Fitzhugh Mullan, Candice Chen, Stephen Petterson, Gretchen Kolsky, Michael Spagnola
Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010
"The basic purpose of medical schools is to educate physicians to care for the national population. Fulfilling this goal requires an adequate number of primary care physicians, adequate distribution of physicians to underserved areas, and a sufficient number of minority physicians in the workforce. The objective of this study was to develop a metric called the social mission score to evaluate medical school output in these 3 dimensions. A secondary analysis of data from the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Masterfile and of data on race and ethnicity in medical schools from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine was conducted. Medical schools vary substantially in their contribution to the social mission of medical education. School rankings based on the social mission score differ from those that use research funding and subjective assessments of school reputation. These findings suggest that initiatives at the medical school level could increase the proportion of physicians who practice primary care, work in underserved areas, and are underrepresented minorities."