NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED506803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Pages: 198
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 450
Rural Medical Education: Review of the Literature
Curran, Vernon R.; Bornstein, Stephen; Jong, Michael; Fleet, Lisa
Online Submission
(Purpose) This report summarizes a synthesis of the literature related to the evidence, initiatives and approaches to rural/northern medical education, particularly its role in strengthening the medical workforce in rural areas. (Methodology) A literature review was conducted involving the literature databases MEDLINE (January 1990-March 2003), ERIC (January 1990-March 2003), and PsychInfo (January 1990-March 2003). The search also encompassed an online search for reports not included in these literature databases and additional articles by authors who were frequently identified in the database search and a review of bibliographies. (Results) A number of studies present evidence that students of rural origin are more likely to enter and stay in rural practice than their urban counterparts. Several studies also support the need for selective medical school admission policies that give preference to these students. Rural learning experiences appear to have a major role in exposing students to rural practice experiences, enhancing and even countering negative attitudes towards rural medicine. Opportunities for advanced procedural skills training in the areas of anesthesia, obstetrics, surgery, and emergency medicine are also believed to be important for ensuring rural physicians enter rural practice with the requisite competencies. A number of countries, governments and universities have introduced special financial initiatives in order to increase physician recruitment. These initiatives are normally available as scholarship, loan forgiveness and bursary programs available for students and residents who wish to pursue rural medical education and rural practice. (Conclusions) The factors influencing the recruitment and retention of physicians for rural practice is complex and multifactorial. There is a role for medical education to play in enhancing this recruitment and retention process. There is evidence that students of rural origin with an interest in primary care medicine who are exposed to continuous and systematic experiences in rural primary care settings are more likely to enter rural practice. Background characteristics, preferences and attitudes towards rural medicine and rural learning experiences appear to be primary areas in which the medical school may be able to have a clear impact on recruitment and retention efforts. (Recommendations) Medical education interventions that facilitate rural practice choice include: special admissions programs that select students based on characteristics predictive of rural, primary career choice; medical school curricular efforts such as rural-oriented medical curriculum and rural practice learning experiences; postgraduate rural residency tracks or streams; and advanced procedural skills training programs. (Additional data) (Contains 1 Appendix: Study Summaries.)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada