Barossa Valley Rural Clinical Week

Rural study program

Rural health is represented at all levels throughout the Doctor of Medicine program and all medical students undertake at least nine weeks formal teaching in a rural environment.

Opportunities exist for additional rural placements as well as to undertake your entire third year within a regional community as part of the internationally recognised Parallel Rural Community Curriculum program.


Jenny Roscoe talks about her placement in Port Lincoln

Jenny Roscoe, a 4th year MD student took her knowledge to Port Lincoln Hospital, hoping to utilise her skills in a practical way, but not knowing what to expect.

What she found was a great town and an inspiring placement, where she saw a wide variety of cases first-hand.

“From a caseload perspective the work was never excessive like on a busy tertiary general medical ward, however, it was more interesting,” she says.

“The expectations on the student seem to be that of an intern- clerking patients, taking bloods, IV lines, medication charts, radiology requests, all minus discharge summaries.”

“Nursing staff are super friendly and helpful at the hospital and really receptive to student opinions,” she recalls.

As for Port Lincoln itself, Jenny found the town to be well provisioned to meet her needs.

“The town is extremely well serviced with three major supermarkets, K-mart, Country Target, various boutique stores, an art gallery and café with free wi-fi, numerous restaurants and three pubs,” she reports.

“The marina has another pub/restaurant that serves sensational oysters!”

Surrounding areas also provided opportunities for rest and relaxation.

“There are plenty of towns nearby with great drives and walks,” she says. “Arno Bay, about 100km from Port Lincoln, has a fantastic mangrove walk, with 1.5km of boardwalk with viewing platforms and fishing spots.”

So what was Jenny’s verdict of her placement in Port Lincoln?

“ (It) was an extremely appropriate pre-internship rotation. Great placement, I would highly recommend it!”

Jennifer Roscoe on rotation in Port Lincoln

Year 1 - Rural programs

Rural Day

On ‘Rural Day’, Flinders Rural Health SA showcases to first year students the rural placements and opportunities available in subsequent years of the course.

The experience will allow you to develop an understanding of the diverseness of rural practice and in particular the procedural skills required to practice medicine from a tertiary hospital.

The day begins with a bus trip to a rural location. Upon arrival, current third and fourth year students will share stories about their rural placement experiences.

Rural Day also includes practical workshops, community talks and entertainment.

More information: Photo gallery of 2015 Rural Day


Community Rural Engagement Week

Selected students are given the opportunity to spend time at a Flinders RHSA rural site for Community Rural Engagement Week (CREW), normally held in August of each year.

During this week you will spend time engaging in clinical and Problem Based Learning sessions and learn more about the rural research opportunities available in Year 2.

You will be immersed in a regional community and experience some of what this lifestyle has to offer, including tours of local sites, hospitals and medical practices.

More information: CREW information is provided to you during Rural Day.

Year 2 - Regional placements

Advanced studies

If you choose a rural-based Advanced Studies project in Year 2, you will have the opportunity to participate in research on local health issues as well as attending talks on training pathways and the role of rural GP’s in the community.

You may be based at a rural site for one week to undertake your project and Flinders RHSA may assist you organise accommodation and travel.

Research about rural health issues will give you more exposure to rural medicine and the lifestyle and work benefits associated with rural communities.

Flinders RHSA academics provide ongoing research projects to ensure successive groups of medical students can contribute to a particular research topic. This will ultimately provide long-term findings and benefits for local communities, while offering students important insights into the health needs of rural communities.

More information: Advanced studies webpage

Year 3 - PRCC & Rural General Practice Attachments

Parallel Rural Community Curriculum

The opportunity to spend your whole Year 3 based in a rural community exists through the PRCC program in the Riverland, Barossa Valley, Greater Green Triangle or Hills / Mallee / Fleurieu.

More information: PRCC webpage


Rural General Practice Attachments

All Flinders Medical Centre based students undertake a two-week rural attachment as part of their General Practice term.

Under the supervision of a GP, you will be immersed in rural general practice to learn how people work in the context of smaller and close-knit communities.

Supervising doctors will provide you with patient exposure and allow participation in supervised procedural work. The consulting and treatment rooms of rural doctor surgeries will provide a vital opportunity for you to observe a wide variety of medical conditions.

Rural and remote Australian communities have long suffered from an inadequate supply of general practitioners. It is important that you have the opportunity to meet a broad range of skilled doctors who have actively chosen a career in rural medicine.

Flinders RHSA may provide you with shared accommodation for these attachments - see the Rural Placements Coordinator for more information.

Year 4 - Rural rotations

In Year 4, you are required to undertake at least one six-week rural rotation.

The rotations may include general medicine, surgery, anaesthetics, emergency or obstetrics/gynaecology in a rural hospital, Aboriginal health service or general practice.

Senior residents, consultant staff and other health professionals provide some structured teaching during these rotations. Telemedicine and information technology are utilised to support the teaching program wherever possible.

Informal teaching is provided through participation at clinical meetings, visits to relevant agencies and observation of experienced practitioners.

Areas of placement may include:

  • Booleroo
  • Clare
  • Crystal Brook
  • Cummins
  • Jamestown
  • Lameroo / Pinnaroo
  • Laura
  • Meningie
  • Middleton
  • Mount Gambier
  • Peterborough
  • Port Lincoln
  • Port Pirie
  • Quorn
  • Tailem Bend
  • Victor Harbor
  • Whyalla
  • Wudinna