Enhancing recruitment and retention of rural doctors in Scotland: a mixed-methods study begins

Enhancing recruitment and retention of rural doctors in Scotland: a mixed-methods study begins

A new project, funded by the Scottish Chief Scientist Office, exploring the recruitment and retention of rural doctors in Scotland begins this month at the Health Services Research Unit. This project will be led by Prof Louise Locock, and Prof Jennifer Cleland (now at NTU Singapore). This research will use qualitative interviews to better understand the experiences, motivations and job preferences of generalist doctors in Scotland, particularly with regards to working in rural and remote areas, and in doing so gather information on factors which influence career decision making in relation to Remote & Rural working. The interview findings will be used to develop a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) survey. This will provide insight into the value of different factors behind doctors’ decisions on where they choose to work.

Dr Andrew Maclaren has joined this project as a Research Fellow. Andrew joins HSRU from the School of Geosciences, at Aberdeen, where he most recently finished a post as a Teaching Fellow in Geography. Andrew’s research background is in Geography and his interest is in culture and everyday life, in order to engage with social, economic and political changes affecting everyday spaces and places. This has led to him developing extensive research, and teaching, experience in qualitative research methods as well as contemporary approaches to investigating people’s everyday experiences of spaces and places, particularly in rural Scotland. His PhD explored the everyday experiences of older people living in rural Scotland. Andrew will undertake the initial qualitative research of this project that will later help inform the Discrete Choice Experiment survey next year.

Providing healthcare for people in remote and rural areas is a priority for Scotland. This research will hopefully deliver insights for policy makers and practitioners in how to best recruit and retain staff in rural and remote areas in Scotland, findings that have the potential for wider impact across the UK, and beyond.

Further information on the research project can be found here.

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