Reasons why specialist doctors undertake rural outreach services

An Australian cross-sectional study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The purpose of the study is to explore the reasons why specialist doctors travel to provide regular rural outreach services, and whether reasons relate to (1) salaried or private fee-for-service practice and (2) providing rural outreach services in more remote locations. Methods: A national cross-sectional study of specialist doctors from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey in 2014 was implemented. Specialists providing rural outreach services self-reported on a 5-point scale their level of agreement with five reasons for participating. Chi-squared analysis tested association between agreement and variables of interest. Results: Of 567 specialists undertaking rural outreach services, reasons for participating include to grow the practice (54%), maintain a regional connection (26%), provide complex healthcare (18%), healthcare for disadvantaged people (12%) and support rural staff (6%). Salaried specialists more commonly participated to grow the practice compared with specialists in fee-for-service practice (68 vs 49%). This reason was also related to travelling further and providing outreach services in outer regional/remote locations. Private fee-for-service specialists more commonly undertook outreach services to provide complex healthcare (22 vs 14%). Conclusions: Specialist doctors undertake rural outreach services for a range of reasons, mainly to complement the growth and diversity of their main practice or maintain a regional connection. Structuring rural outreach around the specialist’s main practice is likely to support participation and improve service distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbers12960
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Resources for Health
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • specialist doctor
  • outreach
  • reasons
  • services
  • rural

Cite this

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title = "Reasons why specialist doctors undertake rural outreach services: An Australian cross-sectional study",
abstract = "Background: The purpose of the study is to explore the reasons why specialist doctors travel to provide regular rural outreach services, and whether reasons relate to (1) salaried or private fee-for-service practice and (2) providing rural outreach services in more remote locations. Methods: A national cross-sectional study of specialist doctors from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey in 2014 was implemented. Specialists providing rural outreach services self-reported on a 5-point scale their level of agreement with five reasons for participating. Chi-squared analysis tested association between agreement and variables of interest. Results: Of 567 specialists undertaking rural outreach services, reasons for participating include to grow the practice (54{\%}), maintain a regional connection (26{\%}), provide complex healthcare (18{\%}), healthcare for disadvantaged people (12{\%}) and support rural staff (6{\%}). Salaried specialists more commonly participated to grow the practice compared with specialists in fee-for-service practice (68 vs 49{\%}). This reason was also related to travelling further and providing outreach services in outer regional/remote locations. Private fee-for-service specialists more commonly undertook outreach services to provide complex healthcare (22 vs 14{\%}). Conclusions: Specialist doctors undertake rural outreach services for a range of reasons, mainly to complement the growth and diversity of their main practice or maintain a regional connection. Structuring rural outreach around the specialist’s main practice is likely to support participation and improve service distribution.",
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author = "O'Sullivan, {Belinda G.} and McGrail, {Matthew R.} and Stoelwinder, {Johannes U.}",
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volume = "15",
journal = "Human Resources for Health",
issn = "1478-4491",
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N2 - Background: The purpose of the study is to explore the reasons why specialist doctors travel to provide regular rural outreach services, and whether reasons relate to (1) salaried or private fee-for-service practice and (2) providing rural outreach services in more remote locations. Methods: A national cross-sectional study of specialist doctors from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey in 2014 was implemented. Specialists providing rural outreach services self-reported on a 5-point scale their level of agreement with five reasons for participating. Chi-squared analysis tested association between agreement and variables of interest. Results: Of 567 specialists undertaking rural outreach services, reasons for participating include to grow the practice (54%), maintain a regional connection (26%), provide complex healthcare (18%), healthcare for disadvantaged people (12%) and support rural staff (6%). Salaried specialists more commonly participated to grow the practice compared with specialists in fee-for-service practice (68 vs 49%). This reason was also related to travelling further and providing outreach services in outer regional/remote locations. Private fee-for-service specialists more commonly undertook outreach services to provide complex healthcare (22 vs 14%). Conclusions: Specialist doctors undertake rural outreach services for a range of reasons, mainly to complement the growth and diversity of their main practice or maintain a regional connection. Structuring rural outreach around the specialist’s main practice is likely to support participation and improve service distribution.

AB - Background: The purpose of the study is to explore the reasons why specialist doctors travel to provide regular rural outreach services, and whether reasons relate to (1) salaried or private fee-for-service practice and (2) providing rural outreach services in more remote locations. Methods: A national cross-sectional study of specialist doctors from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey in 2014 was implemented. Specialists providing rural outreach services self-reported on a 5-point scale their level of agreement with five reasons for participating. Chi-squared analysis tested association between agreement and variables of interest. Results: Of 567 specialists undertaking rural outreach services, reasons for participating include to grow the practice (54%), maintain a regional connection (26%), provide complex healthcare (18%), healthcare for disadvantaged people (12%) and support rural staff (6%). Salaried specialists more commonly participated to grow the practice compared with specialists in fee-for-service practice (68 vs 49%). This reason was also related to travelling further and providing outreach services in outer regional/remote locations. Private fee-for-service specialists more commonly undertook outreach services to provide complex healthcare (22 vs 14%). Conclusions: Specialist doctors undertake rural outreach services for a range of reasons, mainly to complement the growth and diversity of their main practice or maintain a regional connection. Structuring rural outreach around the specialist’s main practice is likely to support participation and improve service distribution.

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