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Curr Womens Health Rep. 2003 Dec;3(6):501-4.

Medical education and indigent patient care.

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University of Florida Health Science Center/Jacksonville, 653-1 W. Eighth Street, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA.


The 20th century model of medical education has focused on a network of urban medical centers serving primarily indigent patients in an unspoken contract of medical services in exchange for student and resident education. The improvement in federal and state reimbursement for indigent care services, along with the decline in reimbursement rates from the private sector, has led to competition for these patients from nonacademic providers. As numbers of patients seeking care at urban teaching centers have steadily declined, concerns about adequate teaching volume and revenue generation have led to very creative problem-solving. Bringing marketing concerns into the indigent care environment is not a straightforward undertaking, but the rewards might far exceed the simple goal of "getting our numbers back up."

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