Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Physicians: Opinions on Enacted and Prospective Health Care Policies

Jordan M. Rook, Jacob A. Fox, Alec M. Feuerbach, James R. Blum, Bruce L. Henschen, Antoinette R. Oot, Jacob B. Pierce, Cynthia S. Davey, Tyler N.A. Winkelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Future physicians will be key stakeholders in the formation, implementation, and success of health care policies enacted during their careers, though little is known of their opinions of enacted and proposed policies since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This study aimed to understand the opinions of medical students related to policies including, but not limited to, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a public option on the private exchange, and single-payer health care. Online surveys were completed by 1,660 medical students at 7 U.S. medical schools between October 2017 and November 2017. The authors used multiple logistic regression to examine associations between student characteristics and support of policies. In total, 1,660 of 4,503 (36.9%) eligible medical students completed the survey. A majority of respondents identified 4 extant Affordable Care Act policies as important, including its protections for patients with pre-existing conditions (95.3%) and Medicaid expansion (77.8%). With respect to prospective reforms, 82.6% supported a public insurance option, and 70.5% supported a single-payer health care system. Only 2.2% supported reducing funding for Medicaid. Although views varied by sex, anticipated specialty, and political affiliation, medical students largely supported prospective policies that would expand insurance coverage and access to health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-333
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Affordable Care Act
  • health care reform
  • health policy
  • medical student
  • opinion
  • single-payer
  • survey


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