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Retention of general practitioners in remote areas of Canada and Australia: A meta-aggregation of qualitative research


Wieland, L and Ayton, J and Abernethy, G, Retention of general practitioners in remote areas of Canada and Australia: A meta-aggregation of qualitative research, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 29, (5) pp. 656-669. ISSN 1038-5282 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2021 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajr.12762


Objective: Our aim was to systematically review qualitative evidence regarding the experiences and perceptions of General Practitioners and the factors influencing retention in remote areas of Canada and Australia. The objectives were to identify gaps and inform policy to improve retention of remote doctors, which should in turn reduce health inequalities for remote communities.

Design: Meta-aggregation of qualitative studies of General Practitioners and general practice registrars who had worked in a remote area of Australia or Canada for a minimum of 1 year and/or were intending to stay remote long term in their current placement.

Results: Six synthesised findings were identified: peer and professional support, organisational support, uniqueness of remote lifestyle and work, burnout and time off, personal family issues and cultural and gender issues.

Conclusions: Long-term retention of doctors in remote areas of Australia and Canada is influenced by a range of negative and positive perceptions, and experiences with key factors being professional, organisational and personal. All 6 synthesised findings span a spectrum of policy domains and service responsibilities, and therefore, a central coordinating body could be well placed to implement a multifactorial retention strategy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:systematically review medicine, rural, remote, family, qualitative
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Family care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ayton, J (Dr Jennifer Ayton)
ID Code:146599
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2021-09-15
Last Modified:2021-10-29

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