Ten years ago, the first cohort of students from UOW’s Graduate Medicine Shoalhaven celebrated the end of their degrees.

Now, many of those young doctors still live and work in the region, as medical specialists and general practitioners, giving their skills and time back to the community in which they were trained.

Many of the graduates who have remained in the region are now specialists at Shoalhaven Hospital, with their field of expertise including gastroenterology, paediatrics, anaesthetics, and geriatrics. It is not unusual to find a surgery at Shoalhaven Hospital fully staffed by UOW graduates.

This rural focus is at the heart of UOW’s Graduate Medicine program, which embeds medical professionals in regional and remote communities with the aim of creating the next generation of regional doctors.

UOW Graduate Medicine Shoalhaven launched in 2007 at the University’s West Nowra campus. There were 22 students in that first Shoalhaven cohort, all of whom were drawn to the advantages of being able to study medicine in a regional setting.

Under the program, up to 70 per cent of students spend a year training in a rural community, an experience that helps graduates prepare for the myriad challenges they will face on a daily basis if they choose to practice in these regions.

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