Attitudes of Zimbabwean medical students to future practice
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Zimbabwe, like many other developing and developed countries, experiences a significant mal-distribution of doctors in favour of urban areas. Out of a total of 1 295 registered medical practitioners in 1989, only 570 were in public service. A number of strategies in various countries have been attempted to address this problem, including preferential admission policies to medical schools and financial incentives to encourage location to under -served areas. In Zimbabwe, a bonding system has been introduced for new medical graduates to redress this imbalance. Additionally, students are trained on a new curriculum. This curriculum, introduced in 1987, aims to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills for them to be able to practise better in rural settings (University of Zimbabwe New Medical Undergraduate, unpublished). With this aim, it was also hoped that graduates’ attitudes towards rural deployment would be positive.