Mike Anderson, Paul Groundwater, Lorraine Smith and Iqbal Ramzan see the value in regional placements for pharmacy students. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEREGIONAL hubs such as Dubbo are being seen as prime locations to provide opportunities for University medical students, according to the University of Sydney’s (USYD) School of Pharmacy.

And, according to USYD’s dean of pharmacy, towns like Dubbo are receptive to a university presence, benefitting the regional centres through exposing locals to “cutting edge science and health care brought from metropolitan areas”.

Professor Iqbal Ramzan visited Dubbo on Tuesday with the associate dean for learning and teaching and a senior lecturer from USYD to reunite with the university’s regional-based alumni.

Professor Ramzan said they came to regional centres once every few years to see how their alumni could assist and keep in connection with the university.

“We went to USYD’s school of rural health and later met with pharmacists from Dubbo’s hospital because they are very keen to have our students on placement with them here,” Professor Ramzan said.

Senior lecturer at USYD, Dr Lorraine Smith said the trio hoped to speak with people to develop a concrete rural placement program for their students.

“This year were weren’t able to have our students do rural placements but they have in the past and enjoyed them tremendously,” Dr Smith said.

“We hope that there might be some possibility that our bachelor of pharmacy students can get to spend time here next year.

“We’d like to make links with the school of rural health and maximise those so students can be spending time not only on their placement but also with other health disciplines with doctors, dentists, physios and occupational therapists.”

Professor Ramzan said there had been talk of too many pharmacy graduates coming out but the issue of whether there were enough pharmacists in rural and regional areas still existed.

“Having students come on placement here is a win-win for not only the local community but also for us because our students get exposed to a different practice that is somewhat different to the practice in the metropolitan areas,” Professor Ramzan said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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