Hutten‐Czapski P. Is Northern Ontario School of Medicine there yet? Can J Rural Med 2019;24:103‐4.
Full text available at the CJRM website
This editorial is in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine. The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is considered the gold standard in rural medical education. But it appears that rural communities in Northern Ontario are still more likely to see medical students than the finished product, and most of the graduates are still headed to the cities; albeit the provincial cities in Northern Ontario.
This tells us what we already know. It’s not easy, and it’s important not to confuse workforce success in provincial centres with success in rural areas.
I am however sure we still have much to learn from NOSM.
Thanks to Assoc. Prof Nixon for the commentary
Not hard at work
Hard at work
Over the weekend of 25thMay sixteen students of the Wellington School of Medicine spent the Friday night Saturday and Sunday morning at Holdsworth Lodge in the Tararua Forest Park near Masterton. They were joined by John Apps, Jan Arnold, Richard Price, Jo Scott-Jones, Jenny Visser, Petra Watson and myself (Branko Sijnja). The students enjoyed morning runs, a few braved the chill of the river and some climbed nearby hills to Rocky Lookout. They learned of mass casualty triage, altitude medicine, hypothermia, how to improvise to carry patients over rough terrain, some suturing skills, expedition medicine and the development of rural health services in Clutha. On the Saturday they were joined by Rural Medical Immersion Programme students from the Wairarapa regional teaching centre who presented the programme.
Director Rural Medical Immersion Programme
On a pleasant autumn evening on the first of May (May Day) fifty five members of the Matagouri Club motored their way to Balclutha to visit Clutha Health First, have an evening meal and view the Mobile Surgical Services bus. Amongst the fifty five were forty medical and fifteen dental students. This is an annual event sponsored by RMIP. Matagouri Club is the rural undergraduate club of the Health Sciences students of University of Otago. They were presented with the Clutha Health First story by Branko Sijnja who described the community’s efforts to firstly try to save their 120 bed rural hospital and when that proved unsuccessful design a new sustainable community owned model that is now the successful facility occupied by general practices, an inpatient ward, diagnostic services and community services for the people of the Clutha District.
They enjoyed fifty five take away meals lovingly prepared by the Raj Indian Restaurant of Balclutha (no doubt the best Indian Restaurant in New Zealand). Great food, great taste, great portions and great variety.
The RMIP students based in Balclutha escorted the students around the facility and then they visited the Mobile Surgical Services bus which was preparing for an operating list the next day. A very successful day.
Dr Branko Sijnja | MBChB, FRNZCGP, FNZMA, PGDipObst, PGDipRPHP, PGDipGP | Director Rural Medical Immersion Programme
Poole P, Wilkinson TJ, Bagg W, Freegard J, Hyland F, Jo E, et al. Developing New Zealand’s medical workforce: realising the potential of longitudinal career tracking. New Zealand Medical Journal. 2019;132(1495):9.
“Some of the key findings to date are:
- Most New Zealand graduates wish to work in New Zealand.
- Rural background is very important in rural career intention, justifying the rural preferential entry pathways to New Zealand medical schools.
- Over time, fewer New Zealand students have an urban career intention, while rural and remote medicine is emerging as a career path.
- Student perception places the major influence on career intention as ‘atmosphere/work culture typical of the discipline’. The importance of a range of positive undergraduate and early postgraduate experiences cannot be overstated, especially since most students are undecided at graduation. Specialties finding it difficult to attract sufficient numbers of trainees need to address factors that affect student choices“.
Note that rural is defined as ‘rural-regional’ (from location <100 000 population)
For over a decade, the Medical Schools Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking Project (MSOD) has collected survey information from medical students and junior doctors in Australia and New Zealand to look at social, demographic and training effects on career intentions. In New Zealand, over 4,000 students have voluntarily provided information at various time points, and the project is at a stage where some firm conclusions are starting to be drawn. This paper presents the background to the project along with some early results, and future directions.
For over a decade, the Medical Schools Outcomes Database and Longitudinal Tracking Project (MSOD) has collected data from medical students in Australia and New Zealand. This project aims to explore how individual student background or attributes might interact with curriculum or early postgraduate training to affect eventual career choice and location. In New Zealand, over 4,000 students have voluntarily provided information at various time points, and the project is at a stage where some firm conclusions are starting to be drawn. This paper presents the background to the project along with some early results and future directions.