Chartbook of Family Practice Graduate Medical Education Programs in Rural America

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project completed:
January 2005
Shortages of generalist physicians in U.S. rural areas have been an enduring problem for many decades. The supply of rural physicians is, in part, determined by the number of family physicians who receive their residency training within rural areas, along with the appropriateness of the content of their training for rural practices. However, little is known about the volume, location, and types of rural training for family physicians. This project will produce a chartbook that makes previously unreported information about family physician residency directors more fully available to medical educators and other policymakers.

Programs were asked to indicate the extent to which training rural physicians was part of their core mission and to specify where all residency training sponsored by their programs took place. Although over one-third of the urban programs listed rural training as an important part of their mission, only 2.3 percent of the training they supported took place in rural areas.

The chartbook contains graphs and tables, and presents national findings, geographic region, division findings, and state findings. Findings are presented by type of geography (isolated small rural, small rural, large rural, and urban), type of rural training experience (model family practice clinic, block rotations, rural training tracks, and continuity clinics), and other residency characteristics. Some of the monograph diagrams show state-based rates of FTE training not previously reported, using population denominators so that comparisons of rural training per rural person can be compared across the 50 states. A version of the monograph will be published on our Web site, and we will disseminate hard copies of the monograph to residency directors, medical school deans, state health workforce committees, and federal health workforce policymakers.

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