PRP186: Understanding the Regional Impact of Medical Schools on the Family Medicine Workforce in the United States.

Shelby Walker; Julie Phillips, MD, MPH; Ada Pariser; Andrea Wendling, MD


Context: It is estimated that there will be a shortage of 52,000 primary care physicians in the United States by 2025. As much of the U.S. primary care workforce is comprised of family physicians, increasing the numbers of family physicians is a national priority. The proportion of family physicians produced by medical schools in different regions varies substantially, but few studies have examined and explored this regional variation. Objective: To show whether certain areas of the country produce more family medicine physicians than other areas; identify specific medical schools with the highest regional impact; and describe the characteristics of these exemplar schools. Study Design: Secondary analysis of merged dataset. Dataset: Dataset was constructed describing all accredited medical schools within the United States (both allopathic and osteopathic) that have graduated at least two medical student classes. Data were gathered from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and individual medical school and residency program websites. Population studied: Allopathic and osteopathic accredited US medical schools. Outcome Measures: Description of proportion of graduates entering family medicine by region, including both the range of production within regions and the variance between regions. Identification of exemplar schools, which produce a high proportion of family physicians within their geographic regions, and their common characteristics. Anticipated Results: Research is in progress. We anticipate that a small number of institutions within each region are graduating the most family physicians. We anticipate that these institutions are likely to be publicly funded, have strong primary care missions, have regional campuses, and have special programs focused on underserved care (such as public health and rural health curricula). Outcomes to be Reported and Implications: Results will inform best practices for increasing the family medicine workforce in the United States. Identifying exemplars by geographic region will illuminate ways that states and regions can collaborate to meet regional workforce demands. Identifying regions with low production of family physicians may help explain regional shortages, and inform medical education strategies to ameliorate these shortages.
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jonathan shaw

Thanks for this clear and novel visualization of variation in those going into family medicine.  I wonder if you’ve explored the number of family medicine residencies in each region and/or affiliated with the medical schools. Would suspect that too correlates with the rate of graduates choosing FM. 

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