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Research on the Health Workforce




Evaluation of Rural Medical Education Programs
B. Chan, R.W. Pong, J. Rourke, T. Crichton, J. Goertzen, W. McCready and K.C. Tilleczek*

The chronic and sometimes serious shortages of physicians in rural and remote communities in Canada have been a major challenge for policy-makers and health service administrators. Past efforts to recruit and retain rural physicians have focussed primarily on financial incentives. Only recently has increased attention been paid to the role of medical education targeted for rural practice.

This study examined the impact of family medicine residency programs on the practice locations of their graduates. In particular, it examined the effects of the nature of family medicine residency training on the likelihood that a physician will be in rural practice. The study was also interested in finding out the reasons for abandoning rural practice among those family physicians who had completed a rural training program but ultimately ended up working in an urban area. In addition to working with other members of the research team in analyzing a massive amount of secondary data, CRaNHR researchers were responsible for using qualitative research methods to study changes in practice location decisions.

(funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research)



(Names in bold denote CRaNHR investigators and research staff. Names with an * denote former CRaNHR investigators and research staff.)