Our purpose...

To develop and maintain an integrated pipeline of medical education and training that provides a high quality, research focused, self-sustaining medical workforce responsive to the health needs of northern Australia.

Medical Education

  • Identify and promote new, relevant opportunities in medical education that benefit the network.
  • Develop and maintain ongoing medical education opportunities which interlink across disciplines and the training continuum.
  • Establish a culture across the network to prepare trainees for key career choices in each progressive stage of their professional development.

Medical Training

  • Network with key stakeholders in the development of collaborative models of training.
  • Align key collaborators in developing sustainable training rotations.
  • Strengthen the vulnerable points along the training pipeline where there is identified ‘leakage’ of the medical workforce from tropical northern Australia.
  • Establish sustainable funding models.
  • Promote and showcase northern Australian vocational training including Rural Generalist training.

Medical Research

  • Promote James Cook University as providing a research rich environment for health care professions across northern Australia.
  • Promote an active research culture within the Hospital Health Services of our region.


Our vision...

The NCTN’s vision is to reduce the maldistribution in the medical workforce in northern Australia. The health needs of rural, regional and remote populations are currently underserved. Our vision is to improve this through supporting and expanding medical training, education and research in northern Australia. Developing and growing an integrated pipeline of clinical education and training with infrastructure distributed across the north will increase the number of medical staff. This coordinated clinical training capacity would eventually spread across northern Queensland and link the private sector, community settings and the public hospital system.

And aspirations...

A seamless transition between medical undergraduate, junior doctor and early vocational training (through specialist training programs including general practice) and to remove barriers between stages of training, creating a critical mass of clinical teaching infrastructure and to support development of clinical research and scholarship in the north.
  • Expansion of the vocational training opportunities to include non-traditional training sites such as the private sectors, clinics and day surgeries, regional, rural and community health settings.
  • A medical training system that is tailored to the needs of the north which meets the need of the regional, rural and remote population within the specific tropic conditions and contexts.
  • A resurgence of generalism training to meet the health service needs of north Queensland.
  • Support of innovative and flexible models of teaching and supervision, particularly using information and communication technology to bridge geographic barriers and negotiation of new, funded training posts.
  • Authentic tropical medical research where research questions, investment, and priorities reflect the interests of northern communities, professionals and health care systems.