Gregg S. Meyer, MD, MSc
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Meyer is a former Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps and continues to serve as adjunct faculty at the USUHS.
Meyer G.; The Social Mission of Medical Education. Ann Intern Med. 2010;153:485-486. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00023
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2010;153(7):485-486.
TO THE EDITOR:
Mullan and colleagues' article (1) on the social mission of medical education is a provocative one. In other areas of health care, the creation of league tables, even when the underlying measurement is inaccurate, leads to greater attention to the subject being measured. This surely was the case with this article.
Unfortunately, the authors did get it very wrong in the case of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), which was characterized as being among the 20 lowest social mission scores. That conclusion obviously ignores the reality of that unique school. Among the school's attributes is the fact that 100% of its graduates are committed to public service. More important, the vast majority of its graduates spend at least part of their professional lives providing care in the most austere environments, ranging from battlefields to remote outposts and refugee camps. This amount of service to the most vulnerable would fit any rational definition of “social mission,” yet it has been completely ignored by the authors. The social mission of USUHS is one for which our nation should be proud. To ignore it creates a false impression at best and, at worst, is disrespectful to those who serve.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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