Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Hemphill, E and Kulik, C. T., Defining a Process for Segmenting the General Practitioner Market for Rural Practice Recruitment, Partnerships, Proof and Practice - International Nonprofit and Social Marketing Conference 2008, University of Wollongong, 15-16 July 2008.


General Practitioner (GP) to patient ratios fall below benchmarks, particularly in rural areas. A marketing solution to this significant social problem might be to develop recruitment strategies differentiating medical practices (brands) and targeting different segments of the GP market. This paper uses data gathered from practice managers, GPs, and recruitment advertisements to develop a taxonomy of attributes considered in GPs’ practice choice. The key contribution of this research comes from the possibilities for GP recruitment outcomes from refined implementation of branding principles that includes differentiation between practices with targeted recruitment advertisements instead of the current practice of including a mix of Job, Practice and Family attributes. Adopting the structure of these sets of attributes as a taxonomy offers a new opportunity to examine how these attributes contribute to GP practice selection decisions. This research prescribes a path forward for future research to now determine the relative and absolute value of attributes considered in general practice selection. As a new step towards solving the rural GP shortage this will then lead to development of strategic marketing for GP recruitment. This work is of national and international importance as substantial policy initiatives in government and academic directives have not yet solved this significant social problem. The output from this work is a research instrument designed for GP data collection as a basis for developing improved practice recruitment strategies.