Cultivating the physician workforce: Recruiting, training, and retaining physicians to meet the needs of the population

Carol A. Terregino, Julie Byerley, David D. Henderson, Erica Friedman, Martha L. Elks, Isaac J. Kirstein, Andrea N. Leep-Hunderfund, Tonya L. Fancher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the 10 years since the Lancet Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century suggested the changes necessary to transform medical education, the United States remains plagued by shortages of physicians and maldistribution of the physician workforce. Minoritized and rural communities usually suffer the most, with widely documented health disparities across the United States by race, ethnicity, gender identity, education, and zip code. Medical schools can respond by recruiting students more likely to practice in these settings and training them to address the community needs. In 2013, the American Medical Association launched an initiative to trigger transformation in medical education and formed a consortium of schools representing a diversity of U.S. institutions. Consortium member schools highlighted in this article share lessons learned in their efforts to strengthen social accountability and develop needed sectors of the physician workforce. Development of the physician workforce involves recruiting and widening pathways of entry for diverse groups, providing training settings and competencies aligned with community needs, and explicit programming in retention, inclusion and well-being to mitigate against workforce losses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S39-S48
JournalMedical teacher
Issue numberS2
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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