Making rural health care better: How to attract interns to rural hospital

Eugene Feigin, Ohad Ronen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined the factors that influence medical school graduates’ choices for the place of internship, so that they can guide policy-makers to attract interns to rural hospitals. Design: A national survey. Setting: Rural and metropoles of Israel. Participants: Three-hundred-and-thirty-nine interns who did their internships during the years 2016-2018. Main outcome measure: The participants completed a web survey. We used the results of this survey to deduce which factors were influential in helping the interns choose a hospital for their year of internship. Results: We received 339 questionnaires from medical school graduates of years 2015-2017. We found that the most influential factors in attracting interns to rural hospital internships are the availability of desired residency and exposure to a rural curriculum in medical school. This far outweighed any economic or life quality incentives. In addition, we found that the exposure to rural hospitals during the medical school years increases the likelihood of choosing an internship in a rural hospital. Conclusions: The most important factor for choosing a hospital for internship is the availability of lucrative residencies. Thus, we believe the best way to attract good interns would be to make the desired residency positions available for them. Furthermore, it might be more successful to target either students who have studied in a university affiliated with rural hospital rotations or graduates of universities outside of the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.


  • education and remote practice
  • medical education
  • professional development for rural health practitioners
  • role of rural medical schools
  • rural incentive programs


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