Published by GPEx on August 20, 2019

More applicants to General Practice

Our latest research partnership

As part of GPEx’s multi-faceted approach to addressing the downturn in application numbers for GP training, particularly those for the rural pathway, the GPEx Research Team, in conjunction with The University of Adelaide, are conducting the Medical Specialty Decision Making (MSDM) Research Project. This important research project is funded by SA Health and aims to understand the perceptions of general practice, particularly rural general practice, in comparison to other specialities. The factors that influence career decision making for medical students, junior doctor and specialists in training will also be explored.

This will be achieved through analysis of the personal, educational and contextual factors that are likely to impact on medical specialty career decision making. Focus groups will also be conducted with: final year medical students at Flinders University and the University of Adelaide, Prevocational trainee medical officers and vocational trainee medical officers from South Australian teaching local health networks, and general practice training registrars at GPEx. Final year medical students at Flinders University and the University of Adelaide will also be asked to undertake a survey exploring views on general practice, with a focus on rural general practice. The survey will also focus on factors that could change perceptions, as well as personal and training characteristics associated with likely speciality careers.

Stakeholder engagement is being secured at all stages of the training pipeline with representation from Flinders University, The University of Adelaide, South Australian teaching hospitals and vocational training programs, medical organisations such as the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and Government departments such as SA Health.

Research findings will inform the Rural Health Workforce Strategy, which aims to ensure the sustainability of country health services and to address the shortage of health practitioners with advanced skills in regional areas, by providing a better understanding of the factors that influence medical students and medical professionals in South Australia. Findings will also inform GPEx’s strategy to attract an increased number of applicants to rural and general practice training within South Australia.

The MSDM project team will be updating our stakeholders at key points during this research project.

If you would like more detail on this important initiative please contact Michelle Pitot, MSDM Project Manager