The Dubbo program, which is expected to take its first students in January 2022, builds on the University of Sydney’s history of almost 20 years of medical education in the region. It will, for the first time, allow students to complete all four years of training at the School of Rural Health in Dubbo.
Professor Cheryl Jones, Head of School and Dean of Sydney Medical School, said the Dubbo program will adapt the University’s innovative new medical curriculum, the MD 2020 program introduced in Sydney in January 2020, to the specific needs of rural health workforce training.
“One of the new curriculum’s main aims is to ensure that students are ‘prepared for practice’, meaning they are ready to provide medical care for the complex, ever-changing environment of the 21st Century when they graduate,” she said.
Associate Professor Mark Arnold, Head of Sydney’s Rural Clinical School in Dubbo, said; “We are very enthusiastic about the program. As with our Sydney MD program, students from diverse backgrounds will be encouraged to apply since diversity brings with it a range of life experiences that makes for better doctors.”
Our new facilities at Dubbo will also bring major innovation in the teaching of anatomy. Using 2D and 3D visual technologies, virtual and augmented reality and 3D printing, we will deliver world-class education.
The Dubbo program and new facilities are being developed in close collaboration with the Western NSW Local Health District, the hospitals and doctors of the region, and the Dubbo community, including the Wiradjuri community, which has been generous with support and input.
The University is eager to provide education for rural residents and to train Indigenous doctors.
Associate Professor Peter Malouf, Head of Indigenous Health, Sydney Medical School said, “We hope the Dubbo program will build up the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical workforce and provide more opportunities for rural residents to study medicine.”
In 2018, the University of Sydney secured funding as part of the Federal Government’s Murray Darling Medical Schools Network to adapt and deliver the four-year medical program in Dubbo.
While initially expected to commence in 2021, following agreement with the Commonwealth Government and local rural health stakeholders, the Dubbo program will launch in 2022 to allow completion of the new facilities, and provide sufficient time to review and learn from the implementation of the Sydney MD 2020 program this year.
The University of Sydney has had a long-standing presence in Central West and Far Western NSW. Approximately 800 University of Sydney medical students have taken one-year extended placements in Dubbo, Orange and Broken Hill. Many of these have gone on to take up roles as doctors in the region, inspired by their extended rural placements in Dubbo and Orange.
The Dubbo MD program will add another pipeline to the University of Sydney’s strong commitment to rural workforce development and rural health.
Declaration: The University of Sydney School of Medicine – Dubbo is funded by the Australian Government under the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network.