Report: Recruitment and Retention of Rural Physicians

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  • Rural and remote communities comprise around32% and 22% of Australia’s and Canada’s population. However, only 14% and 16% of family physicians in Australia and Canada, respectively, practice in these communities, resulting in a disproportion in access as compared with urban areas. An erosion of health services occurs when the number of physicians and other health care providers in a region is insufficient or these professionals are non-existent. Even when existing in a rural and remote region, providers are often overburdened. Inaccessibility to services in rural and remote communities’ results in poor health outcomes for all involved.

    In Canada, 1 in 7 physicians will leave rural practice within two years. Strategies to address these turnover rates and the lessening interest in entering rural practice have focused on supporting recruitment and retention initiatives (RnR) to first bring physicians into rural practice and then encourage physicians to continue in rural practice beyond the short-term.

    These programs have so far been insufficient or ineffective to address the lack of physicians in rural and remote areas. A review of recent literature related to RnR initiatives focused on rural physicians in Australia and Canada was conducted to investigate the strengths and limitations of initiatives. Further, this review critically examines the short and long-term feasibility of initiatives and develops a conceptual framework for designing or examining RnR initiatives.

  • Sendanyoye, Claudia, Sebastian, Steven, Petrie, Sam, Carson, Dean, & Peters, P. (2019, July 12). Report: Recruitment and Retention of Rural Physicians. Spatial Determinants of Health Lab, Carleton University. doi:10.22215/sdhlab/2019.1
Date Created
  • 2019-07-12


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