Attracting healthcare professionals to remote and rural medicine

Learning from doctors in training in the north of Scotland

J. Cleland*, P. W. Johnston, L. Walker, G. Needham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Research exploring the experiences of trainee doctors in remote and rural locations is scarce. Our aim was to gain an understanding of the experiences and perceptions of Foundation Programme (FP) doctors training in placements in remote and rural areas of the north of Scotland. Methods: FP doctors training in remote and rural areas in Scotland took part in a qualitative study (focus groups and individual interviews) exploring their training experiences and career plans. To make sense of a potential multitude of factors, we selected social cognitive careers theory (SCCT) to underpin data collection and analysis. Results: A total of 20 trainees participated. Using data-driven analysis, three themes relevant to the SCCT emerged. These are the educational experience (e.g., opportunities to develop skills, greater responsibility), geographical isolation factors (e.g., the impact of staff shortages, poor accommodation, travel) and personal factors (e.g., social isolation, attitudes towards the experience). Conclusion: Many factors impact on trainees' experience of learning and living in remote and rural medicine (R&R) environments. These experiences can be very positive for some individuals but factors external to the educational environment influence the perception of the overall experience. SCCT helps clarify the interaction between individual and contextual factors in career decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e476-e482
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Teacher
Volume34
Issue number7
Early online dateJul 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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medicine
career
learning
experience
trainee
social isolation
rural area
data analysis
accommodation
shortage
travel
staff
decision making
responsibility
interaction
interview
Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Attracting healthcare professionals to remote and rural medicine : Learning from doctors in training in the north of Scotland. / Cleland, J.; Johnston, P. W.; Walker, L.; Needham, G.

In: Medical Teacher, Vol. 34, No. 7, 2012, p. e476-e482.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Research exploring the experiences of trainee doctors in remote and rural locations is scarce. Our aim was to gain an understanding of the experiences and perceptions of Foundation Programme (FP) doctors training in placements in remote and rural areas of the north of Scotland. Methods: FP doctors training in remote and rural areas in Scotland took part in a qualitative study (focus groups and individual interviews) exploring their training experiences and career plans. To make sense of a potential multitude of factors, we selected social cognitive careers theory (SCCT) to underpin data collection and analysis. Results: A total of 20 trainees participated. Using data-driven analysis, three themes relevant to the SCCT emerged. These are the educational experience (e.g., opportunities to develop skills, greater responsibility), geographical isolation factors (e.g., the impact of staff shortages, poor accommodation, travel) and personal factors (e.g., social isolation, attitudes towards the experience). Conclusion: Many factors impact on trainees' experience of learning and living in remote and rural medicine (R&R) environments. These experiences can be very positive for some individuals but factors external to the educational environment influence the perception of the overall experience. SCCT helps clarify the interaction between individual and contextual factors in career decision making.",
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note = "Acknowledgements Our thanks to Mari Todd, Fiona French and Judy Wakeling, NES, for their help with data collection. Our thanks also to Dr Murray Lough, NES, for supporting this research, and to the doctors in training who took part in the study. This work was funded by a grant from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Subject Centre for Medical, Dental and Veterinary Medicine (MEDEV).",
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