Outcomes of the UNTHSC TCOM ROME Program on Physician Choice in Field and Location of Practice




Gibson, John
Adams, Ana
Abraham, Stacy
Bowling, John


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Purpose: This research was intended to evaluate the effects that the Rural Osteopathic Medical Education (ROME) has had on alumni in their decisions for: specialty, location of practice, and underserved status. This data analysis intended to address the efficacy of this medical education program in accomplishing its intended goals of developing primary care doctors to serve medically underserved and rural areas. Methods: The researchers evaluated the ROME program at Texas College of Osteopathic medicine in Fort Worth, Texas by examining public records and contacting alumni to collect practice information on ROME students who graduated over a span of 10 years (2010-2019). The data from these 110 graduates were then evaluated to see what percentage of these students: matched into a primary care specialty, currently practice in a "rural" (< 50,000) setting, or serve in "Medically Underserved Area" (MUA) as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Results: It was found that of the 110 ROME graduates from 2010-2019, 70.3% were placed into a primary care residency. 41.86% of those currently in practice were in cities with population < 50,000, with 63% practicing in cities < 100,000. Of those currently in practice also 61.36% of are in a "Medically Underserved Area". Conclusion: The Rural Osteopathic Medical Education program is effective in its mission of producing primary care doctors practicing rural medicine and underserved care. These findings are significant with the high need in healthcare for physicians who practice in these areas.