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What qualifies as "underserved?"

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Tweetie_bird, Sep 28, 2002.

  1. Tweetie_bird

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    I have been reading this over and over again and yet have not seen a proper definition for that word.

    When schools refer to "your experience in working with the underserved" are they talking about low-income clinics? County hospitals? Immigrant/International clinics? What does it entail?

    I have always wanted to work with uninsured people which coincidently is a similar patient population in county hospitals etc. Basically, low socioeconomic status. Is that "underserved?" There are clinics out there that actually do 10-20% uninsured patients every week, and ten years from now, I see myself working for something similar. Does that mean i want to work with "underserved" people???
     
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  3. SMW

    SMW Grand Member
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    I would think it means uninsured, for all practical purposes. I mean, anyone who has insurance, can get care as they need it. I suppose there might be a small group of "working poor" who have insurance, but cannot afford the deductible and/or copay. And then there are the people on medicare who can't find a doctor or clinic who will accept it (a big problem up here in Anchorage).
     
  4. Street Philosopher

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    there's sort of a technical definition for underserved. there are underserved areas, which is i think broken down by # of docs per population amount, and then there's underserved populations, which i think is like what % of the population are a certain income level, usually 200% below the poverty level. i don't know how widely these technical definitions are used though. maybe most people just use the term to mean homeless people or really poor people, neither of which have insurance, like smw said.
     
  5. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    For general adcom purposes, I would say all of the above... any group that's not getting adequate health care.

    However, if you are applying to some special program or for a special scholarship... you might want to ask whoever is asking specifically what their technical definition is. :)
     
  6. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    There is a federal list of medically underserved areas and populations kept by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services available here.
     
  7. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member
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    Oh cool... aren't you resourceful! :)


    As a side note... did you guys know that AMCAS puts a little u as a super-script on yoru county if you come from a county on this underserved list mpp is talking about? I have one on my county... though I never knew my county was considered underserved!
     
  8. Tweetie_bird

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    exactly! I never knew my county was underserved either, and I live in a metropolitan city with a hospitals that are 15 mins away from each other.

    All this is confusing. But thanks for clarifying, guys! I really appreciate it. And MPP, you're simply awesome. :clap:
     
  9. none

    none 1K Member
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    The AMCAS definitions are a little too loose with the underserved county designations. I'm pretty sure medical schools will know the situation in the area, particularly those in your state.
     

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