UW News

February 19, 1998

For fifth straight year U.S. News & World Report ranks University of Washington as top primary-care medical school

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

For the fifth straight year, the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine ranks as the nation’s top primary-care medical school in U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of graduate and professional schools.

The magazine’s researchers compared the nation’s medical schools on several factors, including student selectivity, percentage of graduates entering primary care, faculty/student ratios, and reputation. Reputation was based on the results of a questionnaire sent to the country’s medical school deans, senior faculty, and residency program directors.

“I’m pleased that the high quality of the UW medical school’s students and faculty, and the opinion of our colleagues throughout the country, has led to this ranking, ” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

He noted, “The five states in the WWAMI Program of regionalized medical education — Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Alaska — have always shown innovation in dealing with difficult challenges in physician training. Our faculty in neighboring states, as well as those close by, provide educational experiences that encourage medical students to consider entering practices where they are most needed — in rural areas, in the inner city, or working with populations who otherwise would not be able to obtain adequate health care.”

In the March 2 issue of U.S.News & World Report, appearing Feb. 23, the UW also tied with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas for 13th place among medical schools in an overall rating. Harvard University was named the nation’s best medical school. In fiscal year 1997, Harvard, a private university, was the only medical school to receive more National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding than the UW, a public institution. The UW medical school is third in NIH research funding in the nation, after Harvard and Johns Hopkins, and first among public medical schools in federal research funding.

In addition to rating medical schools generally and in primary care, the survey also measured reputations in teaching specific medical disciplines. The University of Washington School of Medicine ranked No. 1 in family medicine, No. 1 in rural medicine, No. 3 in women’s health care, No. 5 in internal medicine, No. 5 in pediatrics, No. 5 in geriatrics and No. 5 in teaching medical students about AIDS. The UW medical school ranked in the top five in seven of the eight specialty categories.

The UW medical school has ranked No. 1 in rural medicine for the past seven years. Its teaching of family medicine, under the chairmanship of Dr. Ronald Schneeweiss, has ranked No. 1 for each of the five years this category has been in place. In a previous survey category, no longer used because it was replaced by family medicine, the UW medical school ranked No. 1 for two years (1992 and 1993) in community-based medicine.