The University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health (UONDRH) focuses on:
- facilitating student placements and learning
- enhancing the health of local communities through community projects and;
- conducting research into rural health issues.
The UONDRH is the umbrella organisation which operates the University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) program, the Rural Clinical Training and Support (RCTS) program and a number of smaller programs.
The UDRH program encourages students of medicine, nursing and other health professions to pursue a career in rural practice by providing opportunities for students to practise their clinical skills in a rural environment. It also supports health professionals currently practising in rural settings. The University of Newcastle commenced its UDRH program in 2002 within the New England, North West Slopes and Plains, Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter Valley and Manning River regions of NSW. UONDRH currently offers placements for students of medical radiation science, medicine, nutrition and dietetics, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy and speech pathology.
The RCTS program is designed to increase the rural medical workforce by enlisting Australian medical schools to deliver rural medical training, to recruit rural medical students, promote and encourage rural medical careers and increase opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Our RCTS program commenced in July 2006, and provides full year placements for students of the Joint Medical Program (JMP) of the University of Newcastle and University of New England. In partnership with Hunter New England Local Health District, JMP students can take clinical placements in either years four or five at hospitals based in Tamworth, Taree and Armidale.
The UDRH and RCTS programs take great pride in the support provided to students in the frontline of the health care system. We are leaders in delivering allied health, medical and nursing placements in rural areas. Our aim is to provide not only high quality clinical training but also an enjoyable life experience in magnificent rural centres in Armidale, Moree, Taree and Tamworth, so as to expose our students to the career and lifestyle opportunities available outside the metropolitan areas. We have dedicated academic and professional staff in each of these locations, as well as excellent teaching facilities and student accommodation to give students an outstanding rural experience.