Federal budget approves Monash University's new end-to-end rural based medical program

Monash University welcomes the announcements in last night’s Federal Budget of the Murray Darling Medical School Networks, a program that will support the development of entirely rural based medical school education programs in Victoria.

By increasing the time that medical students train in regional areas, the program represents one part of efforts to increase the number of doctors who live and work locally to service the health needs of regional and rural Australia.

The key features of the Monash University End-to-End Program are:

  • To identify and support a cohort of students that intend or have a desire to practice in a rural area to complete the requirements of the Monash University Medical Degree (MD) entirely at the University’s rural medical school sites.
  • To leverage and link existing rural-based components of Monash University’s world-class medical training program to create the rural MD program.
  • To link the rural MD program with the work of the two new Monash University Regional Training Hubs in the North-West (Bendigo) and in Gippsland (Traralgon) to support a continuum of rural and regionally based medical training, from undergraduate to specialisation

According to the Head of the Monash University School of Rural Health, Professor Robyn Langham, Monash University will be able to deliver an end-to-end rural MD program within a rural setting across its footprint from Mildura in the north-west to Bairnsdale in the south-east, with a focus on its major training hub in Bendigo.

Professor Langham welcomes the opportunity to work with the regional health services and other Universities involved with the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network to enrich the rural medical school environment and increase transition into the regional training networks.

Monash Rural Health was the first Australian Rural Medical School, established in 1992 in Gippsland and now operates across two broad Victorian rural areas - the Loddon-Mallee in north-west Victoriaand Gippsland in the south-east of the State – a footprint that extends from Mildura to Orbost.

Currently almost one in four (23%) of the 402 2018 Monash University Bachelor Medical Science/Medical Degree cohort are studying at one of seven main Monash Rural Health sites delivering components of MBBS/MD degrees.

The Dean of the Monash Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Christina Mitchell, said the announcement of the funding for the new end-to-end rural medical degree, “is recognition of our more than 25 year commitment to improving Rural Health education. It is also recognition that the current programs we have in Rural Health are delivering outcomes to the rural communities we serve."