It's the dawn of a new age at Charles Sturt University as its first crop of medical students graced the Orange campus.
The new students are part of the CSU and Western Sydney University joint medical program which is in its first year.
A total of 47 students began their on-campus training this week as part of what will be five-year degrees. James Croke was born and raised in Orange and is one of the 47.
"It's an amazing program because it's such a small and concentrated amount of students," he said.
"It's only week one and we already know all our professors and tutors so it's really nice the detail each student gets in their course.
"The education we're going to get and the involvement with the Orange medical system at Orange Base Hospital, it will be hard to compete with."
Although it's still early in what he hopes will be a long and successful career, Mr Croke already has an idea of which field he would like to go into.
"I'd love to do paediatrics," he said.
"As I understand there is a little bit of a shortage in paediatric facilities in Orange, so that's the plan at this stage but five years is a long time.
"I did a lot of special needs care overseas and lucky enough to work in Orange with a family to help out a boy who is a quadriplegic. That reassured me that I did want to do medicine."
Leading the charge in this new venture will be the Dean or rural medicine, professor Lesley Forster.
She says one focus of the program will be getting doctors into rural areas.
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"They are so enthusiastic so we are really looking forward to getting them to be doctors and be doctors who want to work in the country," Dr Forster said.
"The whole aim of this medical school is to ideally produce rural doctors to try and alleviate the rural health crisis and that's what a lot of them have expressed, a determination to go back and work in the country."
Unlike other university degrees that would see students balancing multiple subjects every semester, the medical program is just one straight subject.
Dr Forster said the idea behind this was to create a better way of learning.
"When I did medicine, you did a year of anatomy, a year of physiology and a year of whatever else," she said.
"What we're doing now is we integrate the whole lot. It's based on problem based learning.
"On Monday they are presented with a problem, which could be a patient with some sort of heart disease, during the week they have their tutorials and their lectures on things that are related to that condition.
"Then on the Friday they meet together with the same group and they put it all together."
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