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Exploring residents’ intentions to serve medically underserved areas and populations in the teaching health center graduate medical program
Calzo, Jerel B.
Azmus, LisaUrada, Lianne
The purpose of this study was to explore residents’ intentions over time in a Teaching Health Center residency program supported by the funding of the Teaching Health Center Medical Program. Research indicates that those who enter these training sites are more likely to plan to serve underserved areas. Health Resources and Services Administration, the agency that administers the Teaching Health Center Medical Program funds, reported that these residencies supply majority of the primary care workforce in underserved areas. This is extremely important because these residencies could provide the solution needed to solve some of the health inequities that the United States faces, especially those who are underserved. Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior was used to guide this study in order to provide theoretical reasoning to the underlying mechanisms of an individual’s intentions and behaviors. This study further described residents who attend these training sites, documented the intent to work in an underserved area and with underserved populations over time, created themes by conducting thematic qualitative analysis, and investigated associations between this intent and future employment involving working in underserved areas and with underserved populations. There were a total of 16 residents in this sample, that were mostly female (63%), ages 30-39 years (69%), grew up in a bilingual or multilingual household (56%), were non-underrepresented in medicine (40%) and underrepresented in medicine (40%), and have educational debt (69%). Ten residents sustained their intention throughout the residency, while the other 6 participants’ intentions fluctuated. There were six themes and three subthemes that emerged from the participants’ free-responses that were related to residents intentions. From all the 16 participants, only one did not continue serving in an underserved area. All 16 of the physicians continued serving underserved populations. Future research efforts should focus on conducting research with a larger sample size that involves proper statistical analysis of longitudinal data and rigorous qualitative methods. In addition, research determining if patients are properly served and feel satisfied with the care by these physicians is needed.
Health Promotion And Behavioral Science
San Diego State University
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2021
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