Rural training good for trainees and communities

September 2, 2011

Health Minister Tony Ryall and Education Minister Anne Tolley have announced a partnership with the Universities of Auckland and Otago that will train more doctors and nurses and other health professionals at Gisborne and Whakatane Hospitals.

The partnership is part of a new $4.5 million programme to train health students in rural areas so that they will return to work in rural communities.

“Over the next three years an estimated 300 plus student doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and dentists will train side by side, in the classroom and out on the job at Whakatane and Gisborne Hospitals” says Mrs Tolley.

Otago started sending students to rural hospitals a few years ago. I think it was an initiative of the late Dr Pat Farry who was passionate about rural medicine.

The idea is that if students train in rural and provincial areas they will be more likely to consider working there once they graduate.

The experience is good for the trainees and the communities where they train which often suffer from an exodus of youth in search of further education.

Dr Pat Farry

October 11, 2009

A death notice in the weekend ODT:

Farry, Dr Patrick Joseph, MNZM, FRNZCGP . . . doing what he loved most caring for the people of the rural area. . .

Dr Farry was a champion for rural medicine and rural health services.

Among his achievements was the development and delivery of the undergraduate Rural Immersion Programme at the University of Otago’s Medical School.

This scheme takes 20 fifth year medical students into rural hospitals for a year in the hope it will encourage some of them to return to rural medicine when they graduate.

I never met Dr Farry but he was often quoted at meetings when I was on the board which ran Oamaru Hospital and I am grateful for the good work he did as a practitioner in and advocate for rural medicine and health services.

The ODT profile of Dr Farry when he was awarded the MNZM is here.

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