Factors associated with medical students’ interest in remote and very remote practice in Australia: A national study

Dylan Raftery, Vivian Isaac, Lucie Walters

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    Abstract

    Objective
    To investigate the factors that are associated with medical student interest in remote and very remote practice in Australia.
    Design
    Aggregated data of an annual cross‐sectional survey from 2013 to 2017.
    Setting
    Australia.
    Participants
    Medical students from 17 medical schools, at the point of finishing one year of clinical training in a rural or remote location in Australia.
    Main outcome measures
    Intention for working in a remote or very remote location as a doctor.
    Results
    Responses were analysed from 3328 medical students. From this cohort, 37.6%, 54.0% and 7.0% of students reported future career intent in capital or major cities; regional Australia; and remote or very remote Australia respectively. Multivariable analysis indicated students interested in remote and very remote practice compared to those interested in regional practice were more likely to be from a rural background, have prior generalist intentions, felt as though their rural clinical school (RCS) experience increased interest in remote and very remote practice, and had higher rural practice self‐efficacy. Odds ratios were larger for these factors when students interested in remote or very remote practice were compared with students interested in practicing in capital or major cities.
    Conclusions
    Rural background, prior generalist intentions, rural practice self‐efficacy and the overall influence of the RCS experience are associated with interest in remote and very remote practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-40
    Number of pages7
    JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    Early online date8 Feb 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Keywords

    • career intent
    • medical school
    • rural clinical school
    • rural health
    • rural workforce shortage

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