Only a fifth of US medical students choose primary care

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2684
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

Far fewer US medical students plan to go into primary care than two decades ago, a recent analysis shows.

The United States faces a “troubling shortage in its primary care medical workforce,” say the authors of the analysis, published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2011;171:744, doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.139). Surveys of graduating students in 1990 and 2007 show that although roughly a quarter of graduating medical students in both years planned to go into internal medicine, the proportion planning to go into general internal medicine fell from 9% to 2%.

General internal medicine, along with paediatrics and family medicine, comprise what is referred to as “primary care” in the US. …

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