This is an opportunity to experience rural and agricultural medicine in a hands-on, real-life environment.
The Farm Stay is an exciting initiative of GPSN's National Working Group.
In a big city lecture theatre, it can be next to impossible to teach medical students about rural healthcare. Hands-on experience is essential for students to truly experience rural healthcare and to develop a passion for rural general practice.
Noticing this gap in education, the GPSN national working group organised the inaugural Farm Stay experience in 2018.
The aim of this experience was to give medical students across Australia hands-on, real-life experience in rural and agricultural medicine.
Students from medical schools across Australia applied for a place on the trip. They were chosen for their commitment to rural health.
We hope to run the Farm Stay Weekend again in 2019, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2018 Farm Stay Weekend
The first annual Farm Stay experience was held at Cherrabah Resort, Warwick, Queensland.
This event was in affiliation with Towards Rural and Outback Health Professionals in Queensland (TROHPIQ), and was sponsored by Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network.
The activities commenced on a Saturday morning with speakers who provided well-rounded perspectives on practising medicine in a rural setting.
Southern Downs Region Mayor Tracey Dobie shared a fascinating overview of the region from an agricultural, tourism and community perspective.
Attendees also listened to Ben, from My Health Record, who discussed the impact of technology on medicine and how these advances could dramatically shape the future of general practice.
Dr Blair Koppen, the medical superintendent at Warwick hospital, detailed intricacies of an adventure-filled career as a rural generalist.
Dr James Telfer of Stanthorpe Hospital provided details on how to best prepare to become a rural GP.
In the afternoon, attendees put their minds to the test as they engaged in trauma emergency and bush medicine scenarios learning valuable skills, such as how to construct plaster casts.
During the weekend, attendees took the chance to explore the breathtaking 5,000 acres of the Cherrabah Resort, filled with horses, sheep, donkeys and goats.
Activities included horse riding, clay target shooting and quad biking. Attendees also enjoyed the abundance of home-grown produce and a buffet selection at every meal.
This trip brought all attendees together — despite many the competitive board games played — and created friendships that will endure.
The GPSN National Executive and working group hope this is the start of an exciting annual Farm Stay event.
Please keep an eye out on the GPSN eNewsletter for application information.
By Emma Chan, 2018 Rural Working Group Chair and Keshini Visvanathan, 2019 GPSN National Working Group Officer.