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Rural Work and Specialty Choices of International Students Graduating from Australian Medical Schools

A recent study exploring work location and specialty of three groups of medical professionals by training location (Foreign Graduates of Accredited Medical Schools [FGAMS], domestic Australian-trained medical graduates and overseas-trained doctors) suggested that FGAMS were most likely to work as general practitioners. However, only 19 per cent of FGAMS worked rurally, while 29 per cent of Australia’s population lived rurally. The authors noted the distribution of FGAMS, particularly geographically, is sub-optimal for improving Australia’s national medical workforce goals of adequate rural and generalist distribution. Opportunities remain for policy makers to expand current policies and develop a more comprehensive set of levers to promote rural and GP distribution from this group.

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