Unveiling the Key Non-Cognitive Attributes for Success in Rural and Regional Medical Schools and Careers

  • Keniry, Catherine (Recipient), Cantwell, Brendan (Recipient), Hegazi, Iman (Recipient), Joyce, Caroline (Recipient) & Jayarathne , Wasana (Recipient)

Prize: GrantSuccessful


This study aims to investigate core personal qualities important to succeed in rural medical schools and rural careers. The Expanded Conceptual Framework of Medical Students’ Primary Care Career Choice developed by Pfarrwaller et al., 2017 is used as a theoretical framework for this project (31). Although the authors focus was primary care, the model relates well to medical students’ rural career choices and has been used previously in studies involving both medical students and junior doctors (32,33). It has been documented that career decision and job commitment were strongly associated with indices of effort and performance effectiveness. The outcome of this study will bring us one step further in addressing the gaps in rural medicine by helping improve the selection process of medical students who are more likely to select a career in rural medicine.
This pilot study serves as a crucial steppingstone towards a comprehensive, collaborative research endeavour aimed at enhancing our comprehension of the core personal qualities and associated personal identity critical for effective rural medical practice. This study will serve as a catalyst, paving the way for subsequent investigations spanning rural and regional Australia and will inform the development of targeted selection processes and innovative training strategies that would benefit medical education nationwide.
The research questions:
1. What distinctive personal qualities are associated with doctors who have a long-standing rural career?
2. What core personal qualities should be selected for in medical school applicants to determine success in rural medical schools and then rural careers?
3. How does rural medical school training influence the development of personal qualities deemed important for future rural practice?
4. How could a non-cognitive test be designed to select individuals who have the personal qualities that would support success in rural medical schools and rural career?
Degree of recognitionNational
Granting OrganisationsRural Health Research Institute