UW News

April 4, 2002

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

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

For the ninth 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. In the annual rankings, the UW School of Medicine also continues to be regarded as the best in the United States for teaching medical students about family medicine and about rural medicine.

The UW medical school’s clinical training programs take place in several towns and cities in western Washington, as well as at sites across eastern Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (the WWAMI region). Physicians practicing in local communities volunteer to provide much of the training for UW medical students.

The UW School of Medicine also ranked tenth among the nation’s top research schools. In the U.S. News analysis of National Institutes of Health (NIH) federal funding, the UW School of Medicine ranked first in the nation among public medical schools, and third after Harvard Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, both private schools. U.S. News compared the nation’s medical schools on several factors, including student selectivity, percentage of graduates entering primary care, faculty/student ratios, National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grants, and reputation. Reputation was based on a peer assessment questionnaire sent to the country’s medical school deans, senior faculty members, and residency program directors. Medical school deans and senior faculty members from across the country were also surveyed on which medical schools had the best training programs in specific fields, such as family medicine.

“The UW School of Medicine’s dual mission is in the education of new physicians, with an emphasis on primary-care training, and in biomedical research in the basic sciences and in clinical fields,” said Dr. Paul G. Ramsey, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UW School of Medicine. “To be ranked highly in both these areas in quantitative analyses and in the opinions of our peers is an honorable reflection on the work of the medical faculty and the dedication of our students.”

U. S. News lists that the faculty of the UW School of Medicine received $367.7 million in federal research grants in fiscal year 2001. In addition to federal funding, UW medical faculty also expended $33.4 million on research projects funded from private foundations, industry, associations, and other non-federal, non-state sources during fiscal year 2001.

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, No. 1 in rural medicine, No. 5 in teaching about AIDS, No. 7 in internal medicine, No. 7 in pediatrics, tied with Yale University for the No. 7 spot in geriatrics, and ranked No. 9 in women’s health.

The School of Medicine’s graduate program in microbiology tied at No. 9 with University of California San Francisco. The UW’s graduate program in bioengineering, jointly administered by the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine, ranked No. 5. The graduate program in neurosciences, which at the UW is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort among the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and the College of Arts and Sciences, tied for No. 10 with Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania.


Reporters seeking information on the survey methodology can contact Richard Folkers at U.S.News & World Report, rfolkers@usnews.com, 202-955-2697. The rankings will appear on the magazine’s Web site at: http://www.usnews.com