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Primary care doctors’ perceived needs for physician leadership development in rural and remote settings of Aceh province, Indonesia


Background Globally, rural/remote health systems fall short of optimal performance. Lack of infrastructure, resources, health professionals and cultural barriers affect the leadership in these settings. Given those challenges, doctors serving disadvantaged communities must develop their leadership skills. While high-income countries already had learning programmes for rural/remote areas, low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), such as Indonesia, are lagging behind. Through the lens of the LEADS framework, we examined the skills doctors perceived as most essential to support their performance in rural/remote areas.

Methods We conducted a quantitative study, including descriptive statistics. Participants were 255 rural/remote primary care doctors.

Results We discovered that communicating effectively, building trust, facilitating collaboration, making connections and creating coalitions among diverse groups were most essential in rural/remote communities. When rural/remote primary care doctors serve in such cultures, may need to prioritise harmony within the community and social order values.

Conclusions We noted that there is a need for culture-based leadership training in rural or remote settings of Indonesia as LMIC. In our view, if future doctors receive proper leadership training that focuses on being competent rural physicians, they will be better prepared and equipped with the skills that rural practice in a specific culture requires.

  • medical leadership
  • doctor
  • primary care
  • development

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