Bonded Medical Students

Bonded Medical Students

The Bonded Medical Program was established in 2001 and is a critical component of the Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy to ensure that the Australian trained medical workforce is well-distributed, flexible and targeted to areas of most need.

The 'Program' provides students a commonwealth Supported Place at an Australian university in return for a commitment to work in eligible regional, rural and remote areas for a specified period once they have completed their medical degree, known as their Return of Service Obligation (RoSO).

Under this Program, there were two schemes: Bonded Medical Places (BMP) Scheme and Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship (MRBS) Scheme. These two schemes are now closed to new participants and a new program (the ‘Program’) is in place and anyone on the old program, providing they are not in breach of their current contract, can chose to opt in.

The new program aims to better support bonded participants to fulfill their return of service obligations by allowing a longer period of time to complete the RoSO.

Administration of the program has been simplified by moving from individual contract arrangements to a legislated program and an interactive web-based portal has been introduced to support bonded students and doctors to better understand and manage their bonded obligations.

Key points about the Bonded Medical Program

  • Current participants of bonded programs will be able to choose whether they move across to the new arrangements or not.
  • Participants who choose not to move to the new arrangements will keep their current contract arrangements.
  • The new RoSO is three years.
  • The option to complete 50% of the RoSO prior to fellowship and 50% post fellowship is also available.
  • Interactive web-based portal known as BRoSS has been introduced allowing students to manage their obligations.
  • Participants of the BMP scheme 2016-2019 who have a 12 month RoSO will keep this under the new arrangement.
  • Participants with a 12 month RoSO retain flexibility in how and where they complete their RoSO, but they must work full-time.
  • The participant can start and complete their RoSO at any time across the 18 year period provided under the Program.
  • Attaining fellowship is not compulsory.


This recording took place on 25 March 2020, hosted by Lauren Day (RWAV Future Workforce Program Officer) and Rural Health Clubs OUTLOOK (Melbourne University), WILDFIRE (Monash University) and NOMAD (Deakin University) to discuss the changes from the old to new scheme.

Bonded Medical Student Fact Sheet - learn about the Victorian Hubs. Read here.


Bonded Medical Program Student Information Booklet. Read here.


Bonded Medical Program Participation Information - for those in the workforce. Read here.