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Medical school mission statements matter; could they help solve the shortage of primary care providers?

Christopher Morley, PhDAlthough some medical schools emphasize the training of primary care providers, the United States is not producing enough of these general medical doctors to replace those who will retire in the near future, says Christopher Morley, PhD, a professor in Upstate's Department of Family Medicine. Often, he said, students who initially want to become primary doctors for underserved communites change their minds during medical school: "It trails off as they become more worried about debt and lifestyle and the prestige of their career." In a recent study, Morley analyzed the mission statements of U.S. medical schools and found that those whose mission statements included something about caring for the underserved produced graduates who went on to do just that.

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