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
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
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