Cameron Toogood has been announced as the 2019/2020 recipient of the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship by Sue Farry on behalf of the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust’s trustees.

The scholarship is worth $5,000 and will assist Cameron with costs associated with undertaking trainee intern electives in innovative and challenging overseas situations next year. Cameron will be travelling to Colombo, Sri Lanka and Darwin, Australia.

Cameron is training in Palmerston North following a year of rural immersion in Dannevirke, though his family is based in nearby Ōtaki. He is passionate about equitable access to healthcare in rural settings, reducing barriers to mental healthcare services, and adaptation to reduce the effects of climate change on health.

Cameron Toogood

“The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust’s vision is for our work and the experiences that these medical students gain on their electives to ultimately contribute to the quality of rural health services in all regions of New Zealand,” said Mrs Farry.

“My primary goals are to learn about different strategies to overcome barriers in rural healthcare, develop my skills in limited resource environments, and explore the possibility of engaging collaborative international rural community projects in my career.” says Mr Toogood.

Cameron will be starting in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura where he will be assisting in both general surgery and parasitology. He will then move to Darwin, Australia to a placement at Royal Darwin Hospital where he will be based in the anaesthetics/perioperative unit.

While in Tararua, Cameron discovered an interest in rural medicine and overcoming barriers to access, transport, and health promotion. This prompted him to choose both Darwin and Colombo as two diverse locations that will allow him to study how local healthcare teams respond to such challenges, and what lessons can be brought back and applied to our contexts.

“By visiting areas that service rural communities whilst still being large enough to house theatres, I hope to learn how these triaging and outreach systems work overseas. I am currently organising weekend travel to rural clinics in both countries to be able to follow the patient flow from rural outposts to larger connected centres as I have done this year at Dannevirke and Palmerston North.”

Cameron has been part of the Rural Medical Immersion Programme (RMIP). The RMIP was developed by Dr. Farry in six rural locations around New Zealand and sees around 20 fifth year students a year to learn under the guidance and mentoring of experienced general practitioners, rural hospital generalists, and tertiary hospital specialists.

“RMIP has been a unique opportunity to better understand the world of rural health and improve my fundamental skills. It clearly plays an important role in ensuring healthcare access for our rural kiwis by supporting the training of tomorrow’s rural doctors, and will undoubtedly shape the future direction I go in.”

“Since 2011, 27 medical students have benefited from the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust’s scholarship programme. The latest scholarships will bring the total amount awarded by the Trust in scholarships and grants to $105,000,” said Mrs. Farry.

Earlier this year, 2018/2019 Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship recipients Annabel Merrett and Annelise Brown traveled to Italy and Guatemala. The pair have documented their past experiences via blog on the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust’s website and Facebook page.




Claire Dooney

Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust

Tel: 027 632 0821