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Service Quality (SQ): Perspectives, Management and Improvement Strategies
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Key Factors Ensuring Quality of Rural Placements pp. 63-74 $100.00
Authors:  (Tarun Sen Gupta, Maggie Grant, Clare Jukka and Torres Woolley)
Abstract:
Strategies addressing recruitment and retention of rural
doctors include student selection, support, curriculum
design, and appropriate rural experiences. As rural
programs grow, Schools need to ensure the quality of rural
placements. This paper describes the key factors critical to
successful rural placements. Data was gathered from a
literature review and a North Queensland study which
explored with key stakeholders the factors contributing to
successful 4-8 week rural placements. Changes were
described to improve rural placements locally and in other
settings. Key factors ensuring the quality of rural
placements include: careful definition of placement aims
and objectives; preparation of students, preceptors, and
placement sites; support for students and preceptors at
teaching sites; a quality teaching and learning environment;
and regular feedback and effective communication between
all key players. Preparation of students and provision of
information about the site and required learning activities is
the most important factor. Others include availability of
local teaching networks; a positive welcome and
orientation; provision of appropriate accommodation;
availability of suitable leisure experiences; a match between
students’ learning expectations and clinical experiences;
and structures and teaching strategies to promote effective
learning experiences. A continuous improvement model is
described summarizing the interplay between the major
factors and the key players: the School, the site and
community, preceptors and students. This model may help
designing or evaluating placements in other settings. These
key factors can inform educationalists and policy makers in
allocating resources and designing rural placements. 


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Key Factors Ensuring Quality of Rural Placements pp. 63-74