Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program

An RWJF National Program

Dates of Program: April 1992 through December 2009

Field of Work: Strengthening the presence of generalist physician faculty in the nation's medical schools.

Problem Synopsis: According to a 1992 report of the Council on Graduate Medical Education, the United States had too few generalist physicians—family physicians, general internists and general pediatricians—and too many specialists. Generalist physicians accounted for 11.4 percent of physicians in 1990, according to an April 1992 article published in American Family Physician.

Synopsis of the Work: The Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program awarded four-year career development grants to junior faculty in family medicine, general internal medicine and general pediatrics. The scholars worked on health services research projects under the guidance of mentors from their institutions and the program's national advisory committee.

Key Results

  • According to the national program office, the program awarded grants to 176 scholars from 81 medical schools: 43 scholars were in family medicine, 81 scholars were in general internal medicine and 52 scholars were in general pediatrics. The Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars contributed to the scholarly foundation of generalism through their research, published in leading peer-reviewed journals.

    Most Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars have received major grants, and most became reviewers for peer-reviewed journals, joined a journal's editorial board and/or became journal editors or associate editors. Finally, the scholars assumed new leadership roles both within and outside of their medical schools.