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Am J Surg. 2020 Feb;219(2):355-358. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2019.11.040. Epub 2019 Dec 25.

Outcomes and influences of rural-focused integrated clerkship programs in general surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, United States. Electronic address: skub0013@umn.edu.
2
Medical School Duluth Campus, University of Minnesota, United States.
3
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, United States.
4
Department of Sociology, University of Georgia, United States.
5
Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A shortage of general surgeons is predicted in the future, with particular impact on rural surgery. This is an exploratory analysis on a rural-focused longitudinal integrated clerkship to determine if such clerkships can be used to increase interest and recruitment in rural general surgery.

METHODS:

An institutional database was reviewed to identify students who became general surgeons after completing a rural-focused longitudinal integrated clerkship. Telephone interviews were conducted on a portion of these surgeons.

RESULTS:

Fifty-seven students (3.6%) completing the rural-focused longitudinal integrated clerkship became general surgeons. Of those participating in phone interviews, most (90%) decided to become surgeons during their experience while all stated that preclinical years did not influence their specialty decision.

CONCLUSIONS:

A substantial portion of these surgeons went on to practice in rural communities. Pre-existing rural and primary care-focused education could help to address the future projected shortage of rural general surgeons.

KEYWORDS:

General surgery; Longitudinal integrated clerkship; Medical student; Rural surgery

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