Getting the balance right? GPs who chose to stay in rural practice

Hays, Richard, Wynd, Shona, Veitch, Craig, and Crossland, Lisa (2003) Getting the balance right? GPs who chose to stay in rural practice. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 11 (4). pp. 193-198.

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Background: Despite major challenges to the retention of rural GPs in Australia, little is known about why some rural GPs stay long-term within their communities.

Method: A group of rural GPs interviewed as part of another study about 10 years ago were re-interviewed to explore their attitudes to their reasons for staying.

Results: Eighteen of the original group of 23 could be contacted and 13 were interviewed. Factors that appeared to promote staying in rural practice were: strong attachment to the community; and practice arrangements that allow for adequate time off-call and for holidays. However, several GPs were stressed and some had considered leaving. The stressors were similar to those identified in earlier research, including overwork and having to send children to boarding school.

Conclusion: Personal and professional support arrangements within the community appear to be associated with decisions by rural GPs to remain in practice for substantial periods of time. Retention strategies should focus on facilitation of local integration.

Item ID: 27949
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: retention, rural practice, workforce
Funders: General Practice Evaluation Program
Projects and Grants: GPEP 847
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2013 22:55
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 100%
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