Association between self-efficacy, career interest and rural career intent in Australian medical students with rural clinical school experience

Vivian Isaac, Lucie Walters, Craig S. McLachlan

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate medical student's selfefficacy at the time of finishing their rural clinical school (RCS) placement and factors associated with self-efficacy. Secondary aims are to explore whether interest levels or self-efficacy are associated with rural or remote career intentions. Design, setting and participants: A crosssectional study of medical students who had completed their RCS term in 17 Australian universities. Data were derived from the 2013 Federation of Rural Australian Medical Educators (FRAME) evaluation survey. Questionnaire responses were analysed from 653 medical students from regional Australia. All 732 students who completed their RCS term in 2013 were invited to participate. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Rural self-efficacy: Six questions to measure selfefficacy beliefs in rural medical practice, based on the sources of self-efficacy described by Bandura. Rural career intention: Students were asked to identify their preferred location for future practice. The options were, Capital or Major City; Inner regional city or large town; Smaller town and very remote area. Results: Questionnaire responses were analysed from 653 medical students from regional Australia (response rate 89.2%). 83.8% of all students recalled an increase in their interest levels for rural medicine as a result of their RCS experience. Actual career intention to work in a regional area or rural area was 60.2%. Bivariate analyses showed female gender (p=0.003), rural background ( p>0.001), an RCS preference for clinical training (p>0.001) and general practice intentions (p=0.004) were factors associated with higher levels of self-efficacy. Logistic regression analyses showed that self-efficacy was independently associated with increased interest in rural medicine (OR 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 to 1.5)) and rural career intent (OR 1.2 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.3)). (Model included gender, rural background, preference for RCS, generalist intent, rural practice interest and selfefficacy). Conclusions: Self-efficacy is associated with increased interest levels for rural medicine and rural medical career intent.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere009574
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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