Tracking Physician Careers
Medical Student Tracking
In 1993, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation (SB 27, 1993-321) requiring each of the state’s four medical schools to develop plans to encourage graduates to enter a residency in general internal medicine, general pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and combined internal medicine/pediatrics. The goal of this legislation was to encourage residencies in primary care for NC medical school graduates.
Since 1994, the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy (PHWRP) has collaborated with the North Carolina Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program to produce an annual report that tracks the where NC medical school graduates are practicing and in which specialties five years after graduation from medical school. These reports are shared with the UNC Board of Governors each November and the reports are forwarded to the Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly. In addition to tracking primary care specialties, the Program tracks graduates practicing in general surgery and psychiatry, as well as graduates who practice in rural areas. Because medical residency in subspecialty disciplines may take longer than 5 years to complete, the Program also analyzes data at 10 years after graduation from medical school. For example, of the 354 graduates of NC medical schools who were in active practice in 2013, 65 (18%) were in practice or training in general primary care in NC, and just 12 (3%) were in practice in primary care in a rural part of the state.