Provision of care to the underserved populations by National Health Service Corps alumni dentists.
ABSTRACT This study examined factors associated with dentists continuing to provide care to the underserved populations beyond their National Health Service Corps (NHSC) obligation period.
Self-administered questionnaires were mailed in 1998 to 404 dentists who had completed their service obligation between 1980 and 1997. The outcome variable was dentist self-report of continuing to work with the underserved population past NHSC obligation.
Among 249 respondents (62% response rate), 46 percent of alumni dentists continued to work with an underserved population. Multivariate analyses found that being an African American (odds ratio [OR] = 3.2), higher final salary during the NHSC assignment (OR = 1.2), and higher altruistic motivation to work with the underserved populations prior to entering NHSC (OR = 1.1) were significantly associated with continued service to the underserved populations.
A small number of factors were associated with alumni NHSC dentists' decisions to continue to provide care for the underserved populations. Targeting African-American students and students interested in caring for the underserved may improve the long-term commitment of dentists to provide care for the underserved populations. Attention will also need to be given to increased salary as a potential intervention to increase the numbers of dentists who continue to serve the underserved populations.
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ABSTRACT: To examine the relationship between physician race and care of racial minority and ethnic minority patients and medically indigent patients. Secondary analysis of data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey, a cross-sectional survey of Americans designed to provide national estimates of health care utilization and expenditures. A sample representative of the total civilian noninstitutionalized US population with oversampling of minorities and the medically indigent. Survey respondents aged 18 years or older who identified a specific physician as their usual source of care (n = 15,081, corresponding to a national population estimate of 116 million Americans). Identification of a nonwhite physician as usual source of care. Of adult Americans who identified a usual-source-of-care physician, 14.4% identified a nonwhite physician as that source of care. Minority patients were more than four times more likely to receive care from nonwhite physicians than were non-Hispanic white patients. Low-income, Medicaid, and uninsured patients were also more likely to receive care from nonwhite physicians. Individuals who receive care from nonwhite physicians were more likely to report worse health, visit an emergency department, and be hospitalized. Individuals who receive care from nonwhite physicians reported more acute complaints, chronic conditions, functional limitations, and psychological symptoms as well as longer visits. Nonwhite physicians are more likely to care for minority, medically indigent, and sicker patients. Caring for less affluent and sicker patients may financially penalize nonwhite physicians and make them particularly vulnerable to capitation arrangements.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 06/1995; 273(19):1515-20. · 29.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship program is the most ambitious program in the United States designed to supply physicians to medically underserved areas. In addition to providing medical service to underserved populations, the NHSC promotes long-term retention of physicians in the areas to which they were initially assigned. This study uses existing secondary data to explore some of the issues involved in retention in rural areas. The December 1991 American Medical Association (AMA) Masterfile was used to determine the practice location and specialty of the 2903 NHSC scholarship recipients who graduated from US medical schools from 1975 through 1983 and were initially assigned to nonmetropolitan counties. We used the AMA Masterfile to determine what percentage of the original cohort was still practicing in their initial county of assignment and the relation of original practice specialty and assignment period to long-term retention. Twenty percent of the physicians assigned to rural areas were still located in the county of their initial assignment, and an additional 20 percent were in some other rural location in 1991. Retention was highest for family physicians and lowest for scholarship recipients who had not completed residency training when they were first assigned. Retention rates were also higher for those with longer periods of obligated service. Substantial medical care service was provided to rural underserved communities through obligated and postobligation service. Nearly 20 percent of all students graduating from medical schools between 1975 and 1983 who are currently practicing in rural counties with small urbanized populations were initially NHSC assignees. Although most NHSC physicians did not remain in their initial rural practice locations, a substantial minority are still rural practitioners; those remaining account for a considerable proportion of all physicians in the most rural US counties. This study suggests that rural retention can be enhanced by selecting more assignees who were committed to and then completed family medicine residencies before assignment.The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice / American Board of Family Practice 10(4):272-9.
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ABSTRACT: Patients who are members of minority groups may be more likely than others to consult physicians of the same race or ethnic group, but little is known about the relation between patients' race or ethnic group and the supply of physicians or the likelihood that minority-group physicians will care for poor or black and Hispanic patients. We analyzed data on physicians' practice locations and the racial and ethnic makeup and socioeconomic status of communities in California in 1990. We also surveyed 718 primary care physicians from 51 California communities in 1993 to examine the relation between the physicians' race or ethnic group and the characteristics of the patients they served. Communities with high proportions of black and Hispanic residents were four times as likely as others to have a shortage of physicians, regardless of community income. Black physicians practiced in areas where the percentage of black residents was nearly five times as high, on average, as in areas where other physicians practiced. Hispanic physicians practiced in areas where the percentage of Hispanic residents was twice as high as in areas where other physicians practiced. After we controlled for the racial and ethnic makeup of the community, black physicians cared for significantly more black patients (absolute difference, 25 percentage points; P < 0.001) and Hispanic physicians for significantly more Hispanic patients (absolute difference, 21 percentage points; P < 0.001) than did other physicians. Black physicians cared for more patients covered by Medicaid (P = 0.001) and Hispanic physicians for more uninsured patients (P = 0.03) than did other physicians. Black and Hispanic physicians have a unique and important role in caring for poor, black, and Hispanic patients in California. Dismantling affirmative-action programs as is currently proposed, may threaten health care for both poor people and members of minority groups.New England Journal of Medicine 05/1996; 334(20):1305-10. · 51.66 Impact Factor