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Vocational training of general practitioners in rural locations is critical for the Australian rural medical workforce

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The known In efforts to reduce the longstanding geographically inequitable distribution of Australian GPs, current policy requires that 50% of GP vocational training (registrar) positions are located in rural or remote areas. 

The new We identified a strong association between rural training pathways and subsequent rural practice, and it is intensified by a rural origin effect. Despite some attenuation over time, these associations remained strong up to 5 years after vocational registration. 

The implications Ongoing support for rural GP vocational training opportunities and the selection of rural origin medical students are critical components of GP workforce policy. 

The geographically inequitable distribution of the Australian medical workforce continues, and rural and remote general practitioner positions are largely filled by international medical graduates (IMGs).1 This dependency persists despite substantial government efforts to stimulate recruitment and retention of Australian-trained GPs in rural areas. Recent government initiatives have included a large increase in the number of federally supported medical school places for students, and supporting medical education and training…