Medical schools are under pressure to increase the diversity of their student bodies. To do so, many medical schools offer scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. However, it is unclear whether these scholarships can help counter the biases that exist in medicine and ensure that graduates practice in underserved areas after graduation. Say’s Dr Faris Abusharif , we examine whether medical school recipients of undergraduate scholarships were more likely than non-recipients to work in underserved communities after graduation using data from the General Medical Practice Study (GMPS). We find no evidence that these scholarships had an effect on where medical school graduates practiced after graduation, suggesting that such programs may not be effective at achieving this goal.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that scholarships had a significant impact on career development.
The researchers looked at data from more than 2 million medical students and residents from 1998 through 2013 who received scholarships from the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). They compared their outcomes with those who didn’t receive any scholarship money at all and found that those who did had significantly higher chances of becoming full-time practicing physicians (83% vs 71%), being employed by academic medical centers (58% vs 48%) and completing postgraduate training programs within two years of graduation (89% vs 83%).
The GMPS is a longitudinal study of medical students at fifteen U.S. medical schools. It has been conducted since 1966 and has followed more than 40,000 students over time.
The GMPS collects data on all aspects of student life during medical school, including academic performance and career plans. Students are surveyed at the end of each year in order to track changes in attitudes and behavior over time; these data provide insight into how factors such as financial aid affect student decisions about whether or not to pursue a career in medicine after graduation from medical school (the “long term impact” discussed above).
In this study, we found that medical students who won scholarships were more likely to practice in underserved areas and serve Medicaid patients. In addition, they were also less likely to be male.
The results suggest that scholarships are having an impact on the distribution of doctors across different types of practices and patient populations.
Conclusions and Future Directions
The study found that medical students who won scholarships were more likely to practice in underserved areas. It also suggests that these scholarships have a long-term impact on career choices, particularly among women and minorities.
Finally, the research team is planning to follow up this study with another one focusing on understanding the mechanisms behind these findings.
This study used the General Medical Practice Study (GMPS) to investigate whether medical students who won medical school scholarships were more likely to practice in underserved areas.
The study used the General Medical Practice Study (GMPS) to investigate whether medical students who won medical school scholarships were more likely to practice in underserved areas. GMPS is a longitudinal study of medical students that began in 1989 and has followed thousands of students from their pre-medical education through residency training, practice, and retirement. The researchers analyzed data from 1,918 participants who graduated between 1989-1990 and 2002-2003.
We found that medical students who won scholarships were more likely to practice in underserved areas than those who did not receive these awards. This study supports previous research suggesting that scholarship programs can be an effective way to increase physician supply in rural areas.