How can we encourage more doctors to practice in rural and remote places?


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Support for doctors to practice rural is complex and should be part of a multifaceted strategy to provide more health care in the jungle, according to the authors of a supplement and supplementary editorial published by the Australian Medical Journal today.

Building a Sustainable Rural Workforce is a four-chapter supplement focused on physicians working in cities and regional towns and providing services and services to smaller communities.

The first chapter: “Characterizing the Workforce of Rural Specialist Physicians in Australia: The Professional Profile and Professional Satisfaction of Young Doctors and Consultants” – by Associate Professor Matthew McGrail, Head of the Regional Research Training Center at University of Queensland Rural Clinical School, and its colleagues, report that physicians who choose to remain rural have rates of job satisfaction similar to those of their urban counterparts.

The second chapter – “General Practitioners and Pediatricians in Rural Australia: The Social Construction of Professional Identity” – by Associate Professor Peter Hill, University of Queensland School of Public Health, and colleagues , describes the “detrimental effects of rigid accreditation processes and the role of a widespread culture of undermining rural practice and generalism, rather than valuing them within university structures and by “service entrepreneurs”.

The third chapter, “Sustainable Rural Physician Training: Leadership in a Fragile Environment,” by Associate Professor Linda Selvey of the University of Queensland School of Public Health, and colleagues, discusses the importance of the fundamental role of leadership in showing and advocating positive rural practice results.

The fourth chapter: “Principles to guide training and professional support for a sustainable rural specialist workforce “: by Dr. Remo Ostini, senior research researcher at UQ Rural Clinical School and colleagues, outlines eight fundamental principles that should be used to guide policies.

In an editorial accompanying the MJA itself, Professor Jennifer May, director of the Department of Rural Health at the University of Newcastle, and Professor Anthony Scott, a member of the Melbourne Institute professor, wrote that the realities of “Professional isolation and poor network support” were common topics throughout the supplement.

“There are no clear short-term policy solutions and long-term solutions are based on fundamental changes in the way doctors are recruited, trained and supported, which require a high level of coordination among the many actors involved in medical training.” , said May and Scott wrote.

“The doubling of medical graduates in the early 2000s has not solved the poor rural distribution of the medical workforce.

“Physicians, like family physicians, work alongside other health professionals and providers who should be more integrated into rural care models,” they wrote.

“Ensure that rural patients who need it receive an adequate range of it will require a range of comprehensive solutions and innovations based on a clear understanding of the needs of the population and a more efficient distribution of human and other resources, ”May and Scott concluded.

“Rural doctors are important travelers on this road ahead and, with support and a clear path, many more will reach their destination.”

Australian rural doctors speak to boost regional health services

More information:
Remo Ostini et al, Building a Sustainable Rural Physician Staff, Australian Medical Journal (2021). DOI: 10.5694 / mja2.51122

Provided by Medical Journal of Australia

Citation: How can we encourage more doctors to practice in rural and remote places? (2021, July 5), retrieved July 5, 2021 at

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