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Community-based distributive medical education: Advantaging society

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Author(s): Tracy J. Farnsworth | Alan C. Frantz | Ronald W. McCune

Journal: Medical Education Online
ISSN 1087-2981

Volume: 17;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: issues and trends | cost-effective medical education | distributive medical education model | community-based | organizational model

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a narrative summary of an increasingly important trend in medical education by addressing the merits of community-based distributive medical education (CBDME). This is a relatively new and compelling model for teaching and training physicians in a manner that may better meet societal needs and expectations. Issues and trends regarding the growing shortage and imbalanced distribution of physicians in the USA are addressed, including the role of international medical graduates. A historical overview of costs and funding sources for medical education is presented, as well as initiatives to increase the training and placement of physicians cost-effectively through new and expanded medical schools, two- and four-year regional or branch campuses and CBDME. Our research confirms that although medical schools have responded to Association of American Medical Colleges calls for higher student enrollment and societal concerns about the distribution and placement of physicians, significant opportunities for improvement remain. Finally, the authors recommend further research be conducted to guide policy on incentives for physicians to locate in underserved communities, and determine the cost-effectiveness of the CBDME model in both the near and long terms.

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