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Aust Health Rev. 2012 Aug;36(3):301-7. doi: 10.1071/AH11072.

Rural Undergraduate Support and Coordination, Rural Clinical School, and Rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarship: rural undergraduate initiatives and subsequent rural medical workforce.

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The Rural Clinical School of Western Australia, M501, The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.



This study examined postgraduate work after an undergraduate clinical year spent in the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia (RCSWA), compared with 6 weeks Rural Undergraduate Support and Coordination (RUSC)-funded rural experience in a 6-year undergraduate medical course. Rural background, sex and Rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS)-holding were taken into account. Methods. University of Western Australia undergraduate data were linked by hand with postgraduate placements to provide a comprehensive dataset on the rural exposure history of junior medical practitioners working in Western Australia between 2004 and 2007.


Participation in the RCSWA program was associated with significantly more postgraduate year one rural work than RUSC placement alone (OR=1.5, CI 0.97-2.38). The RCSWA workforce effect increased at postgraduate year two (OR=3.0, CI 1.6484 to 5.5935 relative to RUSC). Rural-origin practitioners who chose the RCSWA program were more likely than other rural-origin practitioners to take rural rotations in both postgraduate years. RAMUS holders' choice in relation to the RCSWA program predicted later rural work. There were no effects of sex.


Rural initiatives, in particular the Rural Clinical School program, are associated with postgraduate rural choices. The real impact of these data rely on the translation of early postgraduate choices into long-term work commitments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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