Bush land

Dubbo MD program attracts regional and Indigenous students

16 February 2023
Program hits the mark, attracting a diverse group of students
The 2023 cohort of the University's four-year Doctor of Medicine in Dubbo is testament to the success of the program, attracting a diverse group of students, including both First Nations students and those with ties to the region.

While the student’s pathway to becoming doctors is still years in the making, Dean of the Sydney Medical School, Professor Cheryl Jones said the enrolments were very promising, particularly in light of current workforce shortages.

“We know from research and from years of training students in Dubbo and Orange that those who train in rural and regional Australia develop a love of rural medicine, ties to the community and are more likely to practice in rural medicine in the long run.”

“We are immensely pleased to welcome our new student cohort with a number of students from throughout the Central West and Western NSW regions, including First Nations students.”

First year student Corey Gibson

First-year student Corey Gibson at the School of Rural Health in Dubbo

Corey Gibson is a first-year student in the Doctor of Medicine degree in Dubbo. Originally from Dubbo, Corey has been working as a paramedic throughout Western NSW, returning to Wellington five years ago to be closer to family.

Studying medicine has always been a dream for Corey and he is excited to have the opportunity to study medicine locally without having to uproot his family to a major city.   

“I love living and working here and the incredible connections I’ve made with the community. To be able to study medicine here, where my family is from is amazing. And being able to undertake the medical degree through one of the oldest medical schools in Australia is just incredible,” said Corey.

There are now 48 students, both first- and second-year,, completing their entire four-year Doctor of Medicine at the University’s School of Rural Health in Dubbo. An additional 23 students from the University’s Sydney-based MD program are also completing extended rural placements in Dubbo this year.

year 1 students group photo

The year one students commencing their studies in Dubbo in 2023

Professor Catherine Hawke, Head of the University’s Rural Clinical School, said: “It’s fantastic to see the growth of the school in Dubbo and an increasing number of students from our region.”

“The new cohort is extremely diverse in their skills and experience. We have a number of mature-age students and many that have been working as health professionals. They include nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, paramedics, pharmacists and radiographers. This will bring a wealth of professional experience to their medical studies.”

Students in the Dubbo MD stream study the same world-class medical education as their peers in Sydney, with the added benefits of living and studying in a regional location while gaining hands-on experience in rural and remote medical practice.

The Dubbo Stream is part of the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network (MDMSN) and is only available to students eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place. Pathways are available for First Nations students and those with rural backgrounds.

Over $10 million in Australian Government, philanthropic and University funding enabled the redevelopment of the School of Rural Health in Dubbo into a fully resourced graduate clinical school of medicine. The new facilities were officially opened in November 2022.

Media contact

Michelle Blowes

Media & PR Adviser (Medicine and Health)

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