Title VII funding played an important role in the development of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM). These funds enabled the 90% tuition-funded school to implement a primary-care-based curriculum in its formative years and played a crucial role in the 1995–2005 period of curriculum revision. UNECOM successfully competed for Title VII program funding in Physician Faculty Development in Primary Care, Academic Units in Primary Care, Predoctoral Training in Primary Care, and Residency Training in Primary Care. This funding helped the institution refine its vision and mission as a result of the federal imperatives surrounding primary health care. Securing these funds enabled the institution to jump-start programs with start-up federal funding, expand faculty, access educational innovation by networking with other grantees across the nation, and expand faculty grant-making knowledge and skills via federal technical assistance and grant review processes. Subsequent institutionalization of the resulting innovations may have played a role in UNECOM maintaining its production of primary care physicians, as evidenced by 71% of its 1996–2002 graduates practicing in primary care specialties. The impact of Title VII funding at UNECOM provides an example of how new and existing medical schools whose missions align with federal priorities can use these programs to develop curriculum and resources congruent with their missions.
This article is part of a theme issue of Academic Medicine on the Title VII health professions training programs.