For the sixth year in a row, the University of Washington School of Medicine has ranked 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 G. Ramsey, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.
He noted, “Our faculty at the UW Academic Medical Center, including basic scientists, specialists and primary-care providers, are highly dedicated to the education and training of new physicians. In addition, our partner universities, community physicians and other health professionals practicing in the five states in the WWAMI Program of regionalized medical education — Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Alaska — have contributed greatly to the quality of education our medical students receive. 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 issue of U.S.News & World Report, appearing March 22 the UW also ranked No. 9 among medical schools in 1999, up from a tie for No. 13 in 1998. Harvard University was named the nation’s best medical school. In fiscal year 1998, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania were the only medical schools 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. In comparing federal funding for medical schools, U. S. News lists that the faculty of the UW School of Medicine received $244 million in federal research grants in fiscal year 1998. In addition to this federal funding for their research programs, UW medical faculty also received $34.7 million from private foundations and industry during the 1997-98 fiscal year.
In addition to rating medical schools generally, the survey 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. 4 in women’s health care, No. 5 in teaching about AIDS, No. 6 in geriatrics, tied for No. 6 in pediatrics, ranked No. 7 in internal medicine, and and tied for No. 7 in teaching about drug and alcohol abuse. It ranked in the top ten in all of the eight specialty categories included in the U. S. News & World Report survey.
This year, in the rankings of graduate programs in biological sciences, the medical school’s Ph.D. program in microbiology ranked No. 7.
The UW medical school has ranked No. 1 in rural medicine for the past eight years. Its teaching of family medicine has ranked No. 1 for each of the six 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 teaching of medical students.