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Record intake of rural WA students

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Port Hedland local Andrew Lenton.
Camera IconPort Hedland local Andrew Lenton. Credit: The University of Western Australia.

The University of Western Australia has announced it will be welcoming its largest intake of students from rural WA this year.

Among the four rural students from the Pilbara who will enter into UWA’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, aimed at helping WA’s rural doctor shortage, is Andrew Lenton from Port Hedland.

The 18-year-old said he was very excited and felt privileged when he found out he had been offered a position, and said he hoped the opportunity would open up more career options, and provide him with the career in medicine that he has always wanted to achieve.

“I know I want to do medicine but I don’t know where I want to end up,” he said.

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He said if there were more doctors in rural areas, it would mean less patients would have to travel to Perth for treatment.

Mr Lenton said regional areas provided more opportunities and scope into the medical field, that were not always available in the metropolitan area.

He said having an assured entry into the university would make it it a lot less stressful.

UWA professor Wendy Erber, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences agreed the shortage of rural doctors in WA was concerning.

She said remote towns needed more access to doctors to ensure a high standard of health in the community, adding that the record intake of rural students was “good news” for WA as many of the students were likely to become medical practitioners in remote areas.

UWA rural support co-ordinator Sue Pougnault said she was pleased to see a large number of students from small and remote towns who were passionate about making a difference.

She said she was looking forward to welcoming the students into an “exciting and rewarding” program”.

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