Graduating doctors will not go bush

MEDICAL SCHOOL: Murray Darling Medical School executive director Mark Burdack.

MEDICAL SCHOOL: Murray Darling Medical School executive director Mark Burdack.

SUPPORTERS of the proposed Murray Darling Medical School have seized on new figures that show less than 18 per cent of final-year medical students intend to work in rural or regional practice after graduation.

Murray Darling Medical School is a joint initiative between Charles Sturt University (CSU) and La Trobe University seeking to start a new medical school in regional NSW.

Executive director Mark Burdack said the findings of the latest Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand report showed the need for a regional school.

“There is a need for better information to be provided to rural communities about the performance of medical schools in addressing rural doctor shortages,” Mr Burdack said.

Mr Burdack also questioned the value of national data about where medical students intend to work and has called for better information in order for rural communities to plan for the future.

“We know that at present fewer than 10 per cent of graduates from typical metropolitan medical schools actually move into rural practice each year, so good intentions don’t always translate into practice,” he said.

“Some medical students say that they intend to work rurally, but do not do so.”

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