A recent issue of Academic Medicine featured a research article written by

Gary Gugelchuk, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Professions at

Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU), and Judy Cody, MS, a

second-year student in WesternU’s physician assistant program.

The study, completed in the fall of 1997 and published in the May 1999

issue of the magazine, was entitled “”Physicians in Service to the

Underserved: An Analysis of the Practice Locations of Alumni of Western

University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific, 1982-1995.”” The results, compiled using address information on

file with the University’s Office of Alumni Affairs, indicated that 20

percent of the 765 WesternU alumni studied were practicing in underserved

areas.

According to Dr. Gugelchuk, the article marked the first time WesternU has

been included in the Research Report section of Academic Medicine, a

commonly cited journal in medical education.

“”It’s nice to be published in a journal of this caliber because it gives

the University recognition with a wide audience,”” Dr. Gugelchuk said. “”The

process of locating physicians in underserved areas has been a policy

issue for medical schools for a number of years. Schools try to track this

information, and through this study we found a way to do it using

administrative data bases, which is unique.””

The database maintained by the WesternU alumni office tracks specialties

as well as addresses, so the study was able to compare percentages of

alumni practicing in underserved areas in terms of specialty subgroups, as

well as by sex and ethnicity.

The article marked Cody’s first published research.

“”It’s a thrill to be published in such a prestigious medical journal,”” she

said. “”I really enjoyed doing the research; it was a good opportunity to

see the results of WesternU’s efforts in encouraging students to work in

underserved areas.””

Academic Medicine is the official journal of the Association of American

Medical Colleges, and is the oldest English-language journal devoted to

issues related to the training of physicians. It has a circulation of

approximately 6000.