Something coming down the pipeline

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by jsnuka, May 4, 2007.

  1. jsnuka

    jsnuka Senior Member
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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: April Falconi 202-530-2310
    [email protected]

    Future of Medical Schools to be Examined in Epoch of Expansion

    Washington, DC — Medical school enrollment soon may be increased by
    30 percent in order to meet the looming shortage of medical school
    graduates projected for the U.S. Little attention is being paid to the
    social mission of medical education during this expansion, however.

    To address this issue, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has funded a
    two-year, $750,000 study titled, "The Medical School Futures Study" or
    MSFS, which will examine the social mission of medical education during
    this current period of expansion. The project will be housed at The George
    Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
    (GW/SPHHS).

    "Expanding medical schools creates an exceptional opportunity to
    consider strategies to address chronic imbalances in areas such as minority
    enrollment, geographic distribution and specialty emphasis in U.S.
    medical education," states the study’s principal investigator, Fitzhugh
    Mullan, MD, Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy at GW.

    The study will be led by Dr. Mullan and co-principal investigator,
    Linda Lesky, MD, associate professor of Medicine and Health Policy at GW.
    Additionally, an advisory committee composed of medical educators,
    specialty representatives, policy makers and representatives of
    organizations concerned with the future of healthcare will provide guidance to the project team.

    Specifically, the MSFS will examine the following issues from
    retrospective and prospective points of view:

    * Medical education and training in Primary Care/Generalism
    * Enrollment of minorities into medical schools
    * Geographic distribution of physicians

    Past legislative and education initiatives will be analyzed; current
    expansion activities will be assessed; and institutional, state and local
    policies pertinent to the social mission of medical education will be
    examined. The study will conclude with a set of findings and
    recommendations intended to offer perspectives and strategies to new or expanding programs of medical education in support of the social mission of
    medical schools.

    A website and an electronic community will be developed to disseminate
    policy briefs, data findings and relevant electronic links. The study
    will culminate with the publication of articles in the medical
    literature documenting the findings and recommendations, as well as general
    audience articles that will seek to communicate this same information to
    the public as a whole.

    "Medical schools cannot, of course, attend to the social mission of
    medicine by themselves. Many factors—including graduate medical
    education, practice opportunities and the economics of healthcare—impact
    physicians’ specialty choices and practice decisions," Dr. Mullan said.
    "However, if the schools do not have strategies in place to address
    these problems as part of their mission and vision, the current epoch of
    expansion will not realize its potential to reduce disparities in access
    to healthcare and to improve educational opportunities for minorities."
     
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