The Northern Territory Remote Clinical School (NTRCS), established in 2005, allows students to spend six months or more in a rural location, exposing students to a different kind of learning environment that adds to their broader clinical experience. The communities of Katherine, Alice Springs and Nhulunbuy support the efforts of the NTRCS. The curriculum at each NTRCS campus has been designed to provide high quality learning opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete third year. Additionally, particular attention is paid to ensuring that this learning reflects the local cultural and environmental context of the different communities, their health and wellness, and health care delivery systems.
Students are linked across the campuses with each other and with students and academic staff in Darwin by high quality videoconference links in both group and individual settings. Each student is offered a laptop for the entire period of placement in the NTRCS and these laptops are equipped with webcam capability. Unrestricted broadband access at both the accommodation site and in the dedicated student resource facility ensures that students have equivalent access to on-line resources and communication tools as their peers at less remote campuses. Specially equipped student and hospital-based health libraries, with the most up-to-date access to research materials round out excellent study aids for NTRCS students.
All campuses have dedicated study areas, in both practices and at the NTRCS Campus office. Individual practices in which students may spend up to two days per week have been especially equipped to offer consulting space and learning resources. Additionally, clinical supervisors in community-based settings are actively and fully supported by NTRCS academic staff to enable them to be effective and efficient preceptors. All placement sites have been selected on the basis of their commitment to and enthusiasm for teaching medical students.