Cradle‐to‐grave regional programs featuring immersive community engaged education are needed to ensure a sustainable rural medical workforce
In this issue of the MJA, Seal and colleagues1 report a multi‐university investigation that found that extended rural clinical school (RCS) placements have a positive impact on rural workforce recruitment and the retention of both rural and metropolitan origin medical graduates. The authors examined the practice locations of medical graduates, as listed in the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) register, five and eight years after graduation; many doctors were probably still registrars in training locations five years after graduation. The authors considered a limited range of variables in their study, and did not adjust their analyses for registrars who had received bonded or other scholarships, nor for factors such as incentives to relocate and employment opportunities for partners. Nevertheless, there is merit in their conclusion that their “findings reinforce the importance of longitudinal rural and regional training pathways, and the role of RCSs, regional training hubs, and the rural generalist training program in coordinating these initiatives.”1
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