A study of the factors impacting on workforce distribution of Australian osteopaths: The perspectives of osteopathic students, academics and clinicians

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Journal Article
International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2020, 36, pp. 11-18
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Objective: The study aimed to investigate the major factors influencing osteopaths’ choice of clinical workplace and their experience practising in their geographical location. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with Australian osteopathic clinicians, academics and students. Results: Factors influencing practice location include personal factors and other external factors (such as financial and business skills, the practice environment, and the features of the destination). Osteopaths practising outside the greater Melbourne area describe their major challenges as the (1) lack of consistency of associates, (2) location of osteopathy programs, (3) characteristics of new graduates, and (4) expectations and availability of mentoring. Conclusions: The unique workforce distribution issues of the Australian osteopathic profession identifies new perspectives beyond the urban/rural divide commonly explored within health workforce literature to now include drivers, facilitators and barriers to relocation between urban centres.
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