Health profession education in remote or geographically isolated settings: a scoping review

Reeve, Carole, Johnston, Karen, and Young, Louise (2020) Health profession education in remote or geographically isolated settings: a scoping review. Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development, 7.

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Remote health has been differentiated from rural health in Australia and defined as isolated, with poor service access and a relatively high proportion of Indigenous residents, necessitating different models of care. Educational strategies for remote health practice are often needs driven and the characteristics of remote health may be used to categorise remote health professional education. This scoping review aims to identify the purpose of health professional education for remote settings, the type of educational strategies implemented and the reported outcomes. A broad search of published literature available in online bibliographic databases was conducted. A total of 33 articles met the review inclusion criteria. A further 7 articles were identified for inclusion in the review through citation searches and the authors’ networks giving a total of 40 articles. Six primary themes were established based on the educational purpose: (1) cultural competency; (2) social accountability; (3) rural and remote skill development for the general workforce; (4) remote specialisation; (5) specialist skills required for a remote workforce; and (6) remote teaching. These themes also reflect the philosophical change over time recognising remote health as a separate discipline and its value as a distinctive and efficacious learning environment. The concept of education for remote practice is proposed to describe this unique leaning environment which encompasses critical pedagogy to develop a sense of agency and social accountability, embedding the delivery of primary health care through service learning and developing relationships in a context which is transformative.

Item ID: 65988
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2382-1205
Keywords: Curriculum; Rural health; Rural population; Teaching; Health professional education; Programme development; Teaching methods; Outcomes of education; Educational measurement; Remote area; Frontier
Copyright Information: Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Funders: Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
Projects and Grants: ACRRM Education Research Grant
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2021 00:09
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390305 Professional education and training @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200508 Rural and remote area health @ 50%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160302 Pedagogy @ 50%
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