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A study of rural upbringing and education on the intent of health professional students to work in rural settings

  • Trickett-Shockey A
  • Wilson C
  • Lander L
  • et al.
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To explore whether student rural upbringing, rural training were associated with their intent to practice in a rural health care setting after graduation in the disciplines of Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy at a large university Health Sciences Center in Appalachia. Graduating healthcare professional students were surveyed to determine student rural background and training competency as compared to location of intended practice after graduation (N= 145). Differences were identified using descriptive statistics within and between healthcare disciplines using Spearman's rank correlation and Kruskal-Wallis tests, Univariate, Chi-square and Pearson analyses for emergent themes or trends. Positive attitudes towards rural rotations and competency training were found. Twenty-one percent respondents graduated from high school in a rural setting (<2,500), while 4% reported their intent to practice in that setting. Conversely, 52% reported intent to practice in >50,000 population, while 12% grew up in this community size. Student attitudes towards learning rural competency are positive; however, this survey suggests rural upbringing and training may not be sufficient to encourage health care professionals to practice in rural settings. More investigation is needed to determine effective incentives, perceived advantages or disadvantages and deterrents to rural healthcare practice. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]




Trickett-Shockey, A. K., Wilson, C. S., Lander, L. R., Barretto, G. A., Szklarz, G. D., VanVoorhis, G. C., & Minardi, J. J. (2013). A study of rural upbringing and education on the intent of health professional students to work in rural settings. International Journal of Medical Education, 4, 18–25.

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