In good news for rural students wanting to study medicine, Griffith University is now offering a priority access scheme which will see a minimum 25 per cent of its quota coming from rural backgrounds.

Called the Griffith University Rural Priority Access Scheme (GURPAS), it will see eligible students who have lived in rural areas of Australia for five years consecutively or 10 years collectively, the chance to study a Doctor of Medicine as part of a separate rural quota.

The decision comes as part of a wider move by Government to expand funding to support more rural students to study medicine.

“In particular, the new scheme is part of the major funding provided to Griffith Health to expand the numbers of rural students based in Toowoomba, and reaching out into the Darling Downs, South Burnett and Granite Belt regions of Queensland,” says Professor Scott Kitchener, Medical Director of Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) and Clinical Lead in Rural Health for Griffith.

Currently entry to medicine at Griffith is determined by academic achievement for those students coming through the Bachelor of Medical Science (MD provisional entry for school leavers), while graduate entry is based on academic achievement in a prior degree (GPA), results from the GAMSAT test and a medical selections interview score. No bonus ranks or special consideration schemes are used.

The Scheme will offer a dedicated quota of positions in the medical program to rural applicants for entry in 2017 onwards, with students needing to have resided in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Area (RA) categories 2-5.

Options are also being explored for a Griffith rural access scheme in the disciplines of midwifery and dentistry.