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Creating 'the rural pathway': Australia's University Departments of Rural Health and Rural Clinical Schools


Bell, EJ, Creating 'the rural pathway': Australia's University Departments of Rural Health and Rural Clinical Schools, International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, 4, (1) pp. 135-144. ISSN 1939-5965 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Abstract This paper aims to describe an Australian intervention—University Departments of Rural Health and Rural Clinical Schools—in ways that are helpful for lesson-drawing by rural medical educators and health workforce policy-makers in this and other countries. The method involved review of available scholarly and applied literature relevant to not only these two programs, but also rural medical education and, more generally, rural health education. The results suggests the importance of creating a rural pathway or integrated sequence of interventions made over time with the aim of supporting a particular individual to develop as a willing (motivated) and able (well trained) rural medical practitioner. The UDRHs and RCSs appear to have been successful in creating a ‘chronological sequence of interventions’ targeting particular groups at each of the different levels of school, undergraduate education, as well as postgraduate and continuing professional development. The paper concludes that the challenges that UDRHs and RCS face in developing and delivering these interventions have been considerable. However, it suggests that one future direction for the UDRHs and RCS could be developing existing interventions into integrated rural pathways. This would mean tailoring packages of interventions to suit particular individuals as part of a long-term ‘school to rural practice’ mentoring approach. The main contribution of this paper lies in helping re-conceptualise the key challenge of addressing rural health workforce shortages—creating willing and able practitioners—and the place of rural medical education in meeting that challenge

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rural clinical schools, rural health, rural pathway
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Health policy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Bell, EJ (Associate Professor Erica Bell)
ID Code:72743
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2011-08-31
Last Modified:2012-04-17
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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