This part of the following Hospitals & Health Network article, Steering Med Students into General Practice, by David Ollier Weber, provides a positive snapshot of UC Davis School of Medicine:
“Each year, the Association of American Medical Colleges surveys the new class of matriculating students nationwide on a variety of subjects, including what influenced them in their decisions to become doctors. In 2011 — the most recent survey — four in seven cited as a positive motivation “anticipated salary.”
To be fair, the remainder said money was not a lure, and many more — almost 80 percent — declared that the “competitiveness/challenge” of medicine had been a major attractant. (The listed career influences were not mutually exclusive.) Besides, says Tonya Fancher, M.D., of the University of California Davis School of Medicine, the lucrative options in business and finance available to the kind of top academic performers who opt for medical schools suggest that, “If your goal is to make a lot of money, medicine is not really the way to go.”
Fancher, a primary general internist and educator herself, knows whereof she speaks. And she has a strong reason for hoping her students aren’t just motivated by the big bucks. She directs the Transforming Education and Community Health for Medical Students program at Davis, whose focus is expanding medical student interest and involvement in serving inner-city populations. She’s also the associate director for curriculum for the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley PRIME program, which is similarly oriented toward encouraging primary care careers in rural areas.
Davis has long been a medical school with an emphasis on graduating primary care physicians. But efforts to steer more students into primary care — internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or obstetrics/gynecology — despite the allure of such better paid specialties as neurosurgery, cardiology or urology, are in full swing across the country, according to Carol Aschenbrener, chief medical education officer at the AAMC in Washington, DC.
Clinical experience in primary care and ambulatory settings is now a requirement at all U.S. schools, she points out. Eighty of them have clinical campuses in smaller cities where students can gain exposure to the relationship-based satisfactions of primary care — as opposed, she notes, to the usually briefer, shallower and more intermittent patient contacts that characterize most specialty practices.”