MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Stephenson, Laura

Geographical Areas

Bruce County, Arran-Elderslie, Brockton, Huron Kinloss, Kincardine, North Bruce Peninsula, Saugeen Shores, South Bruce, South Bruce Peninsula


There are many differences between medical practices in urban and rural settings. As it relates to the recruitment of physicians, there is substantially more emphasis placed on the significance of physicians within rural municipalities and a number of resources are employed to recruit physicians to those areas. Similarly, rural local government organizations experience many of the same fundamental differences compared to urban local government organizations, but lack many of the resources necessary to recruit professionals to rural areas. As a result, rural municipalities struggle to fill vacancies and often lack the required knowledge and skills that are necessary to fulfill their professional responsibilities.

This research study explores the reasons why physicians and medical practitioners choose to practice in small, rural municipalities, and the extent to which physician recruitment specialists go to in order to recruit physicians to these communities. A review of the literature was used to analyze the practices associated with rural physician recruitment, and a number of recommendations were formulated based on these practices. The literature review identified factors that contribute to both the recruitment and retention of physicians in rural municipalities. These findings are applicable in the context of recruitment to rural local government organizations and assist in providing recommendations to improve current recruitment practices and hiring standards to ensure qualified professionals and senior managers are filling important municipal roles.

Through the analysis was confirmed that many of the factors that impact recruitment of physicians to rural municipalities are similar to those factors that constrain local government organizations. There are many opportunities that are available to local government organizations including varying methods used to recruit suitable candidates in addition to benefits that may be able to entice qualified professionals to consider employment in small, rural municipalities.