Ten allopathic medical schools that have contributed the most to the pipeline of family physicians were honored when the American Academy of Family Physicians presented its Top Ten Awards during the recent Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Conference. The awards recognize schools that, during a three-year period, graduate the greatest percentage of students who choose family medicine.
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 Lori Heim, M.D.
"Family medicine faculty are essential to ensuring that students receive a high quality medical education from caring and competent family physicians," she said. "Their commitment to family medicine and their contributions to providing the best possible education are essential to the future of our specialty and to the care of patients."
The 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 2010 award recipients and the percentage of graduates entering family medicine are:
* The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, with 20.4 percent.
* The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, with 19.2 percent.
* Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota, with 16.9 percent.
* The University of Kansas School of Medicine, with 16.6 percent.
* West Virginia University School of Medicine, with 16.5 percent.
* The University of Minnesota Medical School, with 16.3 percent.
* The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences School of Medicine, with 16.2 percent.
* The University of Nevada School of Medicine, with 15.8 percent.
* James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University, with 15.5 percent.
* The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, with 14.6 percent.