Community-Based Teaching Initiative Strengthening Primary Care Pipeline, Helping the Underserved—Authority Health

Throughout the country there is a critical shortage of primary care providers, especially in urban underserved areas like Detroit. To help meet the demand for primary care providers, the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority (d.b.a. Authority Health), in partnership with the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, received funding from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration to train up to 81 physicians. The Authority Health program is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.

Authority Health is currently the second-largest teaching health center in the nation and the only one to offer all six primary care specialties. It is also the only program to require its residents to complete a two-year certification in population health, through the University of Michigan School of Public Health, preparing them to provide community-centered care to their patients. These physicians train in continuity clinics at community health centers and private physician practices, as well as fulfill their required inpatient experiences at local hospitals.

Teaching health centers are highly effective in retaining residents, thereby ensuring that the provider shortage, most acute in medically underserved areas, will eventually subside.