BMC Medical Education is pleased to invite submissions of new original research articles to a Collection focused on rural health professions education. Rural communities face unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare due to shortages of healthcare providers, maldistribution of health professionals, skill gaps, and limited access to resources. The aim of this collection is to highlight research that focuses on developing strategies to improve the rural healthcare force by addressing the specific needs and challenges of rural communities.
We define "Rural Health Professions Education" as all aspects related to the education, training and development of healthcare workers in and/or for rural communities.
The WHO guideline on health workforce development, attraction, recruitment and retention in rural and remote areas (2021) makes 17 Recommendations related to rural health workforce, of which 10 are directly or indirectly related to the education of rural health professionals. While noting the significant increase in research since the first global policy recommendations were produced in 2010, the updated guideline notes the need to expand the evidence base to include all rural health occupations, a range of sociodemographic contexts, vulnerable groups, low- and middle-income countries, and non-English speaking communities. Research on the effectiveness of interventions, progress towards equity, and the role of rural health teams is also highlighted. Given the significant educational focus in the WHO guideline, and the impact of health professions education on the rural health workforce, it is important to focus efforts on expanding the evidence available on this subject. It is hoped that this collection will play a role in encouraging that expansion.
This collection thus seeks to explore various aspects of rural health professions education for all health occupations, including but not limited to:
• Strategies to recruit and retain healthcare professionals in rural areas
• Innovative models of rural health professions education and training
• Development of rural health professions education pathways
• Ecosystem conditions and requirements to support rural health professions education
• Capacity-building to develop the existing rural health workforce
• Community-engaged, immersive, and contextually and/or culturally responsive models of rural health professions education
• Impact of rural health professions education on rural health outcomes
• Strategies to promote interprofessional collaboration in rural healthcare settings
• Addressing the social determinants of health in rural communities through health professions education
In addition to original research articles, this Collection welcomes case studies of models and programs implemented for the benefit of rural healthcare education that have been successful. For the purposes of this Collection, case studies should be submitted as Research articles in our submission system. Review the Submission Guidelines tab for more information on acceptable submission parameters.
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