Rural Clinical School programs keeping students in bush

The study, published in the MJA, compared the work locations of a cohort of University of Western Australia medical graduates who completed a year of the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia (RCSWA) program with graduates who had not taken up a rural placement. 

The graduates had completed their fifth year between 2002 and 2009, and graduated by 2010. This ensured graduates were in at least their third postgraduate year at the time of data collection last year. 

Participation in the program was strongly associated with a greater likelihood of working rurally, with 42 of 258 graduates or 16.3% from the RCSWA program going on to practise in a rural setting, compared to 36 of 759 or 4.7% from the control group. 

Women and older graduates who participated in the program were more likely to work rurally, while the combination of having a rural background and participating in the program was the strongest predictor for