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UOW gives community award to Mudgee for leadership in rural healthcare
The University of Wollongong (UOW) has named the community of Mudgee as its 2016 UOW Community Fellowship Award recipient for its tireless efforts supporting UOW students studying medicine in the region.
UOW Community Fellowship Awards recognise the contribution of organisations for their outstanding community leadership in one or more of the University’s communities, and the provision of services that transform lives and communities.
UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, said the award acknowledges the tireless efforts by the Mudgee community to support UOW Graduate School of Medicine (GSM) students.
In 2010, the Mudgee community initiated a project to build a house for GSM medical students in Mudgee with the Mid Western Regional Council, Club Mudgee, Moolarben Coal, Peabody Energy, Wilpinjong Coal, along with several community service organisations and citizens, contributing to the project.
Opened in September 2012, the five bedroom Mudgee House accommodates GSM medical students during their 12-month clinical placement in Mudgee as part of the Mudgee4Doctors program.
This unique program was established to train doctors committed to working in regional, rural and remote areas as a way of addressing the chronic shortage of doctors in these areas.
“This prestigious award was offered in recognition of the significant contributions and outstanding civic leadership shown by the Mudgee community in support of the University’s Graduate School of Medicine (GSM), particularly in regard to the establishment of Mudgee House,” Professor Wellings said.
“Through the Mudgee4Doctors programme, local businesses, community groups and residents have demonstrated outstanding support for initiatives to attract and retain health care professionals to provide the Mudgee Gulgong region with continuous access to quality healthcare.
“The Mudgee community’s commitment to this goal aligns with UOW’s longstanding commitment to training doctors to address the shortage of medical practitioners in regional, rural and remote communities.
“UOW’s GSM is the only medical school in Australia to give all students the opportunity to undertake a 12-month clinical placement in a regional or rural setting,” Professor Wellings said.
UOW operates 10 rural hubs across NSW for its medical students, whose 12-month clinical placements start mid way through their third year of training and continues until mid-way through their fourth year.
UOW students who undertake placements in Mudgee assist doctors at South Mudgee Surgery, Mudgee Medical Centre, Gulgong Medical Centre, Mudgee Hospital and Gulgong multi-purpose health service, along with other community and private health settings.
Since its establishment in 2007, UOW’s Graduate School of Medicine has graduated 464 medical students as doctors specifically trained to deliver primary health care in rural, regional and remote communities.