The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools
The authors developed an analytic method to assess a medical school’s performance in training physicians to care for the population as a whole, taking into account issues of primary care, underserved areas, and workforce diversity.
About the Research
Medical schools are have multiple missions, including education, service and research. They also have a social mission: to educate physicians to care for the national population. Fulfilling this mission 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. Using a new analytic method, the study ranks 141 schools and shows the 20 schools with the highest and lowest social mission scores.
The authors found substantial variation in the success of individual U.S. medical schools in recruiting and educating students to address the social mission of medical education, defined as graduating physicians who practice primary care and work in underserved areas and recruiting and graduating young physicians who are underrepresented minorities.