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Fam Med. 2011 Nov-Dec;43(10):696-701.

Medical student awareness of the Patient-centered Medical Home.

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Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.



The Patient-centered Medical Home (PCMH) has come to the forefront of primary care practice redesign and can potentially improve health care outcomes and reduce costs. There are several initiatives in medical schools to teach concepts of the PCMH to students, but it is unknown what knowledge and attitudes medical students currently possess. We report students' awareness and opinions at two medical schools without comprehensive PCMH curricula.


A total of 1,408 first- through fourth-year students at both schools were invited to participate. We distributed an electronic survey to all students via institutional e-mail listserves. Descriptive statistics were used.


A total of 359 students participated, for a response rate of 25.5%. Despite no comprehensive curricula, 40.9% students had still encountered the topic of the PCMH. Family medicine and primary care clerkships serve as the most frequent point of exposure for students. Although many students reported not understanding the overall PCMH concept, most cited "some" understanding when presented with individually defined PCMH principles with the one exception: Value-based Payment. A significant portion of first-, second-, and third-year students rated learning about the PCMH by graduation as "important," while most fourth-year students rated this as "somewhat important." Students performed well on one knowledge question about PCMH principles; however, 29.6% of respondents believed that primary care physicians function as gatekeepers in the PCMH model.


Medical students appear to have limited exposure and knowledge of the PCMH concept, suggesting the need to develop curricula about the PCMH in medical schools.

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