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Medical students need a connected pathway for a rural career

September 2019


Final year students at medical schools across Australia continue to express their interest in rural practice, with this year’s Medical Schools Outcomes Database (MSOD) Report showing close to 36% have a preference for a future career working outside of a capital city.  This mirrors last year’s data and reflects the ongoing work of medical schools to seek out, foster and develop students’ interest in a rural career.

The MSOD is an in-depth survey that has been run by Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand each year since 2005, which now has data from over 34,000 students on a range of areas including their background, experiences during medical school, and career interests and intentions.

“The continuing interest in a career outside a capital city from over a third of our students provides a solid basis for policies that leverage this early preference and enable these young doctors to pursue a rewarding and exciting career as a rural doctor – whether that be as a GP, general surgeon, psychiatrist, paediatrician or obstetrician/gynaecologist,” said President of Medical Deans, Professor Ian Symonds.

“Addressing the shortage of doctors – and indeed nurses, allied health, pharmacists and dentists – in rural and regional areas is a key issue that Australia has been grappling with for many years.  It is complex and needs a multi-faceted and long-term approach, but there are things that can and need to be done now. Primarily amongst these is the need for policies that connect across and support the whole training pipeline, rather than look at one stage alone. These disconnected policies only add to the bottlenecks,” said Professor Symonds.

The media release can be accessed here


Previous news


Review of the guideline statement ‘Inherent Requirements for studying medicine in Australia and New Zealand’

August 2019

Working to grow our Indigenous medical workforce
March 2019

Medical Deans and supporting the Rural and Regional Workforce
January 2019

Supporting graduating Medical Students and their transition to Internship – University of Wollongong
December 2018

Mutually respectful and beneficial partnerships between Indigenous health services and medical schools – James Cook University
November 2018

Patient partnerships a key aspect of Social Accountability – Australian National University
October 2018

Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand – New CEO
February 2018

Medical Deans Congratulates Professor Paul Worley on his Appointment as National Rural Health Commissioner
October 2017

Open Letter of Thanks to Professor Justin Beilby
August 2014