From healthcare in Australia’s most remote communities to healthcare in China - and farm hazards and snake bite to virtual reality and veteran health - Australia’s major annual conference for rural doctors, Rural Medicine Australia 2019 (RMA19), will have it all…boasting the biggest program ever offered for the event.

To be held this month on the Gold Coast, RMA19 is co-hosted by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).

More than 800 rural doctors, medical students and others from across Australia are now registered to attend the event, with more registrations anticipated in the coming weeks.

Just a handful of the topics to be featured include:
▪ Rural maternity services
▪ Palliative care in the bush
▪ Telehealth in remote communities
▪ Recruiting and retaining more junior doctors in the bush
▪ Burn injuries and their management
▪ Farm hazards
▪ Reducing stillbirths in rural Australia
▪ Caring for refugees with chronic health issues
▪ Domestic violence in rural communities
▪ Aboriginal interpreters in Top End primary care
▪ AI, machine learning and robotics in rural healthcare
▪ Access to termination of pregnancy in rural and remote areas
▪ Clinical courage in rural practice
▪ Snake bite
▪ Surviving road trauma
▪ Using augmented reality to improve point of care support for Rural Generalist doctors
▪ The value of ‘clown doctors’ in making hospital care less scary for rural kids

ACRRM President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said: “The breadth of sessions and workshops to be featured at RMA19 is enormous, and reflects the wonderful variety of work that we have in Rural Medicine. For many rural doctors, this variety and the great sense of community in rural towns is what makes Rural Medicine such a rewarding career choice.”

RDAA President, Dr Adam Coltzau, said: “As part of the fantastic program at RMA19, we will have a compelling line-up of keynote speakers including Ita Buttrose AC OBE; Australia’s first Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Paul Worley; and senior leaders from across the medical sector.

“We are also excited to hear the keynote address from Gold Coast local, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, who became a quadriplegic following a car accident during his time at medical school, and went on to become Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical intern. He now works as a Resident Medical Officer at the Gold Coast University Hospital and is a founding member of Doctors with Disabilities Australia.”

Other key sessions at RMA19 include:
▪ the RMA Presidents Breakfast (a policy discussion with high profile medical leaders on the topic ‘How do systems and structures facilitate quality care?’ - generously supported again by MDA National)
▪ a Trivia Night for rural doctors and medical students
▪ a Great Debate on the topic ‘Juicy carrots or big sticks: what works for the bush?’
▪the RMA19 Gala Awards Dinner, where the RDAA and ACRRM annual awards will be announced