Coping with increasing numbers of medical students in rural clinical schools: Options and opportunities

Diann S. Eley*, Louise Young, David Wilkinson, Alan B. Chater, Peter G. Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


• The critical shortage of the rural medical workforce in Australia continues. • There is pressure on medical schools to produce not only more doctors, but to supply them in geographical areas of need. • The latest policy to tackle these problems will increase medical student numbers while the supply of clinical teachers and patients for teaching remains static. • This challenges the traditional apprenticeship model for learning medicine. • Coupled with this is the requirement of medical schools to provide compulsory rural clinical placements for all students. • The success of rural clinical schools and University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH) is increasingly apparent, but they must find new strategies to maintain a quality clinical experience and exposure to rural lifestyle for all medical students. • The dilemma is providing this quality rural experience to all medical students in the immediate future. • We suggest approaches to meet this challenge at a policy, organisational, student and teaching level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-671
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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