To the Editor: I applaud Leach and colleagues for their recent article examining lost opportunities with Australia’s health workforce.1 There are many lost opportunities in the area of rural health. National and international studies have documented that a health professional with rural origins is more likely to return to a rural area to work than a colleague who grew up in the city.2,3 My research over the past 4 years looks predominantly at primary school students and their parents, teachers and governesses who reside over 800 000 km2 of outback Australia and study by distance education. My research is mainly into primary school-aged students because it is generally agreed among career development theorists that students start to shape ideas about occupations long before they reach high school.4
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