Student JAMA
January 7, 2004

Medical Student Care of Indigent Populations

JAMA. 2004;291(1):121. doi:10.1001/jama.291.1.121

Medical education has long been related to care of the poor, especially in public hospitals, where medical education programs have traditionally provided treatment for indigent patients.1 While medical education now covers a range of clinical environments, poor patients still represent a significant number of those cared for in educational settings. For example, public teaching hospitals currently provide 3 times the amount of indigent care relative to their share of the overall hospital market.2 Students are also involved in a substantial number of community service programs, such as free clinics, that provide care for a growing population of uninsured patients.3

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