Dental graduates keen to work in rural areas

JAKE Ball is one of 32 dentists who will graduate from Charles Sturt University today and, along with half of his graduating class, he already has a job in a regional area. 

Mr Ball secured a job at the CSU Dental Clinic in Orange and plans to stay in a rural area. 

“In the city there are so many practices that they have to try to distinguish themselves in a business sense. It’s about who is open later at night, or what ancillary services they can add on. 

“But in the country it feels more like real dentistry. It’s about the patient and the quality of service.”

Clinical director Dr Heather Cameron said students had turned down jobs in metropolitan areas to focus on a career in the bush, which was the driving force behind setting up the dental school in Orange. 

She is proud to see the first graduates from the program, which was set up in 2009.

“It proves the success of the program. I have seen them progress to very capable practitioners,” she said.

The graduates took up positions in the central west, south coast, north coast and the Riverina.

Along with Mr Ball, Dr Cameron said at least another two students had accepted jobs in Orange. 

Mr Ball said his experience as a CSU student providing oral health services with the Royal Flying Doctor Service was a stand-out memory of his time at the university.

“We visited communities like Collarenebri, Bourke, Lightning Ridge and Goodooga, where the facilities weren’t as advanced and many patients had oral health issues that hadn’t been recently addressed,” he said.

“It was a great experience, and a great opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

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