Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 124708, 6 pages
Research Article

A Change in Students’ Perceptions of Peer and Faculty Attitudes to Rural Medicine following the Introduction of a Rural Health Rotation

Department of General Practice and Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Received 27 May 2014; Revised 17 July 2014; Accepted 12 August 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Christos D. Lionis

Copyright © 2014 Martyn Williamson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. In 2000, the Dunedin School of Medicine (one of Otago Medical School’s 3 clinical schools) introduced 7-week rural placement. A survey of students conducted before attending the placement showed that most students did not perceive faculty to have a positive view of rural health. In 2007, we explored whether students’ perceptions had changed. Method. All 5th year medical students at Otago Medical School were surveyed using items from the original study. The perceptions of students in Dunedin were compared with those of students in the other clinical schools (no rural rotation) and with those of students in the original study. Results. In 2007, there was a significantly increased likelihood of students from Dunedin reporting perceptions of positive faculty attitudes towards rural health compared with students from the other two clinical schools and with Dunedin students from the original survey. Conclusion. The results suggest that student perceptions of faculty attitudes in the school towards rural health may be changed following the introduction of a general practice rural placement to its curriculum.