A seven-year retrospective analysis of students entering medicine via a Rural Student Recruitment program in Western Australia

A. Emery, S. Hurley, J. Williams, Sue Pougnault, Annette Mercer, Marc Tennant

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Abstract

Objective: This research aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Rural Student Recruitment (RSR) program. This program was an initiative to address the low number of rural students enrolled in medicine at the University of Western Australia. RSR identifies students throughout rural and remote areas of Australia interested in pursuing a career in medicine. The program provides support to these students through the various stages of the selection process and subsequently through the course. Setting: Medical School, the University of Western Australia. Participants: Rural students enrolled in medicine at the University of Western Australia. Results: Of the 1591 participants in the RSR program, 11.6% have been successful in being offered a place. Participation was consistently higher for women, although men were proportionately more successful at gaining entry (14.5% versus 10.4%). It was found that the distribution of successful students in the RSR program generally reflects population density across rural Western Australia, with the majority of students coming from the South West, and the minority from the Pilbara and Kimberley. However, over the last three years (2006–2008) an increase in access from very remote regions was noted. This has been associated with a modification to the entry process that now includes a remoteness weighting for the secondary school attended. Conclusions: The conclusion from this analysis was that the RSR program in concert with refinements in entry criteria has been effective in increasing the number of medical students from a rural background.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316 - 320
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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