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Table 2 Key subthemes that emerged from rural undergraduate medical students (n = 62) regarding their perceptions of rural internships contrasted with urban internships

From: Medical students on long-term rural clinical placements and their perceptions of urban and rural internships: a qualitative study

The internship role▪ Practical ‘hands on’ role
▪ High level of responsibility
▪ Smaller team
▪ Visibility, cannot hide and acknowledgement
▪ Work-life balance encouraged
▪ Positive culture
▪ Secretarial role; less ‘hands on’
▪ Low level of responsibility
▪ Larger team
▪ Do not stand out
The internship training▪ Generalised training experience; less variety in presentations
▪ Viable for those interested in general practice or rural generalist careers
▪ Limited training spots
▪ Uncertainty and limited understanding of training options for specialties
▪ Rural clinicians go out of their way to assist in creating rural pathways
▪ Specialised training experience; more variety in presentations
▪ Viable for those interested in all specialties
▪ Research exposure
▪ More training positions
▪ Networking required and easier to get on training programs
Interns’ colleagues▪ Closer relationship with seniors
▪ Seniors more approachable/available
▪ Fewer colleagues to debrief with
▪ Less of a relationship with seniors
▪ Seniors less approachable/available
▪ Team support
The community▪ Community connection
▪ Closer relationship with patients
▪ Less of a relationship with patients
personal life
▪ Social isolation▪ Proximity to family & friends