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Flinders to offer full rural medical degree from 2025

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Flinders University has secured the largest share of a new federal program that aims to increase the number of medical students studying in regional Australia.

The University will receive $19.7 million in Commonwealth funding to establish a new rural medical program with 40 medical student places available per year from 2025.

This will enable Flinders to offer a four-year Doctor of Medicine degree that can be completed entirely in regional South Australia, building on its 25 years of experience in delivering first-class medical education in rural and remote communities.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the Rural Medical Training grant is recognition of Flinders’ national leadership and innovation in rural and remote healthcare.

“Flinders University is a proven leader in producing rural doctors who are well prepared for the challenges and rewards of rural practice,” Professor Stirling said.

“We know that students who study in the country are more than three times as likely to choose to work in rural areas compared to their city-based peers.

“This funding will allow us to expand opportunities for medical students to complete their four-year degree by studying entirely in rural South Australia, further increasing the likelihood of them choosing to work in rural practice after graduation.”

Flinders has been awarded 25% of the new medical places, the largest allocation to any single institution, with the rest distributed among five other universities across five different states.

Professor Stirling said the funding will provide new teaching and learning facilities, student accommodation, and expert local academic and professional staff across Flinders’ SA regional footprint, including Barossa, Renmark, Berri, Murray Bridge, Victor Harbor, and Mount Gambier.

“Flinders University had always been a pioneer in medical education and this new investment from the Commonwealth is a testament to our ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of regional communities.

“Our rural medical students benefit from early and sustained exposure to rural health settings, and from learning alongside other health disciplines in interprofessional teams, developing strong connections which enhance their professional and personal development.

“Upon graduating they are highly sought after by employers and make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of rural Australians.

“We thank the Federal and South Australian governments, health service partners and our communities for their continued support and recognition of the excellence of our medical offerings,” Professor Stirling said.

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