A review of primary care training programs in correctional health for physicians

Teach Learn Med. 2012;24(1):81-9. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2012.641492.


Background: Despite the health consequences of incarceration, there are no national standards for teaching physicians about correctional health. The purpose of this study was to survey existing correctional health training programs for primary care physicians.

Summary: Programs were identified through literature and Web search, snowballing, and professional meetings. Programs were contacted and asked to complete a survey. Correctional health programs exist in a variety of disciplines. We identified 22 in primary care. Programs seek to improve public health, reduce stigma, and recruit physicians to correctional health. Curricula covered specific health problems as well as the impact of incarceration on families and communities. Relationships between the academic center and the correctional facilities were varied. Barriers include issues of security, time, financial resources, and stigma. Programs evaluate their learners, as well as educational and clinical outcomes.

Conclusions: A variety of correctional health programs currently exist. A national model curriculum could strengthen teaching in correctional health.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Physicians*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Prisoners*
  • Prisons*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Health
  • Teaching / methods*
  • United States