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Community engagement in US and Canadian medical schools

Authors Adam O Goldstein, Rachel Sobel Bearman

Published Date January 2011 Volume 2011:2 Pages 43—49


Published 25 January 2011

Adam O Goldstein, Rachel Sobel Bearman
Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Introduction: This study examines the integration of community engagement and community-engaged scholarship at all accredited US and Canadian medical schools in order to better understand and assess their current state of engagement.
Methods: A 32-question data abstraction instrument measured the role of community engagement and community-engaged scholarship as represented on the Web sites of all accredited US and Canadian medical schools. The instrument targeted a medical school's mission and vision statements, institutional structure, student and faculty awards and honors, and faculty tenure and promotion guidelines.
Results: Medical school Web sites demonstrate little evidence that schools incorporate community engagement in their mission or vision statements or their promotion and tenure guidelines. The majority of medical schools do not include community service terms and/or descriptive language in their mission statements, and only 8.5% of medical schools incorporate community service and engagement as a primary or major criterion in promotion and tenure guidelines.
Discussion: This research highlights significant gaps in the integration of community engagement or community-engaged scholarship into medical school mission and vision statements, promotion and tenure guidelines, and service administrative structures.

Keywords: medical school, education, community service, mission, tenure, engagement

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