Recruiting primary care physicians to teach medical students in the ambulatory setting: a model of protected time, allocated money, and faculty development

Acad Med. 2015 Nov;90(11):1532-5. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000778.


Problem: Medical schools face barriers to recruiting physicians to teach in the ambulatory setting for many reasons, including time required to teach, loss of productivity when learners are present, and physicians' uncertainty about how to teach.

Approach: In 2012, the primary care department of the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School (UQ-OCS) implemented an innovative model for recruiting primary care physicians to teach students in their clinics. The model's three-pronged approach allows protected teaching time, allocates tuition money to reimburse physicians for teaching via educational value unit (EVU) tracking, and includes a faculty development program.

Outcomes: In the first two years of EVU tracking (academic years 2012 and 2013), 5,530 EVUs were provided by 48 primary care faculty teaching 60 students at 11 sites. In academic year 2013, the first year in which tuition dollars were available to fund teaching by primary care faculty, over $120,000 in tuition money was transferred to the department to pay for EVUs. No faculty in 2012 or 2013 experienced a change in salary as a result of teaching activities. Faculty development workshops have been well attended. The general practice clerkship has been the top-rated third-year clerkship by students for the first three years of clinical rotations at the UQ-OCS.

Next steps: A qualitative study to describe the barriers to and solutions for recruiting physicians to teach students in ambulatory settings is planned. Other studies will evaluate the effectiveness of faculty development efforts and the impact of students' presence on patients' access to clinic appointments.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Career Mobility
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Models, Organizational
  • Personnel Selection*
  • Physicians, Primary Care*
  • Queensland
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Time Factors
  • Workforce