A review of methods to assess the economic impact of distributed medical education (DME) in Canada Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background: Canadian distributed medical education (DME) increased substantially in the last decade, resulting in positive economic impacts to local communities. A reliable and simple method to estimate economic contributions is essential to provide managers with information on the extent of these impacts. This review paper fills a gap in the literature by answering the question: What are the most applicable quantitative methods to assess the economic impact of Canadian DME programs?Methods: The literature is reviewed to identify economic assessment methods. These are evaluated and compared based on the benefits, challenges, data needs, outputs and potential for use in the DME context.Results: We identified five economic impact methods used in similar contexts. Two of these methods have the potential for Canadian DME programs: the Canadian Input-Output (I-O) model and the Simplified American Council on Education (ACE) method.Conclusion: Choice of a method is contingent on the ability to measure the salient economic impacts, and provide an output that facilitates sustainable decision making. This paper thus fills a gap by identifying methods applicable to DME. These methods will assist stakeholders to calculate economic impacts, resulting in both the advancement and sustainability of these programs over short- and long-term time frames.


  • Lemky, Kim
  • Gagne, Pierre
  • Konkin, Jill
  • Stobbe, Karl
  • Fearon, Gervan
  • Blom, Sylvia
  • Maltais Lapointe, Genevieve

publication date

  • March 2018