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Lived experiences and insights into the advantages important to rural recruitment and retention of general practitioners


Terry, DR and Nguyen, HB and Schmitz, D and Baker, E, Lived experiences and insights into the advantages important to rural recruitment and retention of general practitioners, Rural and Remote Health, 18, (3) pp. 4561. ISSN 1445-6354 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.22605/RRH4561


Introduction: Despite existing studies in this field, community factors behind recruiting and retaining rural general practitioners (GPs) are not fully understood. To address this issue, the Community Apgar Questionnaire (CAQ) was developed to extend the understanding of communities’ assets and capabilities that impact GP recruitment and retention. However, more in-depth insights are vital to develop a comprehensive approach.

Methods: This mixed methods study was administered using face-to-face structured interviews with a total of 40 health service representatives. All interviews lasted 35–40 minutes and were audio-taped. Qualitative data were generated from the extended responses to the structured questions of the CAQ and later transcribed. Thematic analysis was conducted in relation to explanations, elaborations, and relevant strategic approaches to improving workforce retention.

Results: The qualitative findings illuminated the most important advantages of recruiting and retaining GPs were linked to medical support, hospital and community support, and economic factors, while the challenges were related to geographic factors. The underlying reasons for and nature of those advantages and challenges reinforce that health professionals’ decisions to stay or leave are complex and multifactorial.

Conclusion:The originality of the study rests on the administration of the CAQ accompanied by the opportunity for participants to provide extended responses, which gives critical insights into the complexities of rural recruitment and retention. As such, the results confirm the need for a flexible multifaceted response to improving rural GP workforce and informs decision-making in terms of addressing workforce issues within the scope of available resources and capacity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community Apgar, family physician, general practitioner, hospital, recruitment, retention, Australia, rural workforce
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Rural and remote health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Nguyen, HB (Dr Hoang Nguyen)
ID Code:150539
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2022-06-20
Last Modified:2022-06-23

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