Challenges with maintaining clinical teaching capacity in regional hospitals

Tarun Sen Gupta, Richard B Hays, Torres S Woolley, Isaac Seidl and Andrew Johnson
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.10908
Published online: 21 November 2011

To the Editor: In 1999, a new medical school was established at James Cook University in an underserved region with specific needs in rural, remote and Indigenous health.1 Early data suggest graduates are contributing to the local workforce,2 but medical student places have increased further as part of the continued expansion of Australian medical education. As a result, the capacity for medical students to experience high-quality clinical opportunities is under challenge.

  • 1 James Cook University, Townsville, QLD.
  • 2 Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD.
  • 3 Townsville Health Services District, Townsville, QLD.



We thank Tracy Adams, Manager of Health Information Services at Mater North Queensland Limited, and Alycia Snell, Manager of Clinical Information Services at The Townsville Hospital, for collating the hospital records. The assistance of Dr John Stokes, Director of Intensive Care, Mater Hospital Pimlico, and final-year medical students Malcolm Forbes and Laila Khan was also invaluable in collecting data from the two hospitals.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Hays RB. A new medical school for regional Australia. Med J Aust 2000; 172: 362-363.
  • 2. Sen Gupta TK, Hays RB, Murray RB. Intern choices for James Cook University graduates [letter]. Med J Aust 2007; 187: 197. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australian hospital statistics 2007–08. Canberra: AIHW, 2009. (AIHW Cat. No. HSE 71; Health Services Series No. 33.)
  • 4. Australian Medical Association. AMA public hospital report card 2010. Canberra: AMA, 2010. (accessed Oct 2011).
  • 5. Thomson JS, Anderson KJ, Mara PR, Stevenson AD. Supervision — growing and building a sustainable general practice supervisor system. Med J Aust 2011; 194: S101-S104. <MJA full text>


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