Measuring the Commitment of Health Professions Schools to Rural Primary Care

Despite some medical schools’ stated intentions to produce rural or primary care physicians, these health professionals remain in short supply. This study describes the rurally oriented organizational and educational factors of U.S. medical schools. The research team conducted a search of publicly available data and compiled information on rurally relevant characteristics of all 182 allopathic and osteopathic medical schools operating in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2016 and updated in 2019 (see article below). Few medical schools (8.2%) expressed an explicit commitment to producing rural physicians in public mission statements. However, most (64.8%) provided rural clinical experiences and many demonstrated their commitment in other ways. Only 39 (21.4%) did so through a formal rural program.

A forthcoming companion paper will report on data from the American Medical Association to examine which U.S. medical schools produce high proportions of rural primary care physicians and the factors that predict that output.

Longenecker RL, Andrilla CHA, Jopson AD, Evans DV, Schmitz D, Larson EH, Patterson DG (2020), Pipelines to Pathways: Medical School Commitment to Producing a Rural Workforce. Journal of Rural Health.

Read the full article

For more information, contact: Randall Longenecker MD

See full list of Rural PREP Studies