AMA Wire

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012

For Medical Students

Med schools working to fill gaps in primary care

Will the nation's physician shortage raise family medicine's profile? That's the question American Medical News explores in an article looking at recent medical school efforts to encourage greater numbers of students to pursue careers in primary care.

Medical educators agree that the prominence of family medicine is rising as the nation moves toward lowering costs and improving patient outcomes with preventive care and better management of chronic conditions.

Medical schools are reporting growing numbers of students pursuing careers in family medicine, American Medical News reports. According to the National Resident Matching Program, the number of U.S. medical school graduates matched to first-year residency positions in family medicine increased 14.4 percent since 2008.

But the modest increase still leaves a wide gap in the primary care physician workforce.

"In a nation with a good supply of physicians like the U.S.," said Jerry Kruse, MD, president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, "the appropriate proportion of primary care physicians—defined as usual sources of comprehensive, longitudinal care—is 40 percent to 50 percent of the total physician workforce. We are now at 32 percent and declining rapidly."

Advocacy event to offer peek at the politics of medicine

Learn about the legislative issues affecting medicine and foster relationships with legislators during AMA Medical Student Advocacy Day, which will take place Feb. 10–11 in Washington, D.C. Advocacy Day will be held at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel and will offer interactive educational sessions on effective advocacy and lobbying techniques, briefings on legislative issues before Congress and a full afternoon on Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and their staffs.

Registration is $10, and a limited number of free hotel rooms is available. You must be an AMA member to attend. If you're not a member, join today.

Apply for an AMA medical student leadership position

Are you interested in taking on a leadership role within the AMA? The AMA Medical Student Section is accepting applications for eight leadership positions now through Jan. 31.

Six AMA councils, the AMA Foundation Board of Directors and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education are looking for medical student leaders to serve from June 2013 to June 2014. Learn more about these opportunities to make a positive impact on the medical profession.

Current medical student representatives are happy to answer questions or provide additional information about their positions. A list of these representatives and their email addresses is available online.