Providing opportunities for medical students to experience life in the country.

As part of their university curriculum, all second-year students from the University of Notre Dame Australia - Fremantle campus spend ten days living and working in the Kimberley to experience life in remote locations.

The University of Notre Dame Kimberley immersion program is designed to assist the students develop an understanding of life in remote Western Australia.

The program provides an opportunity for students to engage with and work alongside people in non-medical settings across the Kimberley, such as pastoral stations, schools, art galleries and community organisations.

The program builds student understanding of their own strengths and the strengths of the people who they have lived and worked alongside. It aims to encourage recruitment and retention of doctors in these remote WA locations but even for those who decide to stay in the city to practice, an understanding of the emotional toll and the logistics of receiving healthcare far from home and family informs a doctor’s practice for the rest of their career.

"It’s all about context. We can teach the science of medicine but students need to be exposed and start thinking about the art of medicine. To develop an understanding of the social determinants of health, you first have to walk in someone else’s shoes. To discover how to treat certain populations, you need to listen to what they want from their health professionals.”

Professor Donna Mak