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.