Understanding Rural and Remoteness
So, you’re thinking about undertaking a rural or remote placement. You’re probably wondering what you should expect - what’s available, what kinds of people you’ll meet, how the work will be different from what you know so far. This section will help you answer those questions. It aims to give you a sense of what healthcare practice is like “out there”, in a rural or remote area.
A lot of effort has been invested in understanding what rural and remote means for populations and their health. But this is not purely an academic exercise. The differences between metropolitan and rural areas produce real and powerful impacts on quality of life and healthcare provision. Simple differences, such as living a long way from the local GP, often translate poorer health outcomes.
The following sections will illustrate these understandings of:
- Defining Rural and Remote – definitions and classifications
- What rural populations are like – demographics and health profile
- Delivering services – approaches to healthcare delivery
- Rural practice – the benefits and challenges of working in a rural or remote area