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The programme titled “Collaborative Project to Increase Production of Rural Doctors” (CPIRD) is a rural medical education project launched in 1994 in Thailand. This study aimed to compare the academic performances in medical study over five years and the pass rates in national medical license examinations (MLE) between students enrolled in CPIRD and two other tracks.
There is a shortage of doctors working in rural areas all over the world, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. The choice to practise medicine in a rural area is influenced by many factors. Motivation developed as a medical student is one key determinant of this choice. This study explores influences on medical students’ motivation to practise in rural areas of low-income and middle-income countries following graduation.
Graduates of Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, India, have a 2-year service obligation to work in small hospitals mainly located in rural areas. The Fellowship in Secondary Hospital Medicine (FSHM) program is a year-long blended on-site and distance learning program, designed by CMC to support and provide education opportunities for its recent graduates working in small hospitals in rural areas. The FSHM program was designed to help junior doctors develop the knowledge and skills to practice effectively in rural hospitals.
This article derives lessons from international experience of innovative rural health placements for medical students. It provides pointers for strengthening South African undergraduate rural health programmes in support of the government’s rural health, primary healthcare and National Health Insurance strategies.

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