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Schenk M; Popp, S M; Neale, A V; Demers, R Y
Academic Medicine: May 1996
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BACKGROUND: The Institute of Medicine has recommended basic clinical competence in environmental medicine (EM) for all physicians. However, the amount and content of instruction in EM currently offered in U.S. medical schools is unknown. METHOD: This cross-sectional study was based on responses to a questionnaire regarding the EM curriculum content of U.S. medical schools, mailed in June 1994 with the Association of American Medical Colleges curriculum survey. RESULTS: Of the 126 schools, 119 (94%) responded. Of these, 29 (24%) reported no required EM content in the curriculum. Schools with EM content averaged seven hours of instruction. Eighty-one schools (68%) had faculty with environmental and occupational medicine expertise, primarily within the departments of medicine, preventive medicine, and family medicine. CONCLUSION: There is a need for increased instruction in EM in medical school curricula for students to acquire the knowledge and skills to prevent, diagnose, and treat health problems with an environmental exposure component. For those schools without EM content in the curriculum, the necessary expertise to develop EM curriculum may be available in current faculty.

Created Date: 16 May 1997; Completed Date: 16 May 1997; Revised Date: 18 December 2000

© 1996 Association of American Medical Colleges