Bathurst Rural Clinical School

heritage site
Bathurst Health Service

Bathurst is one of the two important hubs (Lismore being the other) for Western Sydney University's School of Medicine Rural program. Students choosing to study at the  School of Medicine's  Bathurst Rural Clinical School (BRCS) will join a well-established and comprehensive clinical training program which began in 2010. It has been under the local leadership of Clinical Dean and Associate Professor Dr Tim McCrossin since 2009.

Bathurst provides clinical training places for MBBS students in their fourth and fifth years of training across a number of disciplines. The rural placements are continuous over 12 months and as such are aligned with national rural health workforce priorities.

Area Information

Located a mere 200km inland from Sydney on the banks of the Macquarie River, Bathurst is the home of the Wiradjuri people and is the site of Australia's oldest inland European settlement with a current estimated population of  just over 42,000 people.

Bathurst is a well renowned educational centre and is rich in cultural heritage, art, sporting and tourism facilities. Bathurst offers a refreshing and vibrant lifestyle for its residents.

Find out more (opens in a new window) about Bathurst.

Bathurst Health Service

Bathurst Health Service is a level C1 facility which functions as a Base Hospital within a large and growing regional centre. Shortly after the founding of Bathurst in 1815 the first hospital was built and established in 1824. It has since grown considerably into a 101 bed acute Rural Hospital located on the eastern border of the Western NSW local Health district.

Services within the hospital include:

  • Allied health
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Coronary Care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Intensive Care
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Oncology
  • Paediatrics
  • Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Surgery

The Educational Experience

Medical students in Bathurst will rotate through a number of community-based and Hospital based clinical placements. All students will undertake a term in rural General Practice within one of the nine local general practices we have engaged locally across the towns of Bathurst, Oberon and Blayney. Likewise, all Bathurst Students will undertake a term in Indigenous medicine at the nearby Orange Aboriginal Health Service. Within the Hospital, students will rotate through a number of placements which may include surgery, medicine, paediatrics, oncology, mental health and critical care depending on rotation completed before their rural term.

Student accommodation is provided in the Ben and Elizabeth Chifley cottages in Howick Street, Bathurst. These are two six bedroom fully furnished cottages opposite the Bathurst hospital and are currently provided at a subsidised rate of $30 per month per student. The majority of our rural students value the nature of the longitudinal placement which allows them to follow the patient journey from the community, through to the hospital and back again. Our student feedback is generally positive, as per the following testimonial from one of our previous students.

The majority of our rural students value the nature of the longitudinal placement which allows them to follow the patient journey from the community, through to the hospital and back again. Our student feedback is generally positive, as per the following testimonial from one of our previous students.

House  accommodation

 "Coming from a background of being a high school leaver and someone who has never moved out on my own, I was daunted but at the same time curious about rural medicine.

  I need not have worried, as the support here is incredible. Bathurst has given me a unique opportunity to challenge myself. I have had exposure to a side of medicine and a lifestyle that I would never have experienced if I hadn't taken the chance.

  The experience has been invaluable to me and I cannot express how much I enjoyed it. But don't take my word for it, come and see it for yourself!"

The Western Sydney University Rural Program

The rural program is under the leadership of Professor Ross Wilson. Funded through the Australian government's Rural Clinical Training Support (RCTS) program, the Western Sydney University Rural Program has a mandate to address health workforce shortages, primarily in rural and regional NSW. The cornerstone of our program's direction is the provision of strong clinical placements in the two large regional centres of Bathurst and Lismore, a research program with a focus on rural workforce issues and rural health issues and a view to vertical training opportunities, particularly within Rural Government pathways.


The students based in Bathurst complete their Community Research Project in two week blocks with the support of onsite supervisors. Students will be encouraged to explore issues of disadvantage as it might apply to healthcare within a rural community.

The Bathurst research team has built a strong foundation for research with a growing number of staff working on clinical, population health and health service projects.

Published Manuscripts

  1. Bibliometric analysis on Australian Rural Health Publications from 2006 to 2012. Mendis K, Edwards T, Stevens W, McCrossin T. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2014, 22(4): 189-196.
  2. Health assessments for Indigenous Australians at Orange Aboriginal Medical Service: health problems identified and subsequent follow up. Tegan Dutton, Wendy Stevens and Jamie Newman. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2015, [Epub ahead of print]
  1. Tracking Australian health and medical research expenditure with a PubMed bibliometric method. Mendis, K., Bailey, J., McLean, R. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2015 Apr 22. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12366. [Epub ahead of print]
  1. Antibiotic Use for Vibrio Infections: important insights from surveillance data. Kam Wong, Anthony Brown, Georgina Luscombe, Shin Jie Wong, Kumara Mendis. Accepted to BMC Infectious Disease. In press
  1. A decade of Rural Clinical School research: a PubMed review.  Bailey, J., Mendis, KDutton, T, Stevens W, McCrossin T. Submitted to Rural and Remote Health. In press
  1. 2014 RCTS SNAPSHOT Survey. Mendis K, Greenhill J, Walker J, Bailey J, Croft A, Doyle Z, McCrossin T, Stevens W. Submitted to Rural and Remote Health. In press

Our Academic Staff

Director, Rural Health

Professor Ross Wilson

Clinical Dean, Associate Professor - Paediatrics

Associate Professor Tim McCrossin

Professor – Oncology

Professor Graham Stevens

Associate Professor – Medicine

Associate Professor Bruce McGarity

Senior Lecturer – Surgery

Dr Ian Elbourne

Senior Lecturer – Medical Oncology

Dr Rob Zielinski

Dr Peter Fox

Senior Lecturer – General Practice

Dr Kam Wong

Senior Lecturer – Mental Health

Dr Robyn Vines

Lecturer – Mental Health

Dr Sue Blinkhorn

Research Academic

Dr Jannine Bailey

Our Professional Staff

Rural Program Co-OrdinatorJane Thompson

Finance Operations Manager

Jill Driscoll

Administrative Officer

Jo Halloran

Student Co-ordinator

Bronwyn Bauer

Indigenous Placements Officer

Ian Kennedy

Rural Schools Community Engagement Officer

Nathan Rollinson

Rural IT and AV Officer

Herman Hofman

Research Officers

Tegan Dutton

Georgia Pollard


Find out more in the latest Bathurst Rural Clinical School Newsletter (PDF, 2201.46 KB) (opens in a new window)