've done really well so far.”

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