Future doctors visit Narrogin for a taste of rural life

Published on Friday, 19 March 2021 at 3:57:23 PM

A group of medical students arrived in Narrogin on Tuesday morning as part of the annual Wheatbelt Medical School Immersion Program.

More than 170 students from the University of Notre Dame and Curtin University have travelled to Wheatbelt towns as part of the program, with 28 of those students staying in Narrogin until Friday 19 March with local families.

The Immersion Program is designed to provide the students with first-hand experiences of medicine in a rural community and consequently encourage the students to consider a rural medical career.

The Shire of Narrogin hosted a welcome morning tea for the students on Tuesday 16 March at the Shire of Narrogin’s Council Chambers, with an official Welcome to Country by local Noongar elder, Basil Kickett.

Shire President Leigh Ballard in his official welcome highlighted the fantastic and fulfilling elements of living in a country town. He encouraged the students to embrace community life this week adding, “We hope that this experience positively influences you to choose a rural career in the future”.

Each student was gifted a Shire of Narrogin tote bag and a ten dollar Narrogin dollars voucher to encourage them to shop local and put money back in to the community during their visit.

Following the morning tea the students were taken on a historic tour of the Narrogin CBD buildings, including a visit inside the Courthouse Museum by local Evelyn White.

Whilst in town, the students will tour Narrogin hospital and visit local GP’s in order for them to gain a better understanding of the experiences of rural patients. They will also host a “Teddy-Bear Clinic” at local primary schools which is about getting kids comfortable about general practitioners’ treatments.

The students will also get a chance to tour local attraction, Dryandra Woodlands including the extraordinary Barna Mia Nocturnal Wildlife experience, to give them a better taste for what life would be like if they decided to move to Narrogin or another rural location in their future.  

The Wheat belt Medical School Immersion Program is a partnership between the University of Notre Dame, Curtin University, Rural Health West, WA Primary Alliance and the Wheatbelt East Regional Organisation of Councils as an n initiative to address a state-wide regional doctor shortage.

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