Medical Education

Undergraduate Medical Education for Primary Care A Case Study in New Mexico

Authors: ARTHUR KAUFMAN MD, DIANE KLEPPER MD, S. SCOTT OBENSHAIN MD, J. DAYTON VOORHEES MD, WILLIAM GALEY PhD, STEWART DUBAN MD, MAGGI MOORE-WEST PhD, REBECCA JACKSON MD, MAX BENNETT PhD, ROBERT WATERMAN PhD

Abstract

To address the dual problems of maldistribution of physicians and an increasing need for physicians who are lifelong learners, an experimental curricular track was developed at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Increased student responsibility for learning is encouraged by student-centered, small-group, problem-based tutorial learning, and early, primary care role modeling is offered during an early, lengthy, rural preceptorship. Preliminary outcomes reveal there is reinforcement of career interest in rural primary care with important linkages forged between the university and communities as a program by-product. Further, the experimental students, as compared to students in the conventional track, showed a greater appreciation of their learning environment, showed less stress, and failed to become cynical. The reorientation of undergraduate medical education toward the future health care needs of communities and the learning needs of physicians may require major modifications of curriculum design and role modeling experiences.

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References