This is an archived article.

March 31, 2000

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

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

For the seventh 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 to see this recognition of the UW medical school as a national leader in training primary-care physicians,” said Dr. Paul G. Ramsey, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “Our faculty members are constantly seeking ways to strengthen medical education programs that prepare physicians who are well-qualified to serve our state and region in a time of rapid change in medical care.

“The community support the medical school receives, particularly through the health professionals who teach medical students in towns across the five-state region of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, has been vital to the effectiveness of our primary-care training programs. Our partner universities in these states teach the first-year medical classes and obtain community training opportunities for our medical students. Such efforts are essential to the success of the regional medical education program. ”

In the April 10 issue of U.S.News & World Report, appearing on newsstands April 3 the UW also ranked No. 9 among medical schools in the overall rankings, the same as last year. Harvard University was named the nation’s best medical school.

According to the U.S News method of calculation, in fiscal year 1999 Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania, all private schools, were the only medical schools to receive more National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding than the UW, a public institution. U. S. News ranks the UW medical school fourth 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 $270 million in federal research grants in fiscal year 1998-99. In addition to this federal funding, UW medical faculty also expended $47.9 million on research projects funded from private foundations, industry, associations, and other non-federal, non-state sources during the 1998-99 fiscal year.

Along with 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. 4 in teaching about AIDS, No. 4 in pediatrics, No. 6 in geriatrics, No. 7 in internal medicine, and No. 9 in teaching about drug and alcohol abuse. The UW School of Medicine was the only school in the country to be ranked in the top ten in all eight specialty categories included in the U. S. News & World Report survey.

The UW?s graduate program in bioengineering, jointly administered by the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine, ranked No. 5. The UW 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 nine years. Its teaching of family medicine has ranked No. 1 for each of the seven years this category has been in place.