UW Today

This is an archived article.

March 30, 2001

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

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

For the eighth consecutive year, the University of Washington (UW) 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 a questionnaire sent to the country’s medical school deans, senior faculty, and residency program directors.

“I’m pleased to see this continuing recognition of the importance of primary care and of the UW medical school’s national leadership role 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. Faculty members from all fields encourage student interest in primary care.

“The partnerships the medical school has throughout the five states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho have been vital to our primary-care training programs. Our partner universities in these states teach the first-year medical classes and, together with the region’s six Area Health Education Centers, obtain community-training opportunities for our medical students. Health-care professionals in small towns and urban areas across the region provide primary-care training for our medical students. These programs also receive support from many medical societies and medical professional academies in the region. Such interstate collaborative efforts are unusual and yet essential to the ongoing success of the regional medical education program, which has been in operation for more than 30 ye!
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In the April 9 issue of U.S. News & World Report, appearing on newsstands April 2, the UW also tied with Cornell University and Baylor College of Medicine for 11th place among the nation’s top research medical schools. Harvard University was named the nation’s best research medical school, Johns Hopkins ranked second and Duke University ranked third.

According to the U.S News method of calculation, in fiscal year 2000 Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, both 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 calculations put the UW medical school third in NIH research funding in the nation, and tops in NIH research funding among public medical schools.

U. S. News lists that the faculty of the UW School of Medicine received $316.7 million in federal research grants in fiscal year 2000. In addition to federal funding, UW medical faculty also expended $55.6 million on research projects funded from private foundations, industry, associations, and other non-federal, non-state sources during fiscal year 2000.

Along with rating medical schools generally, the survey measured reputations in teaching specific medical disciplines. The UW School of Medicine ranked No. 1 in family medicine and No. 1 in rural medicine. The UW medical school now has ranked No. 1 in rural medicine for each of the past 10 years, and No. 1 in family medicine for eight years, all the years the category was in place.

In other medical student training programs, the UW medical school ranked No. 4 in pediatrics, No. 5 in women’s health care, No. 5 (with University of California-Los Angeles) in teaching about AIDS, No. 6 in geriatrics, and No. 7 (with the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor) in internal medicine.

The UW’s graduate program in bioengineering, jointly administered by the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine, ranked No. 6 with Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Reporters seeking information on the survey can contact U.S. News & World Report at 202-955-2219 or 206-955-2321. These rankings will appear April 2 on the magazine’s Web site.