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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 440-443

Attitude of would-be medical graduates toward rural health services: An assessment from Government Medical Colleges in Chhattisgarh

1 Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Pt. JNM Medical College, Raipur, India
3 SGVE Hospital, Raipur, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Meeta Jain
Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.192345

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Background: Understanding the attitude toward rural health care among future medical graduates, the health workforce of the near future, is an important exercise. Objective: The objective of this study is to understand the attitude of third year MBBS students in a Government Medical College of Chhattisgarh toward rural health services. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014 using a semi-open-ended questionnaire. The analysis was primarily descriptive, and nonparametric test of significance was used. Results: Of a total of 293 students, 263 (89.7%) rated the current rural health services to be unsatisfactory. Nearly 44% students were willing to serve in the rural area. There was no statistical difference among willing and nonwilling 3rd year Part I students regarding willingness to join rural services but mostly not willing among 3rd year Part II. Majority (66.2%) were only willing to work in rural areas for <1 year. The oft-mentioned reason was reservation or added marks in postgraduate entrance examination by more than two-third respondents, “health services for the poor” by nearly two-third respondents and followed by “gain of knowledge about rural people and their diseases.” Nearly 10% would-be medical graduates perceived no apparent benefit. The greatest perceived disadvantage was “lack of infrastructural facilities” by more than 80% of the respondents, while “lack of education opportunities for children and basic amenities for family members” was a concern for nearly three-fourth of respondents. Less than half of the respondents thought that there were no career growth opportunities in rural practice. Conclusion: If the identified perceived factors of nonwillingness are taken care off, it would lead to a drastic increase in the number of doctors joining rural service. Not only that but also this would lead to more doctors staying in their position for a longer duration than currently mandated. This would require a relook at the preexisting health policies and adapting them accordingly to retain the services of rural health workers.

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