Rural experience for junior doctors: is it time to make it mandatory?

Rowe, Casey Jane, Campbell, Ian S. and Hargrave, Lynton Ashley (2014) Rural experience for junior doctors: is it time to make it mandatory?. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 22 2: 63-67. doi:10.1111/ajr.12082

Author Rowe, Casey Jane
Campbell, Ian S.
Hargrave, Lynton Ashley
Title Rural experience for junior doctors: is it time to make it mandatory?
Journal name Australian Journal of Rural Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-1584
Publication date 2014-04-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ajr.12082
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 2
Start page 63
End page 67
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To determine whether rural practice terms for junior doctors result in increased interest in rural practice and whether these terms improve learning experiences, clinical skills and insight into difficulties of rural practice.

Semistructured, self-administered survey with questions on respondent demographics, clinical experience during rural practice terms, post-rural experience and personal opinion.

South East Queensland.

Thirty junior doctors from three tertiary hospitals were approached. The response rate was 100%.

Main outcome measures
Exploration of junior doctors' rural term experience.

Two thirds (67%) of the respondents reported feeling uncomfortable with respect to clinical practice requirements during their rural terms. Half (47%) performed procedures they had only previously performed in simulation environments, and the majority (87%) relied on textbooks or other resources on a daily basis. Two thirds (67%) changed aspects of their usual clinical practice while practising in a rural setting, and 80% reported a change in attitude towards the hardships faced by rural practitioners. The majority of the respondents (87%) enjoyed their rural term, gaining confidence as a result of it, and more than half (53%) reported considering working in rural areas in the future.

The results of this survey suggest that junior doctors on rural rotations are required to perform at a clinical level higher than that required of them in metropolitan hospitals. While their clinical experience appears to result in a greater interest in future rural career possibilities for junior doctors, this survey highlights the requirement to improve support for junior doctors undertaking terms in rural areas.
Keyword Australia
Health service accessibility
Rural health service
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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