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Acad Med. 1999 Sep;74(9):1016-20.

A longitudinal, national study of the effect of implementing a required third-year family practice clerkship or a department of family medicine on the selection of family medicine by medical students.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona, Phoenix, USA. dougcampos@mail.maricopa.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To conduct a longitudinal study of the effect of implementing a required third-year family practice clerkship or a department of family medicine on the proportion of graduating medical students choosing family practice as a specialty.

METHOD:

Using national data sets, the authors studied the proportion of students who chose family practice as a specialty at each medical school that implemented a required third-year family practice clerkship or a department of family medicine between 1984 and 1993. They compared the mean proportions of students choosing family practice for the three years before and three years after implementation of the required clerkship or the department. They controlled for national trends by comparing study schools with schools that did not have required family practice clerkships.

RESULTS:

The mean proportions of students who chose family practice increased 2.36% above control schools (95% CI = 1.06, 3.65) in public schools and 2.07% (95% CI = -2.58, 6.73) in private schools after a required third-year clerkship was implemented. The proportion of students choosing family practice declined by 0.84% (95% CI = -4.05, 2.47) after a department of family medicine was established.

CONCLUSION:

Implementing a required third-year family practice clerkship led to an immediate, significant increase in the proportion of students choosing family practice. Implementing a department of family medicine had no noticeable effect on the proportion of students choosing family practice in the first three years after implementation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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