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

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

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Abstract

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.

Item ID: 18391
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: medical students' perception, recruitment and retention of general practitioner, rural general practitioner, rural workforce issue
ISSN: 1440-1584
Funders: Australian Research Council, Central and Southern Queensland
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2011 05:28
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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