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Medical Students

Clutha Health First is a regional teaching centre for fifth year Medical Students of the University of Otago Rural Medical Immersion Programme.  Students spend their whole fifth academic year in Clutha in General Practice, the Inpatient Ward, Outpatient Clinics, Maternity, the Mental Health Service, Public Health and the practices in Milton and Lawrence. This has been a very successful programme. Clutha Health First also often has nursing students from the Dunedin and Southland Polytechnics on placement in the Ward, with the District Nurses, Maternity and General Practice.  Students of the schools of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy also have placements here.

Students in all these areas enjoy their time here. Their work increases their knowledge but also familiarises them with rural health services and life in a rural community.  The experience is a valuable influence in their decision making for placement and a career when they have graduated.  A number of nurses who have attached have come back to take up a career post in Balclutha and soon the medical students will be at the stage of making career choices, hopefully some might find their way back here.  Patients of doctors and nurses who have studied here but work in Dunedin do get special care from these professionals.  The input of patients is invaluable for the learning of all of these students, in fact without patients; teaching simply could not take place.  Most importantly the students keep your professionals on their toes, they have to keep a knowledge step ahead and deliver high quality services.

You may meet with students in all of the services offered by Clutha Health First and the information and experience you share is subject to very strict rules of confidentiality, sensitivity and all students always work under supervision by professional staff.  We thank you for your role with these students and appreciate the goodwill that comes with your involvement.  Should you at anytime for personal reasons not wish to have a student involved in your care, please indicate this to a staff member and you will still receive your care without prejudice.

For further information on the Rural Medicine Immersion Programme, please contact Dr Rebecca Canner, Balclutha Site Co-ordinator on 03 419 0500.