Volume 80, Issue 11 (February 2023)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2023, 80(11): 849-859 | Back to browse issues page

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Asadi-Piri Z, Jaafaripooyan E. Experiences of countries in recruiting and retaining physicians in deprived areas: a systematic review. Tehran Univ Med J 2023; 80 (11) :849-859
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-12190-en.html
1- Department of Health Management, Policy and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (625 Views)
Background: Access to healthcare is a fundamental right of every individual, regardless of their geographic location or socioeconomic status. In many countries, deprived areas often face a shortage of physicians and other healthcare professionals. This study aimed to investigate the approaches essential to attract and retain physicians in the deprived and rural areas.
Methods: The present study is a systematic review using appropriate keywords in Persian and English language. The main databases including Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, SID, and IranMedex were searched from May 2005 to September 2022 in both languages. Different approaches implemented by countries to attract and retain doctors were classified using thematic analysis.
Results: A total of 18 articles were selected for inclusion in the study. Educational, regulatory, motivational, and personal and professional support drivers have been used to attract and retain physicians. The successful interventions implemented were mainly educational and supportive; such as admitting native medical students, providing relevant curricula on working in the deprived and rural areas, and conducting training courses in these regions. Those studying the topics and courses related to serving in the rural areas during their academic education or internship and residency programs had served more time in these areas. Assimilating the topics related to providing services in rural areas into the curriculum, holding fellowship courses and related graduate studies, awarding scholarships to the physicians working in deprived areas, providing free amenities, reducing working hours, and considering special holidays are considered among the recommended solutions.
Conclusion: Various drivers were used for attracting and retaining physicians in the deprived and rural areas. Besides, the challenge to retain doctors in such areas was fairly common. Most countries have put more priority on the use of financial incentives, nevertheless, a combination of interventions was preferred. It is worth mentioning that a range of economic, political, and social factors could play a key role in the success of recommended interventions.
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