Introduction: Each year, students get admitted to medical colleges with definitive objectives and attitudes. They are destined to serve the humanity in need irrespective of the geographical distribution of their placements. Now-a-days students graduating from the medical institutions are opting to work in urban than rural areas. This has resulted in acute shortage of qualified medical doctors serving the rural India. This alarming increase in population-to-doctor ratio in rural areas is a cumbersome issue for the governments. Aim: To study the attitudes toward rural health service and difference in their perceptions, career preferences, if any, based on gender, nationality and year of study among the medical students; the present work was carried out. Materials and Methods: A total of 160 students of 1 styear and final year course of a Private University Medical College in Karnataka state, India were included. 113 were Indians and 47 Malaysians. Content, construct validity and test retest reliability were applied to a questionnaire. Responses were compiled and statistically analyzed. Results: The results revealed that huge majority of students want to pursue postgraduation and work in urban than rural areas, which is equally seen among the study group. They were all aware about the health needs of rural population, but can work only for few years. Conclusion: Multiple factors contribute to the lack of motivation among the medical students to take up rural service. Well-planned rural incentive packages with effective retention strategies should be provided in a definitive framework benefiting the health workers.
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