Factors driving James Cook University Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery graduates' choice of internship location and beyond

Schauer, Anna, Woolley, Torres, and Sen Gupta, Tarun (2014) Factors driving James Cook University Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery graduates' choice of internship location and beyond. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22 (2). pp. 56-62.

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Objective: To identify the main reason James Cook University (JCU) Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery graduates chose their internship location and first four practice relocations.

Design & participants: This cross-sectional study invited 261 JCU medical graduates to participate in an email or telephone survey.

Main outcome measures: Graduates' main reason for choosing internship location and up to four subsequent relocations, post-graduate specialty training undertaken and practice location (either metropolitan or non-metropolitan) for graduates' internship year and current practice year (2012).

Results: Respondents (n = 175; response rate = 67%) reported personal factors as the primary driver for choosing their internship location, with 33% returning to 'near their family/home town', and 21% staying in the town they were based in Years 5 and 6. Professional reasons dominated for subsequent relocations, particularly 'long-term career ambitions'. Fifty-nine of the 175 (34%) JCU graduates had undertaken their internship in a metropolitan location (Australian Standard Geographical Classification Remoteness Area 1), while 80 (46%) currently (in 2012) practised in a metropolitan location. Internship location was not associated with later specialty training, but current metropolitan practice was associated with Surgical or Paediatrics training (P = 0.007 and P = 0.063, respectively), while current non-metropolitan practice was associated with General Practice and Rural Generalist training (P = 0.010 and P = 0.001, respectively).

Conclusions: Personal decisions take precedence over professional career decisions for why JCU medical graduates chose their internship location, but subsequent relocations are driven by career ambitions, usually around specialty training requirements. These findings support establishing more post-graduate training opportunities in non-metropolitan settings for Surgical and Paediatric specialties as a retention strategy for a rural medical career.

Item ID: 32412
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: medical graduate; movement; recruitment; rural; specialty training
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 01:58
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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