Use of clinical placements as a means of recruiting health care students to underserviced areas in Southeastern Ontario: Part 1 ? Student perspectives
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OBJECTIVE: This two-part study examines the present gap between financial and educational incentives required and the recruitment strategies used to draw health science students to underserviced areas in Southeastern Ontario. Part 1 explores the impact of offering travel stipends, rent-free accommodation and interprofessional educational opportunities to health science students on their willingness to participate in clinical placements in underserviced areas. DESIGN: Mixed-method two-part study using a self-administered questionnaire. SETTING: Canadian university campus. PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred and sixty-eight senior level medical, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and X-ray technology students from a Canadian university and affiliated professional school. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The influence of currently established incentives on student willingness to complete a clinical placement in designated underserviced communities in Southeastern Ontario. RESULTS: Based on a 75% response rate, the results demonstrate that, in general, students agree that they are more willing to complete a clinical placement in an underserviced community if provided travel stipends (75%), rent-free housing (92%) and interprofessional educational opportunities (65%). Students also identified 15 additional factors influencing willingness. CONCLUSIONS: Students are more willing to complete clinical placements in underserviced communities if provided incentives. The findings of this study support an interprofessional clinical education and recruitment enhancement program in Southeastern Ontario.
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