New Zealand’s vocational Rural Hospital Medicine training program: the first ten years
Blattner, Katharina; Miller, Rory; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Nixon, Garry; McHugh, Patrick; Pirini, Joel
Aims: The Rural Hospital Medicine Training Programme (RHMTP) was established in 2008 to develop NZ’s rural hospital medical workforce. This study evaluates the RHMTP’s first ten- year outcomes. Methods: A mixed-methods descriptive study. Database interrogation of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners records; University of Otago’s e-Vision; Medical Council of NZ register of doctors. A survey of trainees who had graduated or withdrawn. Survey questions included: current scope and place of employment; undergraduate rural experience; and trainee experiences. Results From 2009-2018, 98 doctors entered the RHMTP: 29 graduated, 20 withdrew and 49 are active registrars. Of the graduates, more than half (17/29) also completed GP training. Overall survey response rate: 80% (39/49), graduate response rate 97% (28/29). Of currently practicing graduates 92% (24/26) are working in rural NZ, most (22/24) in rural hospitals. Trainees value the RHMTP’s flexibility and breadth of clinical exposure. Main challenges relate to a lack of alignment of training requirements and funding. Conclusions. In its first decade the RHMTP has been successful in generating a rural hospital workforce and the programme is steadily growing. Attention to existing barriers is needed to ensure the RHMTP can reach its potential to benefit all of NZs rural communities.
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Keywords: Rural Medicine, Vocational training, Rural Hospital Medicine, Rural Health, Postgraduate training, Rural Hospitals, Rural health
Research Type: Journal Article