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13th September 2023 Latest News

Supporting Central Queensland's future doctors

Regional Medical Pathway

Twelve months ago, 19-year-old aspiring doctor Shanissa Janamian received something very special before starting the Regional Medical Pathway (RMP) program.

Shanissa, and every enrolled student, received a stethoscope, specially engraved with the starting date of 2022 to acknowledge the start of the medical pathway thanks to the CQShines Foundation.

The RMP program was developed to secure long-term, locally-trained workforce for the Central Queensland and Wide Bay regions.

Students study the three-year course at CQUniversity followed by a four-year MD program at the University of Queensland.

Shanissa, who is in the second year of the course, moved from Brisbane to Rockhampton to follow her dream of studying Medicine, which she described as “the course of her dreams”.

She said the support of her fellow classmates, RMP partners, CQU staff and the Rockhampton community has helped the transition to study in a rural setting.

“The first 12 months of the RMP have been nothing short of an adventure,’’ she said.

“It has been amazing to form new friendships with like-minded people and study relevant course content which align with my interests and prepare me for my future career as a doctor.

“Since the very first day we have had regular cohort meetings to ensure that we have settled in well to university life.

“I couldn’t be happier to be studying Medicine in Rockhampton as part of the Regional Medical Pathway program. I have developed a genuine passion for rural, remote and regional medicine.”

The community initiative has the support of educators, mentors, clinicians, and advocates who will support and inspire the next generation of doctors.

The RMP is a unique partnership between CQUniversity AustraliaThe University of QueenslandCentral Queensland Hospital and Health Service and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

CQShines Foundation Chair, Dan Smith said the stethoscope is symbolic for this cohort of future doctors enrolled in the Regional Medical Pathway program.

“The pathway will improve accessibility for regionally-based students, allowing them to study, train and practice in their own backyard,” he said.

“Being based in their own community helps these students maintain close support networks of family and friends – which aids their academic and professional success.

“On top of this, staying locally in their regional communities provides greater continuity of care and delivers more high-quality care close to home, which makes a huge difference to our communities.”

The grant for the stethoscopes was provided by CQShines Foundation, supported by The Hospital Research Foundation Group.

CQShines Foundation hopes to raise enough funds to award a scholarship to a Central Queensland based RMP student. If you would like to donate towards the scholarship, donate here.