Vocational career paths of graduate entry medical students at Flinders University: A comparison of rural, remote and tertiary tracks

School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
The Medical journal of Australia (Impact Factor: 4.09). 03/2008; 188(3):177-8.
Source: PubMed


To provide data on the career trajectories of medical students from rural and remote workforce programs at Flinders University (the Parallel Rural Community Curriculum [PRCC] and the Northern Territory Clinical School [NTCS]), comparing them with students at the urban Flinders Medical Centre (FMC).
Retrospective postal survey of all 150 graduates who undertook their Year 3 study in the period 1998-2000.
Associations with career preference, assessed using univariate analyses and multivariate regression.
PRCC and NTCS graduates were more likely to choose rural career paths than graduates from FMC. The odds ratios were 19.1 (95% CI, 3.4-106.3; P < 0.001) and 4.3 (95% CI, 1.2-14.8; P = 0.026), respectively, after adjusting for age and rural background. There was no difference in the specialty choices of graduates of the three programs.
This study provides evidence that clinical attachments designed to increase the rural and remote medical workforce do fulfil this objective.

Download full-text


Available from: Michael P Lowe
  • Source
    • "These rural practice associations remained significant after adjustment for conscription/non-conscription and student entry scheme (rural/ non-rural). To date there have been a limited number of Australian studies that have addressed length of time at an RCS on workforce outcomes [7-9]. To the best of our knowledge previous Australian studies have not modelled time within an RCS beyond 2 years, on rural practice. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To understand the influence of the number of years spent at an Australian rural clinical school (RCS) on graduate current, preferred current and intended location for rural workforce practice. Retrospective online survey of medical graduates who spent 1-3 years of their undergraduate training in the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Rural Clinical School. Associations with factors (gender, rural versus non-rural entry, conscription versus non-conscript and number of years of RCS attendance) influencing current, preferred current and intended locations were assessed using X2 test. Factors that were considered significant at P 0.1 were entered into a logistic regression model for further analysis. 214 graduates responded to the online survey. Graduates with three years of previous RCS training were more likely to indicate rural areas as their preferred current work location, than their colleagues who spent one year at an RCS campus (OR = 3.0, 95% CI = 1.2-7.4, P = 0.015). Also RCS graduates that spent three years at an RCS were more likely to intend to take up rural medical practice after completion of training compared to the graduates with one year of rural placement (OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 1.8-14.2, P = 0.002). Non-rural medicine entry graduates who spent three years at rural campuses were more likely to take up rural practice compared to those who spent just one year at a rural campus (OR = 8.4, 95% CI = 2.1-33.5, P = 0.002). Increasing the length of time beyond a year at an Australian RCS campus for undergraduate medical students is associated with current work location, preferred current work location and intended work location in a rural area. Spending three years in a RCS significantly increases the likelihood of rural career intentions of non-rural students.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · BMC Medical Education
  • Source
    • "Students are drawn into their rural communities through formal and informal community engagement activities and develop bonding ties which support their well-being during their PRCC year and increase their desire to give back to the rural community in both short and long terms (Walters et al. 2011b). The PRCC program has had a strong positive impact on students' career intent and has converted many students to a rural training pathway (Worley et al. 2008; Stagg et al. 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Interest in longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) as an alternative to traditional block rotations is growing worldwide. Leaders in medical education and those who seek physician workforce development believe that "educational continuity" affords benefits to medical students and benefits for under-resourced settings. The model has been recognized as effective for advancing student learning of science and clinical practice, enhancing the development of students' professional role, and supporting workforce goals such as retaining students for primary care and rural and remote practice. Education leaders have created multiple models of LICs to address these and other educational and health system imperatives. This article compares three successful longitudinal integrated clinical education programs with attention to the case for change, the principles that underpin the educational design, the structure of the models, and outcome data from these educational redesign efforts. By translating principles of the learning sciences into educational redesign efforts, LICs address the call to improve medical student learning and potential and advance the systems in which they will work as doctors.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Medical Teacher
  • Source
    • "To date, most research into R&R recruitment and retention has been conducted in Australia, the United States and Canada (e.g., Cutchin et al. 1994; Williamson et al. 2003; James et al. 2005; Mayo & Mathews 2006; Worley et al. 2008; Jones et al. 2009; Worley & Murray 2011). Although the remote areas of Scotland and other UK regions are geographically less isolated than some of the remote communities in Australia and North America, they are similarly characterised by low population density and 29% of the Scottish population can be considered to be rural. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Research exploring the experiences of trainee doctors in remote and rural locations is scarce. Our aim was to gain an understanding of the experiences and perceptions of Foundation Programme (FP) doctors training in placements in remote and rural areas of the north of Scotland. FP doctors training in remote and rural areas in Scotland took part in a qualitative study (focus groups and individual interviews) exploring their training experiences and career plans. To make sense of a potential multitude of factors, we selected social cognitive careers theory (SCCT) to underpin data collection and analysis. A total of 20 trainees participated. Using data-driven analysis, three themes relevant to the SCCT emerged. These are the educational experience (e.g., opportunities to develop skills, greater responsibility), geographical isolation factors (e.g., the impact of staff shortages, poor accommodation, travel) and personal factors (e.g., social isolation, attitudes towards the experience). Many factors impact on trainees' experience of learning and living in remote and rural medicine (R&R) environments. These experiences can be very positive for some individuals but factors external to the educational environment influence the perception of the overall experience. SCCT helps clarify the interaction between individual and contextual factors in career decision making.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Medical Teacher
Show more