In the fall, 70 people converged on the west coast of Norway to participate in a meeting about a special GP training for rural medicine. Five GPs came from Iceland, as well as Miles Mach (current chair for Royal College for General Practitioner Scotland and GP in Dingwall). In addition, a representative from Orkney Island, Charlie Siderfin (GP) and from Sweden, Anne Falk (GP and representative from the Swedish Association for Rural Medicine) both participated via Skype.
Recruiting good physicians for positions in primary care is a challenge all over the world. Our aim was to present good examples from home and abroad, with a special focus on rural municipalities.
Before lunch, the theme was recruitment and retention in general. After lunch, specialization/postgraduate training for GPs in rural settings was the focus.
In many other countries there are special modules in physician specialist training that focus on rural work. In Norway we have long been committed to a rural-friendly and flexible specialist education for all. By way of improving ourselves, we asked what could we learn from Scotland and Sweden who have already developed rural pathways. Iceland is also planning to develop such a pathway.