The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that the U.S. will have a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians by the end of this decade. In an effort to help overcome this shortage, the GE Foundation has partnered with NMF to build a primary care provider pipeline targeted at providing medical, nursing and physician assistant students the opportunity to explore primary healthcare in targeted U.S. cities. At its core, the Primary Care Leadership Program (PCLP) is a service-learning rotation that aims to enhance student training by combining care delivery, leadership practice management and an independent project.
“There is a clear and critical need for a stronger primary care provider pipeline, and we are thrilled to partner with NMF on this project to help strengthen ongoing access to quality primary care,” said Bob Corcoran, Chairman and President of the GE Foundation. “Early results look very promising, and we are excited for what the next few years should show in terms of helping overcome one of today’s greatest challenges in the U.S. healthcare system.”
PCLP aims to develop a cadre of primary healthcare professionals willing to work in underserved communities, improve clinical skills in primary healthcare delivery, develop leadership and management skills, and build Community Health Center (CHC) networks. In the program’s inaugural year, 38 scholars were placed in 11 CHCs in four U.S. cities.
“The model we built for the first year of PCLP is the foundation for drawing more medical students to the field of primary care. We also established a robust assessment process to ensure detailed feedback that could be used to improve upon the core elements,” said Dr. Esther Dyer, President and CEO of NMF. “The first year assessment was very positive and we’ve already implemented some of the suggested improvements for next year.”
To assess the progress to date, PCLP used a customer loyalty metric to calculate a Net Promoter Score (NPS) for each stakeholder group. The NPS for scholars, site partners and faculty advisors indicate strong program support.
- 31 scholars or 83.8% responded that, if eligible, they would reapply for the program next year
- 83.8% indicated that they would like to be involved in the program in the future
- 92.1% indicated that they would be willing to serve as peer mentors for next year’s scholars
- 100% of the site partners and faculty advisors said that they would recommend the program
Based on the success of the first year, the GE Foundation and NMF have added additional goals and metrics for 2013-2015. Those include broadening the PCLP pipeline to include MPH and MSW students to conduct independent projects related to primary healthcare service delivery; exposing 300 scholars to primary health care in underserved communities in 14 cities and 32 health centers over four years; continue improving clinical and leadership skills of scholars; building the relationship between universities and partner sites; and improving training capacity and program implementation.