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Academia and the Profession |

Social Marketing: Application to Medical Education

Sean P. David, MD, SM; and David S. Greer, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Brown University School of Medicine and Brown University Center for Primary Care and Prevention, Providence, Rhode Island.


Acknowledgment: The authors thank Christina Zarcadoolas, PhD, who was a mentor and guide through the communications literature and was extremely helpful in the development of this manuscript.

Requests for Single Reprints: David S. Greer, MD, Box G-B497, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. David: Brown University Center for Primary Care and Prevention, 111 Brewster Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860.

Dr. Greer: Box G-B497, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912.


Ann Intern Med. 2001;134(2):125-127. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-134-2-200101160-00013
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Medical education is often a frustrating endeavor, particularly when it attempts to change practice behavior. Traditional lecture-based educational methods are limited in their ability to sustain concentration and interest and to promote learner adherence to best-practice guidelines. Marketing techniques have been very effective in changing consumer behavior and physician behavior. However, the techniques of social marketing—goal identification, audience segmentation, and market research—have not been harnessed and applied to medical education. Social marketing can be applied to medical education in the effort to go beyond inoculation of learners with information and actually change behaviors. The tremendous potential of social marketing for medical education should be pilot-tested and systematically evaluated.

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