Influence of a rural family medicine rotation on residency selection: MS3 versus MS4

Jenenne A. Geske, Teresa Hartman, Barbara Goodman, Paul Mark Paulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Many family medicine educators feel that a required clinical rotation in family medicine has a positive influence on medical students' selection of family medicine residencies. We investigated the effect of a rural family medicine rotation on students' residency choices and examined the differences between a third-year and a fourth-year rotation. Methods: We surveyed 1,260 students before and after they participated in a required rural family medicine rotation. Results: The rotation had a small positive effect on student interest in family medicine. Over 20 years, there was a net gain of 4.7% (93 students) from before to after the rotation. Moving the rural rotation from the MS4 to the MS3 year resulted in a significant decline in the number of students who switched their preferences toward family medicine and ultimately matched to a family medicine residency. Conclusions: When the rotation occurs in the third year, there is more time following the rotation for other influences to exert an impact on a student's specialty choice, resulting in a small "bleed" away from family medicine. It might be useful to develop programs that continue to pique the interest in family medicine during their fourth year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-559
Number of pages4
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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