Longitudinal Continuity Learning Experiences and Primary Care Career Interest: Outcomes from an Innovative Medical School Curriculum

Christine D. Ford, Premal G. Patel, Victor S. Sierpina, Mark W. Wolffarth, Judith L. Rowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Medical students in the USA have negative perceptions of primary care careers, which are exacerbated by the hidden curriculum and medical school culture. Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have shown promise in ameliorating this situation by promoting student/preceptor continuity relationships and helping students maintain empathy. Aim: The aim of this study is to describe the Student Continuity of Practice Experience (SCOPE) program and demonstrate program outcomes using evaluation data from residency match results, course evaluations, and student grades. Setting: University of Texas Medical Branch, an academic health center in Galveston, Texas. Participants: Undergraduate medical students. Program Description: Learners participate in a longitudinal curriculum designed to enhance their skills as primary care physicians. They regularly attend continuity clinic, establishing a panel of patients by their third year. Students receive frequent feedback from a faculty mentor on assignments and clinical performance. Program Evaluation: SCOPE students have high primary care residency match rates and experience patient continuity rates comparable to an intern. Their interest in primary care increases between years one and three, a departure from typical medical student trends. Discussion: SCOPE appears to promote and maintain primary care career interest in participants and has transferability to other institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1817-1821
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • longitudinal
  • primary care
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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