Local medical students take a tour underground

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Medical students from the University of Notre Dame (UND) have been touring Centennial’s western operations to gain firsthand knowledge of the working life of miners as well as the occupational health matters associated with mining.

“The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Lithgow Clinical School is grateful to Centennial Coal, who have been opening their doors to the University’s medicine students since 2011 and continue to host students throughout the year,” said UND’s Student Coordinator, Chrissie Thompson.

The students who are undertaking specialised training in rural medicine, toured Centennial’s Angus Place, Clarence and Springvale Collieries to gain an understanding of the working conditions of the mining industry and the special skills required of the doctors who care for its employees.

Fourth year Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery student Nicholas Kortt, said it’s difficult to understand what a mine is really like until you experience one for yourself.

The highlight of my time with Centennial Coal was dropping 800 metres below the ground and exploring parts of the tunnels that go on for several kilometres,”

“It’s a truly amazing experience and one that few people have the privilege to see,” said Mr Kortt.

Students studying at Notre Dame’s Sydney School of Medicine can undertake rural training in specialised Rural Clinical Schools in Wagga Wagga, Ballarat and Lithgow.

The rural schools work in conjunction with Notre Dame’s medical schools in Sydney and Melbourne and aim to produce health professionals who are knowledgeable, skilful, dutiful and ethical and have a genuine understanding of rural health.

“Our guided tours aim to provide the students a positive first-hand experience of rural life, which will hopefully entice them back to our region and highlight the fact that they can play a major role in our community’s future,” said Centennial’s Fiona Van Der Velden.