Graduates from two medical schools who participated in rural education programs were more likely to work in rural areas than graduates from the same schools who didn't take part in the programs, according to two articles in the August issue of Academic Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges' journal.
The results from one study indicate that since 1989, about 26% of 86 students who participated in the rural medical education program at the State University of New York's Upstate Medical University practiced in rural areas in 2004. Meanwhile, 7% of 1,307 nonparticipants reported practicing in a rural area.
In the other study, authors queried 1,937 students who graduated from 1978 to 1986 from Jefferson Medical College. They found that in 2002, 68% of 38 students who participated in the college's physician shortage area program were still practicing family medicine in the same rural area in which they started. Only 46% of 54 graduates who didn't participate in the program were still practicing in the same rural areas in 2002.