Non clinical rural and remote competencies: can they be defined?

This paper aims to explore what non clinical rural and remote competencies are and how they have been described in different contexts. The findings are based on searches for publicly available national (and any international) curriculum statements of rural and remote practice published by agencies relevant to rural and remote medical practice, both government and non government, across the globe. The national statements of non clinical rural and remote competencies considered in this paper suggest that these competencies can be wide-ranging. They include specific kinds of content knowledge, high level problem-solving in specific contexts, skills in managing professional identity and ethical selfawareness, as well as teamwork skills and public health management skills. The paper concludes that there is insufficient evidence to specify how different non clinical rural and remote competencies are from non clinical competencies per se. However, the models examined suggest that, far from being undefinable, non clinical rural and remote competencies can be complex and multi-faceted, reflecting the demands of rural and remote contexts. The well developed models of these competencies that exist and the strong interest in many countries in producing them, suggest their importance for not only better preparation of rural and remote practitioners, but also well-rounded medical professionals generally.