Healthy graduate figures good sign for medicine at CSU

1 JANUARY 2003

Visit many allied health clinics across regional Australia and there's a good chance you will be treated by a CSU graduate who is originally from regional Australia.

Visit many allied health clinics across regional Australia and there’s a good chance you will be treated by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduate who is originally from regional Australia.
Figures compiled by CSU for the national Graduate Destination Survey between 2007 and 2009 showed that over two thirds of graduates from the University’s health degrees who chose to work first in regional Australia were originally from a regional or rural home.
“We have maintained for many years that if we ‘train regional students in regional institutions for regional employment’ we can address the serious health workforce shortages evident across regional Australia,” said Acting Dean of Science at CSU, Associate Professor Julia Coyle.
"Charles Sturt University has based its bid for a new $98million medical school to the Federal Government on its ability to recruit and retain health professionals in rural areas, and this report provides further evidence of the University's success.
Professor Coyle said the results demonstrated that CSU is seriously addressing health and medical shortages, with three quarters of regional students who originally enrolled in CSU health and human service courses moving back to regional Australia to work. For example, all graduates from CSU’s psychology course had their first jobs in regional towns and cities, followed by social workers with 83 per cent working in regional Australia and podiatrists (78 per cent).
Courses that attracted high proportions of regional or rural students included occupational therapy with nearly 90 per cent, speech pathology (87 per cent), podiatry, medical imaging and nursing.
Courses that retained the highest proportions of their graduates to be initially employed in regional areas included nutrition and dietetics with over 90 per cent, nuclear medicine technology (86 per cent) and pharmacy (83 per cent).
Survey results also showed that over 40 per cent of CSU graduates from homes in large metropolitan areas also commenced their professional practice in regional areas.
“Our graduates are keenly sort by employers from public institutions and private practices around Australia, as we train them to be ready to be actively part of their professions from the day they leave the University,” Professor Coyle said.
All CSU courses are accredited by national professional bodies with curricula being developed in partnership with rural health providers.
“Charles Sturt University has formally announced that if the University is successful in its application for funding for a new medical school, it will be able to significantly expand the range of health courses and total enrolments in health,” she said.
“If funding for medicine is approved, the University will use the opportunity to progress Integrated Primary Health Education bringing together its teaching capabilities in areas of critical labour force shortage in rural and regional Australia."

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