UW News

April 4, 2003

For 10th year, U.S. News ranks University of Washington as best primary-care medical school

For the 10th consecutive year, 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. 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.

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 second overall around the nation for receipt of federal funding. The UW School of Medicine received $431.5 million in NIH funding during 2002. The only medical school to receive more funding was Harvard, a private institution.

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 dedication of our faculty and staff to clinical care, research and teaching, and the caliber of our graduates, have been reflected in these rankings year after year for a decade now. Everyone who is part of the UW School of Medicine is gratified for this recognition of all their hard work,” said Dr. Paul G. Ramsey, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the UW School of Medicine. “We also owe this honor to our public service efforts that are imbued with a spirit of collaboration with many institutions, agencies and individuals working together for the common good.”

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 in rural medicine, No. 5 in teaching about AIDS, and tied for No. 5 in women’s health. The school ranked No. 6 in internal medicine and in geriatrics, and tied for No. 6 in pediatrics.

The UW’s graduate program in bioengineering, jointly administered by the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine, ranked No. 5.

The UW School of Medicine is part of UW Medicine, which also includes UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, UW Physicians, UW Physicians Neighborhood Clinics, and the UW’s membership in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the Children’s University Medical Group. UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with the Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Centers in Seattle and Boise. The School of Medicine is consistently among the top five recipients of federal funding for biomedical research; its 1,600 regular faculty include four Nobel Laureates, 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 26 members of the Institute of Medicine.

In November, the school received the Association of American Medical Colleges 2002 Award for Outstanding Community Service. The award, given annually to just one medical school in the country, honored efforts to ameliorate health-care inequities in remote small towns, in inner city neighborhoods, and among needy populations throughout the WWAMI region — as well as nationally and globally.