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Table 8 Typology category 5: studies that identify rural practitioners and investigate an association with rural medical education

From: A scoping review of the association between rural medical education and rural practice location

Author and location Sample and method Major findings Discussion points/limitations
Pathman et al. [71] USA n = 456. Two postal surveys of primary care physicians who had moved to rural practices 1991 and 1996–1997. Considered where and when attended medical school and number of months in rural as a medical student. 456 responded to both surveys (69%). More than half of those working rurally had participated in rural rotations as students. Included only those who were working in rural areas.
Rourke et al. [70] Canada 507 rural family practitioners in Ontario Medical Association, compared with 505 randomly selected from practising in places with population >50 000. Postal survey. Response of 484 (47.8%); 264 rural, 179 urban. Rural were 1.8× more likely to have spent ≥8 weeks in a rural setting during undergraduate medical training compared with urban.  
Rosenblatt et al. [72] USA 1 991 practice locations of USA medical graduates 1976–1985. Practice location determined using American Medical Association masterfile, includes year and place of medical school and current practice location. 12.6% were practising in rural areas. Much variation between medical schools: University of North Dakota highest (41.2%). 12 medical schools produced over 25% of graduates working rurally. Strongest association was between % of graduates working rurally and rurality of state where medical school is located. Study focused on all medical graduates and then clustered programmes by rural state. No specific focus on location of education within the states.
Rolfe et al. [73] Australia: University of Newcastle Medical School n = 217. Linked graduate data from a survey with Faculty of Medicine admissions database. Cross-sectional survey of University of Newcastle medical graduates. 226 (68.3%) response. After exclusions 162/217 (75%). 22% of post-interns working in rural. Those who chose a rural location for the general practice attachment were 3.02 (95% CI: 1.25–7.32) times more likely to be working in a rural area than those who chose an urban location. Limitation students chose year 5 attachment. There was a significant relationship between a rural background and currently practising there.