A discrete choice experiment studying students' preferences for scholarships to private medical schools in Japan

Rei Goto, Hiroaki Kakihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The shortage of physicians in rural areas and in some specialties is a societal problem in Japan. Expensive tuition in private medical schools limits access to them particularly for students from middle- and low-income families. One way to reduce this barrier and lessen maldistribution is to offer conditional scholarships to private medical schools. Methods: A discrete choice experiment is carried out on a total of 374 students considering application to medical schools. The willingness to receive a conditional scholarship program to private medical schools is analyzed. Results: The probability of attending private medical schools significantly decreased because of high tuition, a postgraduate obligation to provide a service in specific specialty areas, and the length of time of this obligation. An obligation to provide a service in rural regions had no significant effect on this probability. To motivate non-applicants to private medical schools to enroll in such schools, a decrease in tuition to around 1.2 million yen (US$ 12 000) or less, which is twice that of public schools, was found to be necessary. Further, it was found that non-applicants to private medical schools choose to apply to such schools even with restrictions if they have tuition support at the public school level. Conclusions: Conditional scholarships for private medical schools may widen access to medical education and simultaneously provide incentives to work in insufficiently served areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalHuman Resources for Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 9
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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