RAMUS – A scholarship scheme that you may be overlooking

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The Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate Scholarship Scheme (RAMUS) is a unique scholarship designed to compensate for some of the expenses borne by medical students from rural or remote regions in Australia.

The RAMUS scheme – established in 2000 – is administered by the National Rural Health Alliance on behalf of the Department of Health, and funded by the Australian Government. There are about 130 scholarships available every year, which are awarded on the basis of financial need, the extent of the applicant’s background in Australia’s rural or remote areas, and the applicant’s commitment to working in Australia’s rural and remote regions in the future. Since its launch, more than 2,200 scholarships have been awarded to rural medical students.

Reasons behind the RAMUS launch

Lack of funds is one of the most common reasons why many rural students do not pursue careers in medicine. This, combined with the long-ongoing shortage of qualified doctors in Australia’s remote and rural regions, were the two primary factors that spurred the launch of the RAMUS Scheme.

The scholarship scheme offers financial assistance to selected students with a rural background who wish to study medicine at university. The idea is to encourage these students to then go back and start their practice within their own communities.

How the scholarship works

There is one application round every year; opening in November. All applicants are ranked according to three criteria:

  • Their background in rural or remote areas of Australia
  • Demonstrated need of financial assistance
  • Commitment to working in rural Australia after graduating from medical school

So the success of our application will depend on how you compare with other applicants concerning the above three factors.

If your application is successful, you will receive a scholarship of up to $10,000, which is deposited once a year every year while completing a standard medical degree at your chosen university. It is an un-bonded scholarship, which means you don’t have to worry about the stipulations that generally apply to bonded scholarships.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are a few schools that are not a part of this programme. Take time to check that your preferred universities do accept students who are receiving financial assistance from this scheme. If not, you will have to decide which takes precedence – the scholarship or your choice of university.

As a RAMUS scholarship holder, you’ll have several opportunities to gain experience in rural medical practice while you are in medical school. All medical schools that are a part of the RAMUS programme arrange mentorship programmes that pair students with experienced doctors in rural areas.

If you are from one of the rural or remote areas in Australia and are committed to serving your community as a doctor, the RAMUS scholarship can help make your medical dreams come true. Visit their website to find out more.

 

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