Third year University of Queensland medical students Lisa Major, Sarah Cranney, Ashleigh Cruickshank, Jason Vellios, Kate Anderson and Kaitlyn Mullane arrive in Rockhampton yesterday for a year of rural experience.
Third year University of Queensland medical students Lisa Major, Sarah Cranney, Ashleigh Cruickshank, Jason Vellios, Kate Anderson and Kaitlyn Mullane arrive in Rockhampton yesterday for a year of rural experience. Allan Reinikka

Medical students train in area

THIEN Le came to Rockhampton last year for an adventure, but didn't expect to fall in love with the lifestyle.

The 24-year-old arrived in Rockhampton yesterday with 30 other University of Queensland (UQ) medical students to embark on a year of clinical training at hospitals and practices around the region.

The UQ Rural Clinical School program, which allows medical students to observe and learn from doctors and specialists, is run in Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

For busy, under-staffed hospitals such as Rockhampton, it is a great opportunity to attract young doctors to the area.

Clinical director Sue Roberts said students who are trained in rural areas are likely to return to rural towns when entering the workforce.

This will be the second year in the Rockhampton program for Thien, who is the only fourth-year student of the group.

"The student ratio to doctors is much better than in Brisbane and it's more hands-on," he said.

While the students are Brisbane based, they originally come from all over Australia.

Yeppoon girl Kaitlyn Mullane was among the cohort, and another student, Kate Anderson, was all the way from Tasmania.

Kate said she was a bit apprehensive at first, but after spending two days here couldn't believe how friendly everyone was.

The students are currently completing orientation and will start their rotation on Monday.



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