Does exposure to medically underserved areas during training influence eventual choice of practice location?
Article first published online: 21 MAR 2003
Volume 37, Issue 4, pages 299–304, April 2003
How to Cite
Tavernier, L. A., Connor, P. D., Gates, D. and Wan, J. Y. (2003), Does exposure to medically underserved areas during training influence eventual choice of practice location?. Medical Education, 37: 299–304. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01472.x
- Issue published online: 21 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 21 MAR 2003
- Received 11 October 2001; editorial comments to authors 21 January 2002; accepted for publication 14 June 2002
- delivery of health care;
- rural health;
- urban health;
- career choice;
- United States
Introduction There are an increasing number of communities within the United States that have limited or no access to primary healthcare. In recognition, many medical schools now provide opportunities and activities that offer exposure to these demographic areas in order to increase the presence of and community access to medical care and to promote these locations as practice site choices for graduating students. Evaluation of these enhancements has led to doubts whether this exposure timing is optimal in promoting practice in these settings. The purpose of this study is to identify whether early exposure(s) to medically underserved settings prior to medical school is associated with eventual choice of practice location.
Methods Utilising a cross-sectional design, 450 US Family Medicine residency programmes were surveyed. From these, 775 participants responded to a standardised self-administered questionnaire on indicators associated with medically underserved area (MUA) exposure.
Results Early MUA exposures combined with medical training experiences in underserved settings have a positive effect on later practice site choice. Identification of these attributes may be useful in considering determinants that impact eventual choice of practice location.