Empiric validation of the rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarship 'rural background' criterion

Aust J Rural Health. 2005 Jun;13(3):137-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1854.2005.00683.x.


Objective: Rural Australian Medical Undergraduate Scholarships (RAMUS) provide 10,000 dollars per annum to selected medical students with a rural background. Eligibility criteria include having lived in a rural community for five consecutive or eight cumulative years. We sought to validate the above-specified criterion using data from the Australian National Rural Background Study.

Design: National case control study stratified by jurisdiction.

Participants: Two thousand four hundred and fourteen Australian-trained rural and urban general practitioners (GPs).

Main outcome measure: Whether the RAMUS rural background criterion was met or not.

Results: Doctors who met the RAMUS rural background criterion were more likely to be in rural practice (odds ratio = 2.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.97-3.18) than those who did not. This was true for all jurisdictions (except for the Northern Territory) and ranged from 1.95 for South Australia to 3.57 for Victoria.

Conclusion: Rural GPs are more likely to fulfil the RAMUS rural background criterion, supporting the existence of the RAMUS scheme.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / economics*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships / standards*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Professional Practice Location / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Distribution