AAFP Honors Top 10 Medical Schools for Contributions to Family Medicine Workforce

Friday, April 27, 2012


SEATTLE — Ten allopathic medical schools that have contributed the most to the pipeline of family physicians were honored today when the American Academy of Family Physicians presented its Top Ten Awards during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference. The awards recognize schools that, during a three-year period, graduate the greatest percentage of students who choose first-year family medicine residency positions.

At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, filling the pipeline is vital to the health of America, according to AAFP President Glen Stream, M.D., M.B.I.

“Family physicians are the foundation of a health care system that meets the needs of patients,” Stream said. “Research has consistently shown that people who have access to a family physician have better overall health. Americans make more office visits to family physicians than any other medical specialty, and family physicians provide care for patients who have a sore throat, patients who need stitches, and patients who have multiple, complex conditions such diabetes with congestive heart failure.

“These 10 medical schools have demonstrated their consistent commitment to meeting the nation’s need for family physicians. I commend them, their leadership and their faculty to helping ensure that Americans have access to the care they need.”

Stan Kozakowski, MD, AAFP director of medical education agreed. “Initiatives at the medical school level are invaluable to increasing the number of students who choose family medicine for their specialty,” he said. “Admissions policies, academic and clinical experience with family physicians, and rural medicine tracks have significant influence on students’ choices.”

He noted that six of the AAFP’s top 10 schools — the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and the University of Kansas School of Medicine — also were cited in recent research, “The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools,(www.annals.org)” measuring the social mission of medical schools in meeting community need for primary care physicians.

“This says much about their focus on educating students to meet the needs of the nation,” Kozakowski said.

Top 10 Award schools employ several initiatives that support students who are interested in and most likely to become family physicians. Those initiatives include student outreach, admissions policies that target students from rural and medically underserved areas, clinical rotations that emphasize positive experiences in family medicine, faculty involvement in medical school committees, strong family medicine interest groups and financial aid packages that minimize student debt.

The 2012 award recipients and the percentage of graduates entering family medicine are:

  • The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, with 20.9 percent,
  • Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, with 18.4 percent,
  • The University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences, with 18.1 percent,
  • Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, with 17.2 percent,
  • The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, with 16.8 percent,
  • The University of New Mexico School of Medicine, with 16.2 percent,
  • The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, with 15.9 percent,
  • The University of Kansas School of Medicine, with 15.4 percent,
  • The University of Washington School of Medicine, with 15.3 percent, and
  • The Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, with 15.2 percent.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).