Amidst the Association of American Medical Colleges and Council on Graduate Medical Education 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. 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 Med School Mapper launched in 2010 to give policymakers the tools they need to help make these funding decisions. The Med School Mapper is a free, online data visualization tool that highlights where graduates of medical schools are practicing as well as how reliant communities are on graduates from that state or program. Users can also find ranking information about how well states or individual schools do in terms of getting students to practice primary care, general surgery, or family medicine as well as in shortage areas, rural areas or low income areas. Additional measures are provided to see how well the states or schools do getting students to practice in those specialties or those types of areas in the state of the medical school.
The development of the Med School Mapper was guided by representatives from the Macy Foundation, Association of Academic Health Centers, Association of American Medical Colleges, Medical Education Futures Study, and American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.