Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Home on the range. approaches to rural medicine exposure in medical education.pdf (180.05 kB)

Home on the range: approaches to rural medicine exposure in medical education

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-04, 13:54 authored by Jennifer Engler

The imperative of providing equitable healthcare access to geographically dispersed populations is particularly pronounced in Canada, Australia, and Ireland, with their significant rural landscapes. This review illustrates the three different approaches of these countries to rural healthcare training, focusing on medical student exposure to rural practice as a key determinant in retaining physicians in rural areas. In Canada, socially accountable medical schools, exemplified by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, have demonstrated success by cultivating a commitment to rural service among graduates. Australia’s Bonded Medical Program, though effective in attracting physicians to underserved regions, faces criticisms related to flexibility and long-term retention. Ireland, uniquely positioned with a surplus of medical graduates but a shortage of rural physicians, grapples with the departure of international students post graduation. A continuous evaluation and refinement of strategies is required to ensure the long-term retention of physicians in rural communities, beginning early in medical education.



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Published Citation

Engler J. Home on the range: approaches to rural medicine exposure in medical education. RCSIsmj. 2024;17(1):65-70

Publication Date



  • Undergraduate Research


RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences


  • Published Version (Version of Record)