Selected demographic, social and work characteristics of the Australian general medical practitioner workforce: comparing capital cities with regional areas.

D. Wilkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to compare selected characteristics of the Australian general medical practitioner workforce in capital cities and regional areas. Data were derived from the 1996 Census of Population and Housing. Characteristics included age, sex, full- or part-time work, place of birth and change in residential address. Analyses were performed for each state and territory in Australia, the statistical division containing each capital city and all other statistical divisions in each state and territory. Of the 26,359 general medical practitioners identified, 68% were male. More female than male general medical practitioners were aged < 45 years (74 vs 52%, respectively; P < 0.0001). The proportion of general medical practitioners aged < 35 years was higher in capital cities (30%) than regional areas (24%; P < 0.0001). Overall, 32% of the general medical practitioner workforce was female and almost 50% of those aged < 35 years were female. The proportion of female general medical practitioners was higher in capital cities than regional areas, by up to 30%. While 13% of male general medical practitioners reported part-time work, 42% of females also reported part-time work and these figures were similar in capital cities and regional areas. Approximately 40% of the Australian general medical practitioner workforce was born outside Australia and while fewer migrants have entered in recent years they were more likely to be living in regional areas than the capitals. The census provides useful medical workforce data. The regional workforce tends to be made up of more males and is older than in capital cities. Monitoring trends in these characteristics could help to evaluate initiatives aimed at addressing regional workforce issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes

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