Increasing Graduates Who Practice as Generalist Physicians in New York

Generalist Physician Initiative

The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences changed its curriculum to increase the number of graduates entering primary care residencies and ultimately practicing as generalist physicians.

This project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Generalist Physician Initiative, a national program that challenged schools of medicine to increase the supply of general internists, general pediatricians and family practitioners that they were training.

Key Results

  • Buffalo accomplished the following under the Generalist Physician Initiative:

    • Instituted new pre-admissions programs, including mentoring and research opportunities for minority high school students.
    • Established generalism at the very core of the curriculum with a new two-year clinical practice course beginning in the first year; the use of real patients to teach diagnosis and clinical decision-making; and summer mentoring and research programs.
    • Created workshops for residents in teaching, communication skills and cultural diversity.
    • Implemented a workshop series for faculty focusing on teaching, research, administration, professional writing and speaking, cross-cultural medicine and preventive medicine.

By 2000, 54 percent of Buffalo graduates entered a primary care residency, up from 44 percent in 1994.