A critical review of rural medical workforce retention in Australia

Aust Health Rev. 2001;24(4):91-102. doi: 10.1071/ah010091a.


The problem of how best to recruit and retain doctors in rural and remote communities has led governments to adopt a range of medical workforce incentives, including retention grants. A comprehensive literature survey suggests that medical workforce retention has been poorly distinguished from other supply issues such as recruitment, and that its determinants and the process leading to retention are poorly understood. Such a knowledge gap is likely to limit the effectiveness of retention incentives. This article reports the results of this literature review, and advances a conceptual framework as the basis for ongoing research and evaluating how best to deliver effective retention interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Personnel Loyalty*
  • Personnel Selection*
  • Physician Incentive Plans
  • Physicians, Family / psychology
  • Physicians, Family / supply & distribution*
  • Professional Practice Location*
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Workforce