Focusing on Primary Care at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center

Generalist Physician Initiative

The University of Massachusetts Medical Center developed a strategy to increase to 50 percent both the proportion of entering students interested in primary care and the proportion of graduating students intending to practice as generalists.

This project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Generalist Physician Initiative.

Key Results

  • Under the grant, the medical center accomplished the following:

    • Implemented a student learning contract, requiring four years of service either in primary care practice or in a designated underserved area in Massachusetts.
    • Developed a new longitudinal course that integrates community medicine, epidemiology, behavioral science, ethics and medical interviewing; a community preceptor program; and a third-year primary care clerkship.
    • Increased the use of community-based training sites, and increased the total time residents spend at ambulatory sites.
    • Introduced educational programs on managed care and on the care of the frail elderly in managed care settings.
    • Instituted a faculty development center.

Some 61 percent of graduates in the class of 2000 entered primary care residency programs. The March 2000 issue of U.S. News & World Report cited the medical center sixth nationwide for excellence in primary care teaching.