Archive | Recruitment & Retention

A Student Perspective

Click the photo to download the PDF (9.1MB)

Emily Tait, a 4th year medical student at Dundee University, has published this e-book following a student module travelling around rural Scotland.

It deserves much wider publicity. Emily has managed to pick up on some really important themes that are relevant to remote and rural practice, and presented her observations in a very impressive book incorporating great photos and professional layout.

You can download a copy of this book using the PDF link below. It is hoped that it might even be developed into a web-based resource. Emily is to be congratulated for a fantastic effort and highly relevant piece of work that has been completed in the short space of a student module.

Read more for yourself…. (9.1MB)

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Poster: Rural GP Training

Developing a skillbase appropriate to the rural and community hospital setting is a hot topic, surrounded by issues of recruitment, retention and revalidation.    This poster from RRHEAL and NHS Education for Scotland looks at the components that are important to consider, and how they might be delivered in the context of a rural GP training programme.

Education and training needs vary depending on the situation of different rural hospitals, but a common theme was the skill set required to deal with unsorted emergency presentations within rural “No Bypass Units”.

You can download the poster by clicking below.

Click to download PDF poster.

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Dewar Project: next steps endorsed

Sir John Dewar
Author of the 1912 Dewar Report

Alex Neil, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, has indicated support for further work into the challenges of remote and rural practice.

Further information is available from the following news stories:

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Spotlight: Oklahoma rural recruitment

This video from YouTube explains a programme in Oklahoma, which has linked with the national ‘Future Farmers of America’ (FFA) organisation to open up opportunities for high school students to study medicine.

The collaboration between the University of Oklahoma Medical School and the FFA links into a state-wide project to provide specific skills in rural living (particularly in agriculture) to high school students.


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Recruit & Retain: an EU approach

If you haven’t already seen this video, be sure to spend the time to watch it.

Recruit & Retain is an EU initiative to understand and improve recruitment & retention of rural public sector workers – from firefighters to GPs.  NHS Western Isles is a major player in this collaboration between the northern EU countries (with lots of novel approaches evident from our Scandinavian colleagues) and close links to institutions such as the Northern Ontario Rural Medical School in Canada.

The video speaks for itself, the initiative also has a website at


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Featured Video: NZ Rural Practice

This video from Country99TV offers an in-depth look into the challenges of rural practice in New Zealand.

Uploaded in February, it offers a fresh, but realistic account of the attractions of rural medicine, and highlights some of the approaches taken to improve recruitment to these areas.

Kudos to the GPs involved in making this feature.  There is often some reluctance to engage with television companies, but this one presents the situation very effectively.


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Rural Mentoring Survey: Results

Many thanks to everyone who took part in the mentoring survey, which closed tonight after 2 weeks.  This was kindly hosted by RCGP.  Over fifty rural medical practitioners responded, with some useful and insightful results.

The raw data are presented below.  If you can’t see anything, you can also download a PDF file here.  Apologies that this is slightly clunky – and please note that comments are presented at the end of the PDF.  If you have a large screen, it may be worthwhile opening up two windows so you can follow the questions and free text answers at the same time.

Further analysis will be carried out to summarise the main conclusions.  It is hoped to present this on in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, I have made the following observations on what could be considered the ‘next steps’:

  • Development of a profiles page, giving details of rural GPs who are prepared to act as mentors for committed trainees. (With some time for thought about how this should be co-ordinated and supported).
  • Development of a scholarship scheme for medical student electives.
  • Play down the role of social media, and improve quality student/trainee access to good rural practice experience.

Discussion can take place via the various email groups, or post a comment below.


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24 hours in the life of a NZ GP

This article from 2009 was published in the Timaru Herald, about Dr Paula Hyde, a GP who works in Fairlie, New Zealand.

Dr Hyde of Fairlie Medical Centre, New Zealand

It gives a whistle-stop tour of some her typical duties, and some of the less typical ones.  Her practice presents dilemmas that are familiar to most rural GPs.  She describes the importance of involving students in rural practice, and derives enthusiasm for ongoing medical practice from the ideas that they bring.

It’s the callouts that stretch us. As rural doctors, we have to be ready to be on call at any given time.

Read the full article here.



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The R&R of R&R

Recruitment & retention… a big topic this week on the email groups, and a major topic for remote and rural healthcare since healthcare began.  Major difficulties are being noticed globally, hence the Australian, New Zealand, WHO, EU and local efforts to address the issue.

What do you think? has launched a survey to collate as many ideas as possible, and get a handle on whether provision of mentoring to enthusiastic young doctors who are interested in a rural career, would be feasible and effective as just one solution.

You can access the survey here.  It has a Scottish focus but we invite opinion from across the globe.  It should take a maximum of 10 minutes, and you have until Monday 5th November 2012 to complete the survey.  Entries are confidential and the final report will be published on



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NES Rural Fellowships now online

NHS Education for Scotland are now recruiting for the next round of GP Rural Fellowships – due to start in August this year.  Aimed at GPs who have recently finished training (including those who are expecting to complete training in August), they offer an excellent opportunity to combine experience in rural practice, with supported study leave for additional skills and professional development.

Full details are available from the NES website.

Photo: Creative Commons Licence: Colin Campbell
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