Since 1978, over 600 college juniors and seniors have participated in the Brody School of Medicine (BSOM) Summer Program for Future Doctors (SPFD), an 8-week summer program for students to discover what it’s like to attend medical school and determine whether medicine is a good career choice. Many of the participants are minority, disadvantaged and nontraditional students and as a testament to SPFD’s impact, the majority of program participants go on to careers in medicine or other health-related professions. (See other news coverage of SPFD at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/medicaleducation/spfd/news.cfm.)
Less well-known is the economic impact this program has had on our state. SPFD boasts an impressive track record in placing primary care physicians in North Carolina, a core tenet of the BSOM mission. Of the 224 students who have completed the SPFD program and subsequently attended medical school at BSOM, 62 percent remain in our state for medical practice.
And, of those, 54 percent now work in counties where economic conditions are generally challenging and the need for physicians is great. Locating physicians in counties that are economically distressed benefits everyone in those communities; a 2007 study reported that the economic impact of a single family medicine physician in North Carolina was approximately $964,271 per year!
For students, professors and all North Carolinians, SPFD is quite a success!
–David W. Musick, PhD
Associate Dean, Office of Medical Education & Student Development