A push to ensure that rural and remote communities of North Queensland are adequately populated with medical and health professionals is what led to the creation of the James Cook University (JCU), Mount Isa Centre for Rural & Remote Health (MICRRH) two decades ago.
The MICRRH is one of a national network of twelve centres, and the only one in Queensland with sites in Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Longreach and Weipa. It is federally funded under a multidisciplinary training program as a health workforce initiative.
MICRRH is a key education provider locally in outback Queensland and increasingly by distance delivery using a diverse range of IT resources. The centre has multiple lecture and tutorial rooms, state-of-the-art video-conferencing technology, and clinical simulation facilities for teaching and learning in outback Queensland.
MICRRH is staffed with university academics from a wide range of health disciplines including nursing, medicine, mental health, pharmacy and allied health.
JCU offers an internationally recognised medical program incorporating dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, exercise science, physician’s assistant and tropical and public health.
MICRRH professor Sabina Knight said the centre provides placement for undergraduate, post graduate and international students and teaches nursing locally.
“We place great emphasis on developing rural graduates in and for rural health jobs,” Professor Knight said.
“We believe that if you recruit from rural background, give students high quality experience in rural areas and expose them to the depth and variety of practices available to them, they will be more attracted to working in these areas,” she said.
“Adventure, skills and impact is what future health professionals are looking for.”
“There are plenty of jobs to be had and JCU graduates are highly valued in the workplace; the excellent and varied clinical teaching they receive ensures graduates can work comfortably anywhere with confidence.”
She said having students in placements in towns across the North also provides economic benefits for the regions they’re training in.
“We can have up to 50 students at any one time in Mount Isa, who’re spending money within the town, supporting local business. The staff and students living in these regions are also involved in community clubs and social activities.”
Students interested in a health career can contact JCU direct or talk with one of the staff at MICRRH facilities across Queensland.
- Visit www.jcu.edu.au
- Visit James Cook University Outdoor Site No. 79 at Beef Week, Rockhampton.