About the Medical School Mapping Tool

The Med School Mapper is a tool within the HealthLandscape mapping platform and is a result of a Macy Foundation-funded project directed by the Robert Graham Center.

Project Background: Amidst AAMC and COGME recommended expansion of medical education, principally through expansion of existing training sites, there is little mention and measurement of how the large investments of public dollars meet the needs of the citizens. In response to this, the Macy Foundation is funding the Medical Education Futures Study. This response is consistent with Macy's mission to promote and evaluate the social responsiveness and mission of each medical school. Its ranking of schools by social accountability is a novel first step in understanding their social impact on a national scale. However, as state policymakers attempt to direct expansion funding with accountability to their own regional social and health care access needs, they have few tools for understanding the local and regional impact of schools. Neither national rankings, nor workforce models can capture the regional impact of training sites. The Robert Graham Center has been studying means of demonstrating such impact, using geographic and policy analyses of individual medical schools' graduates.

Advisory Group: Assembled from colleagues, collaborators and stakeholders at the Macy Foundation, Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC), Association of American Medical CollegesMedical Education Futures Study (MEFS), and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).

Policy Implications: We lack tools to measure the impact of individual medical schools on community policy objectives, a critical shortcoming as states call on strained budgets to expand local capacity for medical education. Local and regional effects on physician access are often recognized only after the fact. Using novel approaches to analyzing and displaying regional impact, we will give planners essential information for directing and evaluating medical school expansion and its impact on access and other social aims.

Project Team Bios:

Macy Foundation: The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation provides funding for projects in the following four areas: 1) Projects to improve medical and health professional education in the context of the changing health care system; 2) Projects that will increase diversity among health care professionals; 3) Projects that demonstrate or encourage ways to increase teamwork between and among health care professionals; and 4) Educational strategies to increase care for underserved populations.

Robert Graham Center: The AAFP's Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care is a research center sponsored by the AAFP but operated with editorial independence. It was established a decade ago to provide evidence for policy-making and to bring a family medicine and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations. The Robert Graham Center staff are experts in the use and analysis of large datasets using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and have a strong and team-based approach to GIS-related work and application development.

AAFP: The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with more than 94,600 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. The Academy was founded in 1947 to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public.

HealthLandscape LLC and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati: HealthLandscape LLC develops, administers, and markets geospatial analysis software tools and professional services. The LLC is a subsidiary of the nonprofit Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, which worked with the AAFP and Robert Graham Center in the successful development of the HealthLandscape mapping platform. This group has extensive experience in GIS applications relating to health centers and primary care and works closely on all projects as a team.

Blue Raster LLC: Blue Raster LLC is a GIS application development group skilled in rapid application development. They have 20 years of experience in every aspect of GIS mapping using partner solutions and web and database technologies, and developed the HealthLandscape prototype together with the investigators. The Blue Raster staff includes advanced application architects, RIA developers, and GIS analysts that are critical for developing mapping tools.

For information on the data used within the Med School Mapper, please see Data Information