Impact of clinical placement sites on general practice as a career preference for Australian medical students

Publication Name

Australian Journal of Rural Health


Objective: This study investigates whether General Practice placement experience or locations (urban/metropolitan vs non-metropolitan) promote student interest in pursuing general practice. Design: SurveyMonkey was used in the design of the survey. Setting: The study was conducted online. Participants: A total of 520 and 705 clinical-year students were surveyed in 2009 and 2019, respectively. The study was conducted online, using SurveyMonkey, and the participants were mostly non-indigenous Australian medical students, between the ages of 18 and 30. Interventions: Students were recruited from the General Practice Students' Network membership database to complete the survey online. Chi-squared testing, Pearson's correlation and a multivariate logistic regression analysis were used to investigate the correlation between general practice placements and intention to become a general practice. Main outcome measures: The association and causation between general practice placement location, student experience and students' intended career outcomes. Results: In 2009, majority of students rated their general practice experience ‘mostly positive’ while most metropolitan participants and majority of non-metropolitan placement participants in the 2019 survey responded with ‘mostly positive’ in 2019. Based on 2009 and 2019 data, general practice placement location had no association with the likelihood of pursuing general practice as a career, while student experience had a stronger positive correlation with the likelihood of pursuing general practice as a career. Conclusion: Our study shows that students' overall experience with their general practice placements significantly encourages medical students to pursue the general practice pathway. As such, increasing both metropolitan and non-metropolitan placement experiences can potentially overcome general practice shortage.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Funding Sponsor

University of Wollongong



Link to publisher version (DOI)