Involvement of family and community medicine professionals in community projects.J Fam Pract. 2002 Apr; 51(4):369.JF
Medical schools are being challenged to continue their excellence in education, research, and patient care while responding to the health needs of the public. The objective of our study was to determine the nature and type of community involvement of professionals in departments of family and community medicine.
We mailed a 24-item structured survey to a random national sample of family medicine professionals.
Survey recipients included 770 full-time physician and nonphysician active members of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.
Our survey assessed community activities, challenges and incentives to those activities, and desired resources for working in the community.
A total of 446 usable surveys were returned (58% response rate). Ninety-five percent of respondents had participated in a community activity within the previous year. More male respondents precepted medical students or residents and educated faculty on topics regarding community education; more older respondents participated by sitting on community health boards or councils. Insufficient release time and lack of funding were the 2 most frequently cited barriers to community-based activities.
Most faculty are involved in community-related teaching and service. Reasons for low levels of research and subgroup differences, especially among women and young faculty, merit further research.