A clinical training centre for Orange's first intake of student doctors has opened on the first floor of the Bloomfield Medical Centre.
The Charles Sturt University Health Sciences Clinical Learning Centre will train students in the heart of the city's health precinct.
They will also study at the CSU campus in north Orange.
That's what's exciting about CSU enrolling rural kids who know what it's like to live in the countryProfessor Ruth Stewart, National Rural Health Commissioner
Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton and National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Ruth Stewart toured the facility with the Member for Calare and Regional Education minister Andrew Gee and university leaders and students on Wednesday.
They said the CSU's doctor training program was aimed at encouraging doctors who trained in regional areas to stay and work in country areas when qualified.
Professor Stewart said based on practice at another regional medical school in Queensland it was hoped about 67 per cent of doctors who trained in Orange would continue to practice long-term in country areas.
She said it was hoped the medical school would help alleviate a shortage of doctors across country areas.
"In town after town we are hearing how hard they're searching for doctors and allied health professionals and nurses. They can get people to come on the short term, locum or short term agency work, but to find someone who will commit to the community to provide ongoing continuity of care is very, very difficult," she said.
"That's what's exciting about CSU enrolling rural kids who know what it's like to live in the country, know how they can survive in their small communities, know how to relate to their local people, that's going to make a huge difference."
Professor Stewart said some of the doctors would go to Sydney after their training to specialise and would likely not return to regional areas.
Mr Coulton said it was a "very exciting day" for rural medicine.
"We know if we can get more students to study in regional Australia they are more likely to want to live, work and raise a family in regional Australia at the completion of their training," Mr Coulton said. "These students will better understand the specific health needs of rural communities."
He said the course had been popular with applications from 20 times the number of places available.
Mr Gee said all students in the first year had a "connection with country Australia".
He said the regional course would also provide economic and community boosts for Orange.
"This is a triumph for people power," he said.
The facility has conference, four clinical skills and six breakout rooms.
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