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Regional Medical Campuses: A New Classification System

Cheifetz, Craig E. MD; McOwen, Katherine S.; Gagne, Pierre MD, MSc; Wong, Jennifer L.

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000295

There is burgeoning belief that regional medical campuses (RMCs) are a significant part of the narrative about medical education and the health care workforce in the United States and Canada. Although RMCs are not new, in the recent years of medical education enrollment expansion, they have seen their numbers increase. Class expansion explains the rapid growth of RMCs in the past 10 years, but it does not adequately describe their function. Often, RMCs have missions that differ from their main campus, especially in the areas of rural and community medicine. The absence of an easy-to-use classification system has led to a lack of current research about RMCs as evidenced by the small number of articles in the current literature. The authors describe the process of the Group on Regional Medical Campuses used to develop attributes of a campus separate from the main campus that constitute a “classification” of a campus as an RMC. The system is broken into four models—basic science, clinical, longitudinal, and combined—and is linked to Liaison Committee on Medical Education standards. It is applicable to all schools and can be applied by any medical school dean or medical education researcher. The classification system paves the way for stakeholders to agree on a denominator of RMCs and conduct future research about their impact on medical education.

Dr. Cheifetz is regional dean, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Inova Campus, Falls Church, Virginia.

Ms. McOwen is director, Educational Affairs, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

Dr. Gagne is senior advisor, Regional Medical Campus Development, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Ms. Wong is former senior specialist, Regional Campus Affairs, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Cheifetz, VCU School of Medicine Inova Campus, 3300 Gallows Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042; e-mail:

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges