Challenges and best practices for implementing rurally targeted admissions in U.S. medical schools


  • Abstract

    Student attributes can predict future rural practice, but little is known about how medical schools use these factors in admissions. This mixed-methods study examined admissions strategies to recruit and select students likely to practice rurally. Admissions personnel at U.S. allopathic and osteopathic medical schools were surveyed about rurally targeted admissions. Personnel from selected schools were interviewed to understand further targeted admissions practices. Among 185 medical schools, 133 (71.8%) responded. Schools engaged with students from four-year universities through career exploration (89.9%), admissions preparation (57.7%), academic enhancement (47.7%), and articulation agreements (42.9%). Applicant selection practices included preferential scoring in screening (38.2%) and admissions decisions (30.0%), modified MCAT (21.4%) and GPA cutoffs (18.8%), and reserved class slots (20.2%). Personnel from 10 schools identified key themes of motivations, resources, challenges, and recommendations. Understanding how schools identify and admit rurally inclined students is a first step in identifying best practices for addressing rural workforce gaps. This study was conducted by the Collaborative for Rural Primary care Research, Education, and Practice (Rural PREP), a HRSA-funded project of the University of Washington, Ohio University, and the University of North Dakota.

    Contact:  Davis Patterson PhD


  • Authors:

    Schmitz DF, Evans DV, Andrilla CHA, Jopson AD, Longenecker RL, Patterson DG

  • Journal/Publisher:

    Journal of Health Care for the Poor Underserved

  • Edition:

    Nov 2020. 31(5):320-331

  • Link to Article

    Access the article here: Journal of Health Care for the Poor Underserved

  • Citation:

    Schmitz DF, Evans DV, Andrilla CHA, Jopson AD, Longenecker RL, Patterson DG. Challenges and best practices for implementing rurally targeted admissions in U.S. medical schools. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 31(4):320-331. doi:10.1353/hpu.2020.0156

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