Integrating the preventive medicine specialty in the rural and public health workforce

Paul Jung, Donald K. Warne

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

The majority of the U.S. American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) population live in rural areas, and are thus disproportionately affected by rural health issues. In addition, the AI/AN population has unique health characteristics resulting from a distinct cultural and sociopolitical history. A public health approach to both rural and Tribal health should include the medical specialty of preventive medicine, a unique physician specialty that combines both direct patient care and public health skills. To best prepare preventive medicine physicians for rural and Tribal practice, medical schools could recruit students from rural and Tribal areas and encourage them to pursue the specialty of preventive medicine. Additionally, preventive medicine residency training programs could establish clinical and public health practicum rotations in rural and Tribal areas, and develop curricula that address rural and Tribal health issues. Currently very few preventive medicine residency programs expressly state a mission to train physicians in rural or Tribal settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106187
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume139
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alaska native
  • American Indian
  • Health disparities
  • Physicians
  • Population health
  • Preventive medicine
  • Public health
  • Rural
  • Tribal
  • Workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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