Primary Care Selection and the Financial Burdens of Medical Education
"Preventative medicine and primary care services are the foundations to building healthier communities. Unfortunately, the resources are often limited, and it is estimated that by 2032, the United States could face a shortage of up to 21,000 to 55,200 primary care physicians . This number may be even larger as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has yet to be seen. This deficit of physicians is even more pronounced in rural areas where residents are almost five times as likely to live in a county with a physician shortage . There are a multitude of factors that contribute to this decline in workforce, but one pressing issue is the impact of medical student specialty selection. According to AAMC, specialty content and personality fit are always ranked as top reasons for specialty selection, while debt ranks much lower . Despite this, numerous medical schools have begun to offer full tuition or scholarships in the hope that a debt free education will encourage more students to select primary care. In this commentary, we discuss the Geisinger Abigail Scholars Program which is a program offering free medical education and a living stipend in exchange for a commitment to Geisinger employment in primary care fields upon residency completion. One of the scholars offers her unique perspective as to why she selected this program and how this initiative can reinvigorate primary care interest, while serving as a model for other medical schools."
Christin Spatz, MD , Kara Romanowski , Tanja Adonizio, MD , and Michelle Schmude, EdD 
1- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
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