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Northern NSW Regional Training Hub

Regional Training Hub

The Northern NSW Regional Training Hub (NNSWRTH) is a partnership between the Northern NSW Local Health District and UCRH. We are one of 26 regional training hubs across the country funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program, each working to build medical training pathways within a region and guide students and trainees. We were founded in 2018 and work hard to help students find their path to a rural medical career.

Our Services

  • Medical workforce development
  • Medical education delivery and support
  • Career pathway guidance
  • Rural generalist pathway advocacy
  • College accreditation support
  • Integrated Rural Pipeline Enhancement
  • Clinical supervisor education

Destination Medicine

Tune in for the lowdown on being a rural doctor! The Destination Medicine podcast started as a collaboration between four rural NSW regional training hubs including ours and has grown with many other hubs now contributing to the series. Each episode brings the story of a doctor and their journey into rural medicine. The idea is to help anyone who thinking about a career as a rural doctor make informed decisions and navigate the journey with greater confidence.

Episodes are available via the Destination Medicine website or via your favourite podcast provider.

How to become a rural doctor?

Rural and regional communities need more doctors.

To find out how you can pursue a medical career in these regions, please look at the pathway below. We can provide more detailed information and support to help you as you progress from step to step.


Complete a university medical degree

Successfully complete Year 12 or obtain your undergraduate degree.

Take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or the Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) admission test.

Generally if you want to pursue undergraduate medicine you will sit the UCAT, while the GAMSAT is usually required for those interested in a postgraduate medicine degree.


Complete an internship

An internship is a one-year phase after your university training where you undergo supervised clinical training within an accredited hospital.

Interns receive provisional registration from the Medical Board of Australia and attain full registration upon successfully completing their intern year.

Most hospitals operate with five rotation blocks throughout the year, each lasting 10 to 12 weeks for interns. To help recruit interns for rural positions, you can apply for Rural Preferential Recruitment position. Rural hospitals reserve specific positions for RPR applicants, ensuring that you can access optimal training opportunities.


Complete a residency

After completing your internship, a junior doctor progresses to the role of a resident medical officer (RMO). Typically, RMOs dedicate a year or more to working within a hospital before choosing a specialisation.

After you complete a residency, many doctors consider a specialised training pathway. This involves either applying to become a registrar of a specialist college or pursuing additional general training as a Senior Resident Medical Officer (SRMO). Many rural training hospitals offer additional training positions for SRMOs and registrars interested in rural medicine.


Become a registrar

After a residency, most junior doctors commence shaping a more defined medical career, opting for a specific specialty area for further training. Some choose a highly specific focus, while others continue with broader training in a more defined field, such as critical care.

To become a registrar, junior doctors must apply for and gain acceptance into the training programs offered by the college of their preference.

General practice training can be completed in rural communities, and many specialties can be predominantly pursued in various rural hospitals.



After you have completed your selected college’s specialty training program, you are entitled to practice medicine independently, whether as a general practitioner, a specialist physician or a surgeon.

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