- Students in the inaugural cohort for Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University Joint Program in Medicine arrive on campus this week for orientation
- Program aims to boost rural and regional health workforce, with all students in the cohort of rural origin
- Special welcome event attended by Mayor of Orange was hosted for students on Thursday 18 February
Orange’s first cohort of student doctors were given a special welcome this week as they officially began their five-year journey toward a career in rural and regional Medicine.
The new students in the Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University Joint Program in Medicine have finished a three-day orientation program at Charles Sturt in Orange.
From next week students will begin their on-campus training in Orange for the program’s five-year Doctor of Medicine, which received more than 800 applications through the University Admission Centre.
All of the students admitted into the program are from rural and regional areas across Australia, with more than 10 students hailing from the Central West.
Charles Sturt Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor John Germov (pictured, left) said welcoming the inaugural cohort of students in the Joint Program in Medicine to the Orange campus is a momentous occasion for both universities.
“The Medicine orientation program we have held this week marks a significant milestone for not only Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University, but also for our new Medicine students,” Professor Germov said.
“It is no mean feat to be accepted into a Medicine program, and we feel very privileged to have such a talented and high-calibre group of students in our program.
“Our rural Medicine program has been a long time in the making, and it is a major win for regional health that our first cohort is now on campus and ready to start their studies.”
Dean of Rural Medicine in the Charles Sturt School of Rural Medicine Professor Lesley Forster (pictured above, right) said it has been very exciting to welcome and work with the students after what was an incredibly competitive selection process for the program.
“It has been an absolute honour to welcome the first cohort of students in the Joint Program in Medicine to the Charles Sturt University campus in Orange this week,” Professor Forster said.
“Our students have a lot of hard work and training ahead of them, and we look forward to supporting and training them to become highly-skilled graduate doctors, ready to boost our nation’s rural and regional health workforce and improve health outcomes.”
Dean of the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University and Executive Dean of the Joint Program, Distinguished Professor Annemarie Hennessy AM, congratulated Charles Sturt University on the commencement of the first cohort.
“I remember what how exciting it was when Western Sydney welcomed its first cohort fifteen years ago, and we also know what is involved in getting to this point,” Professor Hennessy said.
“Students in this Joint Program in Medicine will benefit from a proven medical course with almost 10 years of graduates and experienced, passionate local academic staff and clinicians who will guide their learning and shape their future careers in Medicine.”
As part of their orientation, the students have taken part in a range of practical Medicine training sessions and received a warm welcome from Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd at a special event on Thursday 18 February.
“This is an exciting milestone for Charles Sturt University and the city, and a great acknowledgement of Orange as a regional medical precinct,” Cr Kidd said (pictured, centre).
“I hope that living and studying in our beautiful city will encourage these students to consider a career in the country, which will play an important role in addressing the rural doctor shortage affecting many of our regional communities.
“I appreciate the importance of Charles Sturt University being a truly regional-focused university and look forward to working together to produce the next generation of doctors.”
Orientation for the Medicine students concluded on Thursday 18 February. As part of the orientation, students participated in course and university information sessions, campus tours, group learning activities and social activities.
Classes for the new Doctor of Medicine will commence on Monday 22 February at the Charles Sturt campus in Orange.
Medicine information nights for prospective students interested in the course will be held in March at Charles Sturt’s campuses in Orange, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga. An online session will be held later in May.