Medical students and rural general practitioners: congruent views on reality of recruitment into rural medicine

Eley, Diann and Young, Louise and Shrapnel, Marilyn and Wilkinson, David and Baker, Peter and Hegney, Desley (2007) Medical students and rural general practitioners: congruent views on reality of recruitment into rural medicine. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 15 (1). pp. 12-20. ISSN 1038-5282


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Objective: In-depth exploration of the perceptions, experiences and expectations of current long-term rural GPs and medical students intent on a rural career, regarding the current and future state of rural medicine.

Design: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews.

Setting: Rural and remote towns in Central and Southern Queensland and the School of Medicine, University of Queensland.

Participants: Thirteen rural GPs with 10–40 years experience. Medical students (five second- and seven third-year), all of whom are members of a rural students' club and have an intention to pursue rural practice. Interviews were conducted between August and December 2004.

Main outcome measures: Emergent themes relating to participant perceptions of the current and future state of rural medicine.

Results: Despite large differences in generation and experience, medical students and rural GPs hold similar perceptions and expectations regarding the current and future state of rural practice. In particular, they cite a lack of professional support at the systems level. This includes specific support for: continuing medical education to obtain and retain the skills necessary for rural practice; dealing with the higher risks associated with procedural work; and consequences of medico-legal issues and workforce shortage issues such as long hours and availability of locums.

Conclusions: Issues relating to recruitment and retention of the rural health workforce are identified by both cohorts as relating to professional support. Medical schools and institutional support systems need to join forces and work together to make rural practice a viable career in medicine.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version unavilable in electronic format. Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:15
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: medical students perception, recruitment and retention of general practitioner, rural general practitioner, rural workforce issue
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160508 Health Policy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy

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