The potential of the academic medical center to shape policy-oriented rural health research

Acad Med. 1991 Nov;66(11):662-7. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199111000-00003.


Rural communities continue to have problems in gaining access to basic health care services, a problem exacerbated by persistent shortages of physicians, financially threatened rural hospitals, and weak local economies. Academic health centers can help to address these issues, not only by increasing the flow of their graduates to rural areas, but also by supporting health services research designed to shape public policy that affects the rural United States. Examples of such research include experiments designed to influence the locational decisions of medical students and residents, studies of the quality and cost-effectiveness of care in rural hospitals, and the testing of new ways to provide emergency medical care in rural areas. Such policy-oriented research is compatible with both the intellectual and the service missions of most medical schools; in addition, lessons learned in rural areas may be relevant in more urbanized areas.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Health Workforce
  • Hospitals, Rural
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care
  • Rural Health*
  • United States