Exploring the Factors Influencing Medical Student Engagement with Rural Clinical Placement Opportunities
Recruiting and retaining professionals such as doctors, allied health professionals, and teachers to rural communities has been a significant issue in Australia for decades. Research has established that a successful rural clinical placement, delivered in a rural setting, can significantly influence a graduate's work location choices. However, less is known about the factors that support or discourage a student's engagement with rural clinical placement opportunities. This research project used semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis to understand the factors experienced by Curtin Medical School's first cohort as they engaged with the opportunity to undertake a rural clinical placement. The project identified several motivators and barriers which enable the Medical School to modify and adapt processes for future students. The problematic barriers specific to undergraduate students are identified and warrant an appropriate plan for managing those obstacles. This research will form part of a broader longitudinal tracking of the Curtin University medical graduates to determine if the Curtin Medical School meets its stated objective to increase the number of graduates working in rural locations.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Keith McNaught, Colette Rhoding
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