MDS Rural Program | Meet Dr Rose Macdonald

Dr Rose Macdonald’s involvement with the Melbourne Dental School rural program began when she was a student doing rotations at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton where she currently works.

“I am currently the Acting Clinical Director at GVH and have been a clinical supervisor for over three years.”

Notably, many of the students Rose oversees in rural placements end up becoming graduate dentists and oral therapists in rural areas.

“I enjoy introducing students to the region and being able to potentially play a role in encouraging them to go on to practice in rural areas.”

“The most rewarding aspect of my role is getting to know all the students, seeing them grow and become more competent and independent throughout the year.”

One of the key features of the rural program is that students work and live closely with one another.

“The rural program is able to bring students more experience not only clinically but also in teamwork and cooperation as they work and live closely with one another.”

“This is especially true for dental and oral therapy students, who often do not have much interaction otherwise. Through this program, they gain a better insight into each other’s roles and work more collaboratively in the workplace.”

When asked about the major challenges faced by the rural program, Rose notes the lack of access to specialist care. The geographical location means that specialists are not readily available for opinions or referrals.

However, telehealth has been a major factor in overcoming that obstacle.

“Telehealth with the Oral Surgery Department has been a major advancement and has been highly beneficial in recent years. We hope to work with Dental Health Services Victoria to expand this further to other departments and further improve its accessibility for all clinics.”

Dr Rose Macdonald