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Fam Med. 2013 Apr;45(4):263-7.

The association between global health training and underserved care: early findings from two longstanding tracks.

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Department of Family Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Fairfax, VA 22033, USA.



Global health tracks (GHTs) improve knowledge and skills, but their impact on career plans is unclear. The objective of this analysis was to determine whether GHT participants are more likely to practice in underserved areas than nonparticipants.


In this retrospective cohort study, using the 2009 American Medical Association Masterfile, we assessed the practice location of the 480 graduates from 1980--2008 of two family medicine residencies-Residency 1 and Residency 2. The outcomes of interest were the percentage of graduates in health professional shortage areas (HPSAs), medically underserved areas (MUAs), rural areas, areas of dense poverty, or any area of underservice.


Thirty-seven percent of Residency 1 participants and 20% of nonparticipants practiced in HPSAs; 69% of Residency 2 participants and 55.5% of nonparticipants practiced in areas of dense poverty. All other combined and within-residency differences were not statistically significant.


These findings neither confirm nor refute the results of prior surveys suggesting that global health training is associated with increased interest in underserved care. Studies involving more GHTs and complimentary methods are needed to more precisely elucidate the impact of this training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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