FORTY senior medical students have begun 12-month placements in the Northern Rivers with five based in Grafton.
The students from the universities of Wollongong and Western Sydney have done two years of medicine and will rotate between Lismore, Murwillumbah and the Clarence Valley.
University Centre for Rural Health's director of education Michael Douglas said the students were eager to get involved with the Clarence Valley community.
"These students and others who will come throughout the year choose the Northern Rivers because of the reputation of local health facilities and of the many skilled clinicians who generously share their knowledge and time for the benefit of the next generation of doctors," Dr Douglas said.
"The great diversity of experience offered in a regional setting is also a key attraction.
"Research shows that clinical students who do their placement in a rural/regional area are more likely to settle and work in the bush after they graduate. So we're helping them to hone their skills as well as making an investment in the regional health care capacity of the Northern Rivers and Australia more generally."
During their placement the students are exposed to a range of medical procedures and services, such as x-ray imaging, cancer care, pediatrics and surgery, GP care, Aboriginal health and lifestyle medicine.