A number of strategies have been proposed to stimulate medical student interest in 1 or all of the generalist or primary care disciplines.1-2 Some studies suggest that a primary care–oriented curriculum may affect medical student career choice.1-5
Based on the family medicine experience with student interest groups, we hypothesized that an extracurricular intervention would stimulate medical students to pursue a generalist career in pediatrics4 (Robert Jones, DEd, written communication, December 6,1996). Medical student interest groups, or discipline specific "clubs," began at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) College of Medicine, with the establishment of the Family Practice Interest Group, as early as 1973. In nearly all cases, student interest prompted the creation of such organizations. Currently, at least 7 such groups are active at PSU.
In 1994, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Careers and Opportunities conducted a survey of US and Canadian medical schools about organized