New medical scholarship to address rural doctor shortages in Australia



Rhondda and Margaret Williams Fellowship in Rural Medicine to benefit rural and regional medical students in Australia

The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare recently reported that around 20% of rural Australia cannot see a general practitioner due to the shortage of doctors around them. At the same time, almost 60% admitted that they did not have access to specialists in their area.

This not only impacts people’s quality of life, but also their health outcomes. On average, Australians living in rural and remote areas have shorter lives, higher levels of disease and injury, and less access to health services than people living in metropolitan areas.

This is why the newly created – and great value – medical scholarship offered to students of the University of Wollongong (UOW) is a welcome solution to the persistent problem of the shortage of rural doctors in Australia.

The Rhondda and Margaret Williams Fellowship in Rural Medicine was established with a generous philanthropic donation from Rhondda Williams, in memory of her late mother Margaret Williams, to support applicants from rural and regional areas in their goal of becoming a physician and serve their rural communities. .

“I wanted to create an opportunity to give someone a boost like my mom Margaret did for me. I was the first in my family to attend university and it was made possible by my mother’s support and a Commonwealth scholarship, â€said Rhondda.

For Associate Professor David Garne, director of community, primary, remote and rural services at UOW’s medical school, the university’s emphasis on training physicians in regional and rural medicine can be positive for entire communities.

“Having more doctors in rural and remote areas of Australia means people not only have the care they need, but also trustworthy doctors who are part of their communities. This grant will support countless students in the future while improving the health of entire regions. “

Rhondda Williams believes the scholarship will meet the real needs of people living in rural communities by helping to train the best medical staff to treat them.

UOW Graduate Medicine’s mission has always been to bridge the gap between regional and metropolitan Australia to make access to patient-centered and cost-effective health care a fundamental right, not a privilege, accessible to patients in all geographic contexts.

Currently, 60 percent of UOW medical graduates end up working outside of capital cities and 27 percent work in a designated rural setting, which is an exceptional result. To understand what it means to practice medicine in remote communities, all UOW students spend a significant amount of time doing short and long-term clinical placements in rural hospitals, primary care, and community health facilities.

The Rhondda and Margaret Williams Fellowship in Rural Medicine will provide significant financial support to eligible UOW medical students, allowing them to focus on their studies and their ultimate goal – to become patient-centered physicians serving their communities. local.


The Rhondda and Margaret Williams Fellowship for Rural Medicine, one of UOW’s most transformational and prestigious medical scholarships, was designed to attract and support prospective medical students from rural, regional and remote areas of the world. Australia to obtain a doctorate in medicine. The scholarship also aims to encourage students to return to rural Australia after graduation to practice medicine in these communities.

Each recipient will receive $ 100,000 over the duration of their four-year degree. As part of the scholarship, they will be required to complete their phase 3 internship in a rural area.

The scholarship is now open for applications here.

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