Medical schools, primary care and family medicine: Clerkship directors' perceptions of the current environment

Maribeth Porter, Denny Fe Agana, Robert Hatch, Susmita Datta, Peter J. Carek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The culture at a medical school and the positive experiences in primary care clerkships influence student specialty choice. This choice is significant if the demand for primary care physicians is to be met. The aim of this study was to examine family medicine clerkship directors' perceptions of the medical school environment. Methods: Data were collected as part of the 2015 Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance Family Medicine Clerkship Director survey. Questions asked included how clerkship directors perceived the environment of their medical school towards family medicine, has the environment towards family medicine changed between 2010 and 2015, do they take action to influence student attitudes towards family medicine and whether faculty members in other departments make negative comments about family medicine. Results: The response rate was 79.4%. While most respondents indicated the environment of their medical school has become more positive towards family medicine, a majority of clerkship directors perceived the environment to be either very much against, slightly against or indifferent towards family medicine. Nearly one-half (41.4%) of the clerkship directors were notified more than once a year that a faculty member of another department made a negative comment about family medicine. Results varied among regions of the USA and between schools located in the USA and Canada. Conclusion: Family medicine clerkship directors often perceived negativity towards family medicine, a finding that may limit the effectiveness of academic health centres in their mission to better serve their community and profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-684
Number of pages5
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude
  • education
  • faculty
  • family practice
  • medical
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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