Online Program

Addressing the Shortage of Primary Care Physicians: Outcomes from Two Programs at the UC San Diego School of Medicine

Monday, November 2, 2015

Amanpreet Sandhu, B.S., Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
Ramon Hernandez, MPH, DrPH candidate, Maternal Child Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Sandra Daley, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
background: A shortage of physicians practicing in disadvantaged communities is a contributor to the persistence of health disparities. The passage of the Affordable Care Act provides greater access to health insurance for low-income, uninsured individuals but there are concerns about the shortage of primary care providers and physicians. The Program in Medical Education – Health Equity (PRIME-HEq) and the Conditional Acceptance Program (CAP) were created at the UC San Diego School of Medicine in an effort to increase the number of students working in underserved communities. CAP trains students with a demonstrated commitment to community service. PRIME-HEq is a joint MD/Masters program that trains students who plan to work with populations at risk for experiencing health disparities.

methods: PRIME-HEq and CAP students were tracked after graduation to determine whether or not they chose a primary care specialty, and whether or not they chose to work in a Medically Underserved Area/Population (MUA/P) or a Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA). As of 2014 29 CAP students and 29 PRIME-HEq have graduated.

results: Seventy-two percent of CAP and 66% of PRIME-HEq students choose a primary care specialty compared to the national average of 36%. Fifty-five percent of CAP students work in an underserved area compared to the national average of 21%.

conclusion: Outcomes from the CAP and PRIME-HEq programs strongly demonstrate that supporting medical students that have demonstrated a commitment to community service and desire to address health disparities can lead to a higher percentage of physicians choosing to work in underserved areas.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Describe the components of two successful programs that have increased the number of physicians in primary care specialties, and the number of physicians working in under-served areas.

Keyword(s): Primary Care, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working as the Data Coordinator for the Health Career Opportunities Program at the Center for Community Health for 3 years. I received my Bachelor’s in Science from UC San Diego, and am currently working on my Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology and Bio-statistics from San Diego State University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.