Developing a rural workforce through medical education: Lessons from down under

Diann Eley*, Louise Young, Peter Baker, David Wilkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Rural Clinical Schools in Australia are a government initiative to help address the rural workforce shortage at the medical school level. This article reports on the approaches and outcomes from one Rural Clinical School. Description: The program is underpinned by an 8-week rural rotation for all 3rd-year students and a yearlong program of core clinical rotations for 25% of the Year 3 cohort. Aspects of experiential, situated, service, and self-directed learning along with interprofessional study are integrated to provide unique rural-focused learning opportunities. Evaluation: Compared to their urban counterparts, rural students see more patients, perform a greater number of procedures, and achieve as well in exam results. Conclusions: Early indications suggest that our program is attracting more Year 3 students to explore the rural pathway as an option to a future career. The program demonstrates that rural students achieve as well as their urban counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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