Settling in: Overseas trained GPs and their spouses in rural Western Australia
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
Due to difficulties attracting Australian-trained general practitioners to work outside metropolitan areas, many rural communities are recruiting overseas trained doctors to provide medical services. This paper examines the aspirations, challenges and experiences faced by such doctors and their spouses from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Ethnographic research examines the factors affecting the settling in process for GPs who have trained overseas along with their spouses who live and work in a specific area of rural Western Australia. Findings show that issues related to security, cross-cultural adjustment, social expectations of gender roles, isolation and medical work practice influence this process. While most overseas trained GPs enjoyed living and working in a rural setting, their spouses had more difficulty adjusting.