How does GP training impact rural and remote underserved communities? Exploring community and professional perceptions

Kanakis, Katerina, Young, Louise, Reeve, Carole, Hays, Richard, Sen Gupta, Tarun, and Malau-Aduli, Bunmi (2020) How does GP training impact rural and remote underserved communities? Exploring community and professional perceptions. BMC Health Services Research, 20 (1). 812.

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Background: Substantial government funding has been invested to support the training of General Practitioners (GPs) in Australia to serve rural communities. However, there is little data on the impact of this expanded training on smaller communities, particularly for smaller rural and more remote communities. Improved understanding of the impact of training on underserved communities will assist in addressing this gap and inform ongoing investment by governments and communities. Method: A purposive sample of GP supervisors, GP registrars, practice managers and health services staff, and community members (n = 40) from previously identified areas of workforce need in rural and remote North-West Queensland were recruited for this qualitative study. Participants had lived in their communities for periods ranging from a few months to 63 years (Median = 12 years). Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted to explore how establishing GP training placements impacts underserved communities from a health workforce, health outcomes, economic and social perspective. The data were then analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Participants reported they perceived GP training to improve communities' health services and health status (accessibility, continuity of care, GP workforce, health status, quality of health care and sustainable health care), some social factors (community connectedness and relationships), cultural factors (values and identity), financial factors (economy and employment) and education (rural pathway). Further, benefits to the registrars (breadth of training, community-specific knowledge, quality of training, and relationships with the community) were reported that also contributed to community development. Conclusion: GP training and supervision is possible in smaller and more remote underserved communities and is perceived positively. Training GP registrars in smaller, more remote communities, matches their training more closely with the comprehensive primary care services needed by these communities.

Item ID: 66742
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6963
Keywords: Family medicine, GP training, Impact, Remote, Rural, Socio-economic, Underserved communities
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Funders: Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2021 05:53
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390114 Vocational education and training curriculum and pedagogy @ 100%
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