As part of the University of Melbourne’s commitment to rural health, the Melbourne Medical School in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences offers a Rural Pathway option within the Doctor of Medicine.

This pathway is for students from a rural background who are committed to undertaking their medical education  wholly in rural setting and becoming a part of rural and regional Australia's medical workforce.

Watch the video below to learn more about the pathway and what makes it unique.

  • There are a total of 30 Commonwealth-Supported places (Bonded Medical Places) available for admission into the Doctor of Medicine through the Rural Pathway.
  • The Rural Pathway will include undergraduate entry and graduate entry options:

Rural Pathway (Undergraduate Entry)

Rural Pathway (Graduate Entry)

  • A further 15 places are available for students who have completed an undergraduate degree and are able to demonstrate their rural origins. An interview is required for this entry, which explores their aptitude for medical studies and their commitment to rural practice. Applicants for these 15 places need to apply for the Doctor of Medicine directly through the University of Melbourne (and not through GEMSAS).

Satisfying the entry requirements does not guarantee an offer to study.

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 intake will open on 1 May 2023.

Doctor of Medicine Rural Pathway Information Session: 2024 Intake

When:  Thursday 20 April 2023, 6.00-7.00pm (Melbourne, Australia Time)

Hear from key academics at the Melbourne Medical School and learn more about the MD Rural Pathway. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions, meet our current students and find out more about their MD Rural Pathway experiences.

Register here

Eligible applicants from a rural background who wish to apply to the University of Melbourne under the MD Rural Pathway (Graduate Entry) option are required to submit an application directly via the University.

Program eligibility

To be eligible for selection, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Within the past 10 years, completed an undergraduate degree in any discipline;
  • Provide evidence of having resided rurally or regionally, according to principal home address, for at least 5 years consecutively or 10 years cumulatively;
  • Minimum GPA of 5 – depending on GPA results, you may be invited to a rural-specific Multi Mini Interview (MMI).

MD Rural Pathway (Graduate Entry) applicants are not required to undertake the GAMSAT.

Frequently asked questions

Our students

Watch these videos to meet some of our current Doctor of Medicine (Rural Pathway) students.

Meet Kiera Howell

Meet Srishti Chatterji

Meet Tim Duff

Doctor of Medicine (Rural Pathway) student, Srishti Chatterji, is studying and living at the new teaching and accommodation facilities in Shepparton.

Doctor of Medicine (Rural Pathway) student, Srishti Chatterji

I knew I wanted to be a rural doctor because of my own experience. I have grown up in rural locations my whole live and I've seen firsthand the inequities that rural locations face to access healthcare.

I chose the Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Melbourne specifically because of the rural pathway that they offer with La Trobe University.

So the idea of guaranteed end-to-end education via Melbourne University to become a doctor really appealed to me.

Finally, studying my degree completely in a rural location was also really comforting and exciting, as I didn't want to move to the city.

I've really enjoyed learning new clinical skills and interacting with patients. After spending so much time learning theory in my undergraduate studies at La Trobe, it's nice to finally learn hands-on, practical skills to gain clinical experience. All of us pursue out studies in medicine to help people, so it's fantastic to finally be able to put our knowledge to work in a clinical setting.

Other highlights of the course include the student accommodation and teaching facilities opposite Goulburn Valley Health at the Shepparton campus. It's enabled me to form really strong bonds with other students from rural settings, while offering a unique lifestyle and learning experience all in one location.

I would say go for it! It won't be easy, and sometimes you'll be pushed far outside of your comfort zone. However, in the end it will all be worthwhile as you'll be able to help people in rural and regional areas with the best knowledge available today. That is a very exciting prospect to me.

About Rural Health

University of Melbourne's Shepparton campus

The Department of Rural Health operates within the Melbourne Medical School at the University of Melbourne.

Our purpose is to provide professional health education and research training in rural areas with an aim to increase the rural health workforce. We work closely with the local community and healthcare partners to deliver on a shared vision to increase, support and retain the rural health workforce. Our partnerships and community involvement underpin our teaching and research.

Explore Rural Health

New regional facilities for students

New university facilities opened in Shepparton to train medical students from regional and rural backgrounds in regional Victoria.

Regional and rural medical students from across Victoria and broader Australia can now live, work and study to become a doctor entirely in Shepparton, following the official opening of new teaching and accommodation facilities at the University of Melbourne's Shepparton campus in May 2022.

The facilities are located on the doorstep of Goulburn Valley Health and supports a partnership between the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University to address the chronic shortage of doctors in regional and rural areas.

The facilities also provide the best learning and teaching experience possible to the first ever rural cohort of Doctor of Medicine students in a rural setting.

More information

Eligible applicants from a rural background who wish to apply for the MD Rural Pathway (Undergraduate Entry) option should refer to the information contained on La Trobe University's Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) webpage. If you have any questions about the requirements for the Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) course, please contact La Trobe University.

Graduate Access Melbourne

If you are applying for a graduate degree and have experienced, or are experiencing disadvantage you may be eligible for Graduate Access Melbourne.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit our frequently asked questions page for more information on the Rural Pathway to the Doctor of Medicine.

Shepparton Accommodation

We offer a range of accommodation and student support packages in Shepparton.

Department of Rural Health

Our Department provides professional health education and research training in a rural context.

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