As Stawell Regional Health farewelled third year medical student Allan Lim it welcomed Cody Passier.
Mr Passier, a Deakin University Medical student studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery is following in the footsteps of Mr Lim who was the 2013 IMMERSe student in Stawell.
Mr Lim achieved a distinction for his efforts and acknowledged the wonderful support shown to him by doctor Andrew Cunningham and staff at Stawell Regional Health.
During 2014 Mr Passier will spend his third year of studies at Stawell Medical Centre as a participant in the integrated Model of Medical Education in Rural Settings (IMMERSe) program of Deakin University School of Medicine.
Under the guidance of Dr Cunningham at the Stawell Medical Centre he will be involved in parallel patient consultations, hospital ward rounds and specialist/allied health sessions while living in the Stawell community.
Formal studies will take the form of electric lectures and tutorial link-ups.
The IMMERSe program offers the students the chance to follow patient progress from initial presentation through treatment to observe the role GPs play in their local community, to experience the unique nature of rural medicine and hopefully encourage them to return to rural communities in completion of their studies.
Cody is one of 20 students who will be participating in the IMMERSe program in 2014, with others being based in Ararat, Bacchus Marsh, Camperdown, Casterton, Colac, Daylesford, Portland, Hamilton and Horsham.
Deakin medical students are given the opportunity to select a rural community placement for the entirety of their third year while fellow students spend the year attached to larger clinical schools in Geelong, Ballarat, Warrnambool and Box Hill.
The program has been overseen by Professor Daryl Pedler, Director of Clinical Studies IMMERSe.
Mr Pedler is passionate about improving standards in rural medicine and addressing the critical shortage of rural and remote doctors.