‘It’s so rich, you know, what they could be experiencing’: rural places for general practitioner learning

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Globally there is an urban/rural divide in relation to health and healthcare access. A key strategy for addressing general practitioner shortages in rural areas is GP vocational training in rural places, as this may aid in developing practitioners’ scope, values and community orientation, and increase propensity for rural practice. This creates a need for deeper understanding of the nature and quality of this training. Rural GPs are well-positioned to reflect on vocational learning in ‘place’. We aimed to explore rural GPs’ perceptions and experiences of GP vocational learning in relation to rural places. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 GPs based in smaller rural communities in Tasmania. Inductive and theoretical thematic analysis was undertaken. Rural places provide learning opportunities for GP registrars, which shape the relationships between GPs and registrars and their communities. Rural GPs are committed to developing the next generation and improving access to primary care for their communities. Rural places provide unique learning environments for general practice, including rich learning, relationships and community commitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-91
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Australia
  • community
  • general practice
  • place
  • registrars
  • rural

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