Overcoming the pull factor of convenient urban living: Perceptions of rural general practice placements

Jennifer Deaville, Andrew Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


Background: There are two drivers for encouraging undergraduate students to undertake rural general practice placements – first, the need to increase the number of clinical placements available and second, the importance of exposing medical students to rural health care as a career choice. This is the first study to explore the practicalities and challenges of rural general practice placements in the United Kingdom as experienced by students and professionals involved.

Aims: This study aimed to explore the barriers and opportunities to developing undergraduate medical education in rural Wales.

Methods: This study reports on qualitative data from two focus groups with Year 5 students (one group had been on urban placement, the other rural); and telephone interviews with professionals involved in delivering the placements.

Results: Five themes emerged from the analysis: the positive learning experience provided by General Practice irrespective of rural or urban location; strong pull factors to the university town; anxiety and expectation associated with a rural placement; accommodation whilst on placement; the extra cost associated with transport in rural areas.

Conclusions: It is important to address students’ concerns associated with the practicalities of going on a rural placement. Rural practice placements need to be raised earlier in the undergraduate curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e211-e217
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


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