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Introduction: Since 1999 the number of medical school places in Australia has increased substantially in response to workforce shortages, with some of the increased capacity in regional and rural communities. The James Cook University (JCU) School of Medicine, the first of a number of new medical schools, was established with a mission to address the health needs of rural, remote and tropical Australia through aligning student selection, curriculum and assessment practices to encourage generalist postgraduate careers needed in rural and regional areas. This article reports early evidence on the career outcomes of graduates in the first six cohorts from 2005 to 2010, and compares this with available data from other Queensland and Australian medical schools. Methods: Data were gathered from two sources to allow comparisons of career intentions and intern allocations of graduates from JCU with those from other Australian medical schools. An exit survey of JCU graduates provided JCU student data while the Medical Students Outcomes Database provided comparable data for eight other, largely metropolitan, schools.
This document has been peer reviewed.