Keeping family physicians in rural practice. Solutions favoured by rural physicians and family medicine residents.
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OBJECTIVE: To determine how family medicine residents and practising rural physicians rate possible solutions for recruiting and sustaining physicians in rural practice. DESIGN: Cross-sectional mailed survey. SETTING: Rural family practices and family medicine residency programs in Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred seventy-six physicians and 210 residents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Ratings of proposed solutions on a 4-point scale from "very unimportant" to "very important". RESULTS: Rural family physicians rated funding for learner-driven continuing medical education (CME) and limiting on-call duty to 1 night in 5 as the most important education and practice solutions, respectively. Residents rated an alternate payment plan to include time off for attending and teaching CME and comprehensive payment plans with a guaranteed income for locums as the most important education and practice solutions, respectively. CONCLUSION: Residents and physicians rated solutions very similarly. A comprehensive package of the highest-rated solutions could help recruit and sustain physicians in rural practice because the solutions were developed by experts on rural practice and rated by family medicine residents and practising rural physicians.
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