RCS Wagga Wagga Campus

The Campus

The Rural Clinical School's administrative headquarters and Wagga Wagga teaching campus are located in Harvey House, within the grounds of the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. The School’s Wagga Wagga Campus accepts full time students in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 and short term students in Phase 3. The School employs academic, administrative, research and IT support staff. Limited student accommodation is available on the Hospital site at subsidised rent.

The Location

Located 470km south of Sydney and 435km north of Melbourne, Wagga Wagga is New South Wales’ largest inland city. Wagga Wagga is just two hours’ drive from Canberra, and a one hour flight from Sydney or Melbourne.

See map here.

The City

With a population of 63,000, Wagga Wagga has all the benefits of a modern centre without the stress of urban living. At the Wagga Wagga Campus, students have access to two first-class hospital facilities where they have the opportunity to contribute to medical care in a regional setting as well as visiting surrounding smaller centres to see the health needs particular to a rural community.

The Attractions and Recreational Activities

image - RCS Wagga Wagga CampusWagga Wagga is also home to the main campus of Charles Sturt University with a student population of 13,023 which includes external students and students at the Wagga Campus. CSU offers a diverse range of courses including Dentistry, Veterinary Science, and a number of allied health courses.

Wagga Wagga has a large airbase and military training centre.

Wagga Wagga offers an active lifestyle in a relaxed atmosphere. Residents enjoy quality dining, with regional gourmet foods and wine, as well as a broad range of entertainment and shopping. The local theatres put on many plays, some locally produced, some on tour, and there are a number of art galleries including the National Glass Art Gallery.

Known as the ‘City of Good Sports’, Wagga Wagga offers year round sporting activities for locals and visitors.

Students can join local teams in golf, tennis, cricket, netball, soccer, Australian rules and rugby, athletics and hockey. Summer activities include fishing, jet skiing, sailing, canoeing, rowing and kayaking in the surrounding rivers, lakes and dams. In winter, Mount Selwyn and the Kosciuosko National Park attract skiers and snowboarders and all year round there are bushwalking, camping, indoor rock climbing, bike riding activities and Murrumbidgee River Cruises.

The Education

Wagga Wagga Base Hospital is a 220 bed acute regional hospital which is currently being redeveloped and has specialists in all disciplines. The Emergency Department is a well-designed and equipped unit with staff specialists. Wagga Wagga is also home to the privately managed Calvary Hospital and Calvary Day Procedure Centre, as well as the Riverina Cancer Care Centre, and a new day surgery, which opened in early 2015.

The new hospital – called the Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital - will be open for business in early 2016 with new state of the art theatres, rehab unit, ED and more.

Dedicated academics are on hand to offer support and information, with small group teaching provided by the numerous clinicians associated with the School.

Many GP Surgeries in Wagga, and surrounding areas, take students into their rooms and introduce them to their patients.

There are more than seventy specialists involved in the teaching program including consultants in general surgery; vascular surgery; orthopaedics; obstetrics and gynaecology; medical imaging; pathology; oncology; ophthalmology; paediatrics; ear, nose and throat; anaesthetics; psychiatry; urology; cardiology; neurology; and geriatrics.

Phase 2 Coursework

Year 3 students

Twelve students per year are allocated to the Campus to do their Clinical Coursework in Phase 2. This is the same program that is run in the metropolitan area. The teaching program is run over two semesters and consists of courses in Beginnings Growth and Development, Geriatrics/Oncology, Society and Health, Adult 1, Adult 2, and Oncology/Geriatrics.

All of the required lectures and tutorials are taught at the Campus. Visiting academics include lecturers in Microbiology, Infectious Disease (Professor Hazel Mitchell and A/Prof Debbie Marriott) and Pathology, who visit Wagga to teach students from Wagga, Griffith and Albury-Wodonga Campuses. Other teaching days are held in Wagga, for example, Palliative Care where Albury and Griffith students travel to Wagga. Wagga and Albury campuses join forces every year for a Farm Safety day held at a local property.

The combined study days are very effective and allow for further camaraderie between students of the different campuses.

With input from visiting and local specialists, Wagga’s Phase 2 clinical program provides students with a world-class medical training experience.

Students are encouraged to stay on for their ILP term.

Independent Learning Project (ILP)

Year 4 students

The Wagga Wagga Campus of the Rural Clinical School is developing a complete Phase 2 curriculum for 12 students, which includes Year 3 coursework and the Year 4 Independent Learning Project (ILP).

The campus offers a comprehensive program for ILP students, and has the capacity and facilities to develop and supervise up to 12 projects each year.

Recent students at the Wagga Wagga Campus have completed projects in the fields of paediatrics, cardiology and emergency medicine.

The campus will generally offer defined ILP projects, but is also prepared to develop negotiated projects.

Mr John Connors has been appointed as a research assistant at the campus.  His role is to provide advice to ILP students on the conduct of their research projects, and to assist the Head of Campus to develop a research program for the campus.

The ILP program will provide advice to students on the design of studies, ethics applications, data analysis, statistical techniques and the preparation of reports.

In addition, students have an opportunity to become involved in other research projects that are being conducted by academic members of the School and local clinicians.

Three post graduate students have recently successfully completed their PhD theses at Wagga Rural Clinical School.

Students who are interested in undertaking their ILP at Wagga Wagga should contact John Connors on (02) 6933 5111, or check out the list of ILPs currently being undertaken or on offer in 2015 here.

Watch Wagga student, Julia Fattore, talk about her award-winning ILP project here.

Phase 3 Coursework

Years 5 and 6

The Phase 3 program consists of 10 modules – Medicine, Surgery, Ed/Critical Care, Children’s Health, Women’s Health, Mental Health, Primary care, Selective,  Elective and PRINT (pre intern). All of these modules are provided at the Wagga Wagga Campus. The program is undertaken over a two year cycle. Medicine, Surgery and Ed/Critical Care are completed in Year 5 in combination with Bio Medical Sciences teaching.

Year 5 students undertake a combined Medicine/Surgery/ED term in the Summer Teaching Period (STP) and Teaching Period 1 (TP1), and continue this in TP2 as part of their Selective Term.

Students are divided into two groups with one undertaking Children’s Health in TP3 followed by Women’s Health in TP4. A second group undertakes a Primary Care term followed by Psychiatry.  Students undertaking Primary care have the opportunity to study in Wagga Wagga or undertake General Practice in Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut and Temora for eight weeks. The University owns accommodation at Cootamundra, Gundagai and Tumut for students while on placement.

Students progress to Year 6, undertaking modules they have not completed in Year 5, which will then take them up to their final exams. A Pre-Internship module after final exams will then complete the Medicine program.

The Wagga Wagga Campus has a large team of enthusiastic tutors and excellent teaching facilities. The aim in Phase 3 is to give students as much exposure to clinical experience as possible whilst delivering a comprehensive lecture and tutorial program.

For further information on Phase 2 or Phase 3, contact the Head of Campus, John Preddy, or campus staff on (02) 6933 5111.

Library and Computer Facilities

The hospital library and computer lab, located within the Clinical School, are available for student use during Clinical School business hours. The library area (including some computers, a printer and photocopier) is also available after hours. Students have full access to all UNSW library facilities through the hospital library and the UNSW computers located within the library. The librarian can assist with requests for specific material.

Students have unrestricted use of the computers, including internet use and the ability to print from the computers. All computers have Windows 7 and Office 2010 Professional installed. Photocopying facilities are also available in the library with copy cards available for purchase at the Hospital Cashier's Office.

South West Health Services Library catalogue link - http://gsahs.intersearch.com.au/cgi-bin/koha/opac-main.pl