Regional Training Hubs across the nation continue to work together to provide essential information to our future medical workforce, using a range of digital platforms, including multiple podcasts and the recently enhanced Regional Medicine Training website.
Destination Medicine©, a well-known podcast series, has just launched its fourth season with a new series interviewing doctors in training, which is an important phase of any medical career. Doctors and medical students from Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales have all contributed to the many stories in the various podcasts.
Doctor What? Doctor Where? Stories of Rural Medicine is a podcast initiated by Monash University’s Regional Training Hubs, featuring each of the specialist training pathways and exploring the journey of medical professionals, junior doctors and students who live, train and work in rural and regional communities. Designed as ‘evergreen’ content, the podcast allows listeners to dip in and out of episodes without having to listen in order. Series one has been very popular, with nearly 9000 downloads. A collaboration with Deakin University’s Western Victoria Regional Training Hub saw a bonus series of lifestyle episodes on what makes rural practice attractive to the current generation of medical trainees.
For those interested in supervision stories or rural generalism as a career, Victorian Rural Generalist Supervisors of the Loddon Mallee Region podcast series explores what it’s like to become the next generation of rural generalists, as well as train up-and-coming doctors. A collaborative production between Murray City Country Coast GP Training, Monash University’s Regional Training Hubs and the Victorian Rural Generalist Program, this podcast provides great personal stories and reflections in honest and entertaining profiles.
In addition to podcasts, 17 Regional Training Hubs have come together to expand the scope of the Regional Medical Training website (regionalmedicaltraining.com.au) to promote accredited training places and their home communities in regional south-eastern Australia, provide information about regional training options and advise how regional medical training can benefit a career as a health professional. The website – initially developed by the Southern Regional Training Hub Alliance of seven hubs from across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia – provides medical students and trainees with the resources they need to discover specialist pathways. The Southern Alliance reached out to partner with the NSW Regional Training Hub Network in mid-2021 to enhance and grow the website by including opportunities in NSW. The expanded website was relaunched in early October.
Ms Linda Cutler, Chair of the NSW Regional Training Hub Network, said ‘The enhanced website is another example of how Regional Training Hubs working together can make a difference for medical students and doctors in training across Australia.’
Chair of the Southern Regional Training Alliance Hub, Dr Phillip Steele, believes these new partnerships will be an invaluable addition to the information provided by Regional Training Hubs.
‘There are many students and trainees out there who are interested in gaining experience in regional medicine, but they just can’t find a clear path or aren’t aware of the many options available to them. The addition of 10 new Regional Training Hubs from NSW means that we can continue to boost the profile of regional medical training and showcase the wonderful career opportunities that it can provide.’
Dr Khyarne Biles, currently an advanced trainee in emergency medicine in Dubbo, considers the website a great resource for anyone looking for rural training opportunities:
‘Having worked in a rural setting, I can tell you it will be the best experience you could ever have. You will be working close to senior clinicians who are engaging and willing to teach, learning from patients with absolutely fascinating pathology … and you will have opportunities to be hands-on at a very early stage of training to support strong foundations as you progress through your career.’
Regional Training Hubs were initially funded by the Australian Government in April 2017. They were established as a component of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine and have been implemented through existing Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training sites across Australia.