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19 May 2017
Drugs the focus of the Rural Doctors Annual Conference
Many of South Australia’s rural doctors will converge on Adelaide today and Saturday for the RDWA Annual Conference.
The theme of this year’s conference is drugs and has attracted a great deal of interest from SA’s resident rural doctors.
“The aim of the conference is to provide the latest information and resources across the spectrum of drugs, drug prescription and drug use,” said RDWA CEO, Ms Lyn Poole.
“We built our program on feedback from the doctors and we’re covering issues they face every day from chronic pain management, stroke management, dealing with older and younger patients, managing athletes and drug testing, prescribing methadone, the new drugs in general practice and a special session on the prevalence of ice in rural SA,” she said.
The RDWA Annual Conference brings together rural doctors from around the state and provides them with an opportunity to learn new skills and engage with their peers.
“Rural doctors are the heart of country South Australia,” said Ms Poole.
“They make an outstanding contribution to the health of people living in rural and remote South Australia.”
The RDWA also hosts an annual conference for medical students. The theme of this year’s event which is being held on Friday 19 May, is Respectful Connections with First Peoples.
11 May 2017
Above: Jo Adams, recipient of RDWA Resident Rural Spouse Grant
Jo Adams has spent 36 years as the spouse of a rural doctor in rural South Australia.
She knows a thing or two about living a rural life and the importance of establishing friendship groups.
Her passion for community, and in particular for helping rural women connect has merged with her love for patch-working and embroidery and Jo recently established a business, Barossa Patchwork.
“I’ve spent 36 years in rural South Australia, ten years in Millicent and 26 years in Angaston. Having brought up three children and supported my husband, David, I feel it’s time to follow my passion with fabric and teaching,” said Jo, whose husband Dr David Adams is a GP at Angaston Medical Centre.
Jo was recently awarded an RDWA Resident Rural GP Partner/Spouse Grant to help her set up a website which would enable people in other rural areas to access her products.
“I love teaching and have taught sewing for over 30 years and have helped many women in rural SA enjoy sewing correctly and using quality materials and designs,” said Jo.
“I am feeling positive that this business will work and will not only benefit myself, feeling fulfilled doing something I feel I am going to succeed in, but benefit women in my local area.
“As the business grows, it hopefully will have the potential to move classes out to other rural areas. I have already been responsible for establishing friendship groups in the country, enabling women to learn needlework and to support each other in rural environments,” she said.
“Work opportunities in some rural areas for Doctors’ spouses and partners can be difficult and it’s very encouraging to have grants such as this, to help and encourage spouses/partners.”
The RDWA established the Resident Rural GP Partner/Spouse Grant to provide partners/spouses of resident doctors in rural and remote SA with the opportunity to develop career or business opportunities, or to assist in study, professional or personal development. To find out more head to Resident Rural GP Partner/Spouse Grant, email us FamilyPrograms@ruraldoc.com.au or call 08 8234 8277.
2 May 2017
Rural Workforce Agency Network to administer John Flynn Placement Program
The Rural Workforce Agency Network, of which the RDWA is a member, will administer the nation-wide John Flynn Placement Program (JFPP) from 1 July, 2017. The Rural Workforce Agencies will administer the JFPP in their respective states and the Northern Territory via Local Coordination Teams.
The JFPP is an Australian Government initiative and is designed to attract the future medical workforce to a remote and rural career. Each year the Program provides an additional 300 undergraduate medical students the opportunity to experience clinical practice and lifestyle in remote and rural locations across Australia. Successful eligible applicants, from 20 participating universities, spend eight weeks over three to four years in a remote or rural community with a one-to-one professional mentor, community contact and host. In any year in excess of 1,100 undergraduate medical students participate in the important program.
Health Workforce Queensland has been contracted as the Lead Agency for the RWAN and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Mitchell, said securing the John Flynn Placement Program is a significant achievement for Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) and the future remote and rural workforce.
“Rural Workforce Agencies have a long track record of success in designing, implementing, overseeing and evaluating health workforce programs in remote, rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and have a thorough understanding of the complexities in attracting and retaining the future health workforce to remote and rural locations” Mr Mitchell said.
“Early exposure to the clinical, social, and cultural aspects of remote and rural communities through the John Flynn Placement Program, as well as the continuing personal and professional connections, is a key influence in medical students undertaking a rural career in the future.”
This unique decentralised model enables Rural Workforce Agencies to engage with JFPP participants on a local level, whilst program is managed and uniformity is maintained at a national level through the RWAN.
Mr Mitchell said he would like to thank and acknowledge the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) for their provision of the John Flynn Placement Program over the past 15 years.
“ACRRM’s past success in administering the Program demonstrates the need to continue delivering this beneficial Australia-wide remote and rural workforce strategy” Mr Mitchell concluded.
The Rural Workforce Agencies and ACRRM will work closely with the Department of Health to ensure a smooth transition for current and future medical students and key stakeholders participating in the John Flynn Placement Program. Rural Workforce Agencies will be in contact with current JFPP students, mentors, and community hosts and contacts as part of the transition process.
1 May 2017
The winner of the 2017 Young Achiever Awards, RDWA Rural Health Award, is Emma Kelly, 22.
Emma is a fifth year medical student, originally from Wudinna on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Among her achievements is the initiation of the Yalata Kidney Health Festival in 2016.
“In 2016 I worked with AURHA and Dr Jill Benson to establish the AURHA Yalata Kidney Health Festival, an outreach involving medical and nursing students travelling to Yalata to teach the school children and wider community about the importance of kidney health and the impact of renal disease and diabetes,” said Ms Kelly.
She continues to co-ordinate the program and hopes to expand to involve other Indigenous communities in South Australia and Western Australia.
Emma intends to practice medicine as a rural GP.
“Growing up in a rural area, in a small town called Wudinna which has a population of 600, I have always thought, I would return to a rural area in the future.
Emma’s first involvement with the RDWA began six years ago when she was a Year 12 student, hoping to study medicine.
“I love the RDWA; I’ve been connected to them since I was a high school student. I attended courses for the UMAT preparation and interview training and I’m now a part of the RDWA student advisory group and attend many of their clinical skills events,” she said.
She’s been a successful participant in the John Flynn Placement Program and has spent three years of medical school working as a mentor for rural background entry medical students.
She’s currently spending her fifth year placement in Port Lincoln.
“I am passionate about rural and Indigenous health, rural students and policy surrounding rural health issues,” she said.
The CEO of the RDWA, Ms Lyn Poole congratulated Ms Kelly on her achievement saying the RDWA was honoured to be a part of the Young Achiever Awards to recognise young people in rural South Australia who are dedicated to those in need of health services.
“The RDWA is committed to rural doctors and the rural health workforce. We know that the health of country South Australia rests in the hands of these young people. Emma is one of those young people who will make bright the future of rural South Australia,” said Ms Poole.