Five of the brightest medical students from Perth have made the Pilbara their home for the year as they undertake valuable training in Karratha, Roebourne and Onslow with the Rural Clinical School.

The third and fourth-year students from the University of WA and Curtin University have been selected to take part in the competitive program and complete rotations across the hospital and GP and Aboriginal medical services, learning from the region’s best doctors.

Curtin student Chethani Nanayakkara said the rural placement allowed them more hands-on experience.

“The urban people will be in larger teams of around 10 assessing the same patient, whereas we will be one-on-one, so it’s definitely a better practical experience up here,” she said.

UWA student Jasmine Rose Begovich said she was looking forward to immersing herself in the Pilbara.

“Making friends is something we are looking forward to, and joining sports teams, volunteering and taking advantage of all of the beautiful landscape,” she said.

“The point of the program is to try to encourage our cohort of medical students to come back and work in the future.”

UWA student Natasha Bradley agreed, saying the rural placement set them up for a successful future as doctors.

“The Pilbara has got a lot to offer, for sure,” she said.

“There is a lot more opportunities in your junior doctor training to do a lot of that rurally, so that there will be future opportunities for us to potentially come back to the region.”

The students have completed their first week of placement and will be in town until November.