Local health professionals, community members, local council members and Flinders University staff gathered at the Appleseed Cafe in Strathalbyn on February 14 to welcome Flinders University students to the Hills, Mallee, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island regions for 2019.
The Parallel Rural Community Curriculum (PRCC) program, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, originally commenced in the region in 2006 with eight medical students allocated to local GP clinics for a year of intensive training.
The program allows students to immerse themselves in their local clinical environment and also in the local community in an effort to build on our future rural and remote health workforce.
Several students who have completed the program have since returned to rural communities to build their careers in medicine.
This year, nine PRCC medical students in the region will been joined by more than 300 nursing and allied health students who will be completing rural clinical placement opportunities with local health care providers.
In welcoming students into the community, the evening's guest speaker, South Coast District Hospital emergency department clinical director Dr Jason Bament, provided students with an entertaining snapshot of his journey through medicine.
Flinders University Rural Health SA academic coordinator Dr Leesa Walker acknowledged the commitment and support offered by GPs at Mannum, Murray Bridge, Strathalbyn, Goolwa, Middleton and Kangaroo Island.
General practitioner Dr Peter Gilchrist was also recognised for his contribution to the PRCC program as a clinical educator.
Dr Gilchrist was a dedicated and enthusiastic educator with Flinders for four years, having joined the program as one of the first PRCC students to graduate from the region.