Community college pathways: Improving the U.S. Physician workforce pipeline

Efrain Talamantes, Carol M. Mangione, Karla Gonzalez, Alejandro Jimenez, Fabio Gonzalez, Gerardo Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose To examine the association between participation in a community college (CC) pathway, medical school admission, and intentions to practice in underserved communities or work with minority populations. Method The authors performed cross-sectional analyses of the 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges matriculant and applicant files and the Matriculating Student Questionnaire to assess associations between student characteristics and participation in a CC pathway. They used logistic regression to estimate the association among CC pathway and acceptance to medical school, intention to practice in underserved areas, or intention to work with minority populations. Results There were 40,491 applicants and 17,518 matriculants to U.S. MD-granting schools; about one-third used a CC. A higher proportion of underrepresented minority (URM) matriculants used CC pathways compared with whites. Applicants who attended a CC after high school and before a four-year university (First-CC) had lower odds of acceptance into medical school (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.68; 95% CI 0.61-0.75; P < .05). Compared with medical students who never attended a CC, First-CC matriculants were more likely to have parents without a college education (304/895 [34%] versus 1,683/12,598 [13%], P < .001) and higher odds of intentions to practice in underserved communities (AOR = 1.26; 95% CI 1.04-1.53; P < .05), after adjusting for covariates. Conclusions There is both high representation of URM students and higher prevalence of intention to work with underserved communities among CC pathway participants. These findings may be of interest to those seeking to enhance diversity in the physician workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1649-1656
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 11 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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