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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