Impact of a required family medicine clerkship on medical students' attitudes about primary care

Acad Med. 1989 Sep;64(9):546-8.


A study of 314 medical students before and after a required third-year clerkship in family medicine explored relationships among exposure to the clerkship and changes in attitudes toward primary care. The survey instrument contained 29 statements distinguishing the philosophy of primary care from that of subspecialty-oriented medicine and asked students' to state their future residency plans. The responses of the primary care and subspecialty-oriented groups were the most disparate, whereas the students who were uncertain about residency plans shifted on several items from an alignment with the specialty group toward an alignment with the primary care group. This study shows that experience in a family medicine clerkship may be associated with changes in attitudes that represent development of a more informed image of primary care.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Social Perception*
  • Specialization
  • Students, Medical / psychology*