LEANING in to check out a dummy patient in the Univeristy of Queensland Rural Clinical School's mock hospital ward, Carisha Jooste and Shanay Wright got a fright when they realised he was breathing.
The realistic practice mannequin is one of a number used to educate students at the state-of-the-art school in Rockhampton.
The school, which is located next to the Rockhampton Hospital, held its first open day on Saturday.
Director David Shaker said a recent study indicated medical students of a rural background who choose to study at the rural school tend to stay on and serve the community for longer.
"We always knew that, but this is the first time we've had the evidence," he said.
"If they study here they are likely to stay on as doctors and that shortage is filled."
Mr Shaker said the day was all about inspiring those interested in health care and encouraging students from the city to make the move to regional Queensland.
Carisha and Shanay, who are both in Year 11 at Heights College, hope to pursue careers in the health profession.
The pair said the open day was a great opportunity to learn more about the field.
Shanay said she has wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl.
"I think it's the thought that you're helping people ... that's what made me want to do it," she said.
The girls were able to watch a suture demonstration, take part in a hygiene workshop and check out the school's facilities and resources.
"It's a very exciting job," Mr Shaker said.
"It is demanding, but so are a lot of other careers.
"Unfortunately there's a reputation about health care professions, but if you're happy to give it your best then the career will give you a lot."