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Research Projects

Determinants of high-quality health professions student placements in regional, rural and remote Australia

Project Summary

In rural areas, work-integrated learning in the form of health student placements has several potential benefits, including contributing to student learning, enhancing rural health service capacity and attracting future rural health workforce. Understanding what constitutes a high-quality rural placement experience is important for enhancing these outcomes. There is no current standardised definition of quality in the context of rural health placements, nor is there understanding of how this can be achieved across different rural contexts. The study is guided by one broad research question: what are the determinants of high-quality health professions student placements in regional, rural and remote Australia?

Phase 1: Scoping review to identify what comprises a high-quality rural placement. This review has been published and is listed below in resources.

Phase 2: Convergent mixed-method design, which includes survey, in-depth interviews, and case studies to explore a deeper understanding of the perspectives of university staff regarding what comprises high-quality rural health student placements. We have published a study protocol, completed data collection, and anticipate findings will be published in early 2025.

Consecutive phases of the project to capture student, service user and community member perspectives are planned to commence in 2025.

This project is a collaborative project with a range of University Departments of Rural health across Australia and is supported by the Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN). The project is led by Dr Claire Quilliam, Department of Rural Health, The University of Melbourne.

Our Investigators

  • Dr Jodie Bailie


  • Dr Claire Quilliam, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Elyce Green, Charles Sturt University
  • Associate Professor Rohan Rasiah, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Lyndal Sheepway, La Trobe University
  • Catherine Seaton, James Cook University
  • Leigh Moore, Flinders University
  • Kylie Matthews, University of Notre Dame
  • Dr James Debenham, University of Notre Dame
  • Catherine Taylor, La Trobe University
  • Kathyrn Fitzgerald, University of Western Australia
  • Melissa Ridd, University of Western Australia