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Medical graduates becoming rural doctors: rural background versus extended rural placement

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To encourage the development of a sustainable rural medical workforce, the Australian Government provides incentives for Australian medical schools to recruit students with a rural background and funds rural clinical schools to allow rural exposure via extended placements to students of all backgrounds.

Both recruitment of rural students and uptake of extended rural placements (ERPs) have been shown to be associated with choosing a rural career.14 We aimed to compare the apparent association of these two factors on students’ expressed intentions to undertake rural internships and their acceptance of rural internships after finishing medical school.

The Medical Schools Outcomes Database (MSOD) and Longitudinal Tracking Project was established by the Deans of Australian and New Zealand medical schools in 2005.56 For the MSOD, all Australian and New Zealand medical students are asked to complete a commencing medical students questionnaire on entry and an exit questionnaire on leaving their university courses. Among other things, the questionnaires cover career aspirations, including the types of setting in which students aspire to practise. The…