The rural medical scholars program study: Data to inform rural health policy

John R. Wheat, James D. Leeper, John E. Brandon, Susan M. Guin, James R. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Medical education to produce rural physicians hinges on the characteristics of students, educational programs, and rural experiences. Family physicians are key components of rural medicine. This study tested the effectiveness of multiple, combined strategies of the Rural Medical Scholars Program to produce family medicine residents. Methods: We compared the relative effectiveness of the Rural Medical Scholars Program, family medicine - oriented branch campuses, and a traditional urban campus to produce family medicine residents using a prospective quasi-experimental design. Logistic regression was used to account for covariates. Results: The relative effectiveness of 3 educational modalities to produce family medicine residents was examined: Rural Medical Scholars Program (44.0%; odds ratio [OR], 15.6), family medicine - oriented branch campuses (18.9%; OR, 5.8), and a traditional urban campus (3.9%; OR, 1). These differences were significant (P < .05) after controlling for sex, race, Medical College Admission Test scores, and graduation rate. Conclusions: The findings are consistent with the literature, which recommends multiple strategy interventions to produce rural physicians (e.g., admit rural students who have an interest in family medicine, use family medicine faculty, and provide rural experiences). Further study will determine whether rural practice follows training in family medicine among Rural Medical Scholars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Evaluation
  • Family medicine
  • Health policy
  • Residency choice
  • Rural medical education
  • Rural medicine

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