Medical Students' Views and Knowledge of the Affordable Care Act: A Survey of Eight U.S. Medical Schools

Tyler N A Winkelman, Lisa Soleymani Lehmann, Navjyot K Vidwan, Meredith Niess, Cynthia S Davey, Derek Donovan, Joseph Cofrancesco, Mia Mallory, Sandi Moutsios, Ryan M Antiel, John Y Song
Journal of General Internal Medicine 2015, 30 (7): 1018-24

BACKGROUND: It is not known whether medical students support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or possess the knowledge or will to engage in its implementation as part of their professional obligations.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize medical students' views and knowledge of the ACA and to assess correlates of these views.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional email survey.

PARTICIPANTS: All 5,340 medical students enrolled at eight geographically diverse U.S. medical schools (overall response rate 52% [2,761/5,340]).

MAIN MEASURES: Level of agreement with four questions regarding views of the ACA and responses to nine knowledge-based questions.

KEY RESULTS: The majority of respondents indicated an understanding of (75.3%) and support for (62.8%) the ACA and a professional obligation to assist with its implementation (56.1%). The mean knowledge score from nine knowledge-based questions was 6.9 ± 1.3. Students anticipating a surgical specialty or procedural specialty compared to those anticipating a medical specialty were less likely to support the legislation (OR = 0.6 [0.4-0.7], OR = 0.4 [0.3-0.6], respectively), less likely to indicate a professional obligation to implement the ACA (OR = 0.7 [0.6-0.9], OR = 0.7 [0.5-0.96], respectively), and more likely to have negative expectations (OR = 1.9 [1.5-2.6], OR = 2.3 [1.6-3.5], respectively). Moderates, liberals, and those with an above-average knowledge score were more likely to indicate support for the ACA (OR = 5.7 [4.1-7.9], OR = 35.1 [25.4-48.5], OR = 1.7 [1.4-2.1], respectively) and a professional obligation toward its implementation (OR = 1.9 [1.4-2.5], OR = 4.7 [3.6-6.0], OR = 1.2 [1.02-1.5], respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of students in our sample support the ACA. Support was highest among students who anticipate a medical specialty, self-identify as political moderates or liberals, and have an above-average knowledge score. Support of the ACA by future physicians suggests that they are willing to engage with health care reform measures that increase access to care.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"