Document Detail

Rural temperament and character: a new perspective on retention of rural doctors.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18186717     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: This exploratory study serves as a starting point to establish a psychobiological profile for rural GPs. The overall aim is to describe how individual levels and combinations of temperament (mildly heritable) and character (influenced by sociocultural learning) traits allow GPs to flourish or fail in rural medicine. DESIGN: In a mixed-method study, 13 rural GPs (rural and remote metropolitan areas 5-7, minimum 7 years of experience) from Central/Southern Queensland, Australia completed the Temperament and Character Inventory-R140 to identify the intensity of the seven basic dimensions of temperament and character. These are novelty seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, persistence, self-directedness, cooperativenes and self-transcendence. Semistructured interviews provided in-depth information on what brought them to and kept them in rural practice. RESULTS: Preliminary results show that our sample of rural GPs are highly self directed, caring, cooperative, objective and persistent. Individual variations occur in the temperament dimensions of harm avoidance, novelty seeking and reward dependence. In particular, GPs who intended to leave rural practice due to dissatisfaction had significantly higher harm avoidance (F = 23.74; P < 0.01) than those GPs intent on staying. CONCLUSION: Although preliminary, triangulation of the data sources provides insight into individual GP profiles regarding which particular combination of traits is most conducive to maintaining a rural career, and might provide a greater understanding of rural doctors. This information could provide a basis for counselling of students with an interest in rural medicine and for informing policy on appropriate initiatives for rural GPs and the communities they serve.
Diann Eley; Louise Young; Marilyn Shrapnel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Australian journal of rural health     Volume:  16     ISSN:  1038-5282     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust J Rural Health     Publication Date:  2008 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-01-11     Completed Date:  2008-05-09     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9305903     Medline TA:  Aust J Rural Health     Country:  Australia    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  12-22     Citation Subset:  N    
School of Medicine Rural Clinical Division, University of Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude of Health Personnel
Career Choice
Cross-Sectional Studies
Middle Aged
Personality Inventory
Personnel Turnover*
Physicians, Family / organization & administration,  psychology*
Pilot Projects
Professional Practice Location
Qualitative Research
Rural Health Services* / organization & administration
Vocational Guidance

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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