• Assessing the University of Arizona Medical School Admission Committee Members’ Knowledge of Predictors of Rural Practice for Medical School Applicants

      LeSueur, Philip; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Galper, Carol (The University of Arizona., 2013-03)
      Objective: There is a disparity in physician to population ratios between rural and urban Arizona. The University of Arizona Medical School has a unique opportunity to increase the supply of physicians serving in rural Arizona through its admissions process. This study is a quality improvement project which examined whether or not the admission committee members at both the Tucson and Phoenix campuses are considering probability of future rural practice when making admission decisions and if they know the evidence based predictors for rural practice. Methods: The admission committee members from the University of Arizona Medical School were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding their preferences for future rural practitioners and if they knew the two most accurate predictors for rural practice. Results: There were 22 respondents to the survey- 12 out of 13 from Phoenix and 10 out of 14 from Tucson. Fifty-nine percent (n=13) of the total respondents listed likelihood to practice in a rural community as positively affecting their admission decision, 27 percent (n=6) said it does not affect their decision at all, and 13 percent (n=3) said it affects their decision very positively. All 22 respondents correctly identified rural background as one of the two strongest predictors of rural practice while 11 correctly identified stated interest in family practice as the other. Conclusion: The University of Arizona Medical School admissions committees are well positioned to increase the supply of rural physicians in Arizona. Even still, some of the members of the committee could benefit from education regarding accurate predictors of rural practice.