Associations between primary care-oriented practices in medical school admission and the practice intentions of matriculants

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PURPOSE: To assess associations of primary-care-oriented medical school admission practices with matriculants practice intentions. METHOD: The authors performed cross-sectional, secondary analyses of databases from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The independent variables were four medical school admission practices. The control variable was school ownership (public vs private). The dependent variables were the proportions of matriculants at each school interested in generalism, rural practice, and locating in a socioeconomically deprived area. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty medical schools (95%) completed the AAMC's Survey of Generalist Physician Initiatives in either 1993 or 1994; 94% of matriculants replied to the AAMC's 1994 Matriculating Student Questionnaire. Twenty-five percent of the schools had admission committee chairs who were generalists, half had over 25% generalists on their admission committees, 64% gave admission preference to students likely to become generalists, and 33% reported premedical recruitment efforts that targeted applicants likely to become generalists. In multivariable analyses, premedical recruitment efforts and public school ownership (all p < .01) were associated with greater interest of matriculants in both generalism and rural practice. CONCLUSIONS: Public medical schools and schools with premedical recruitment activities targeting future generalists admitted greater proportions of students interested in primary care and rural practice.

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