Medical Schools' Social Mission Varies

WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) — U.S. medical schools vary widely in how many primary care physicians they graduate and work in underserved areas, researchers say.

Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, a professor of health policy at George Washington University who was the lead author, says the study of 141 medical schools involved data on graduates from 1999 to 2001. Mullan and colleagues studied physicians after the completion of all training and national obligations such as military service.


“Where doctors choose to work, and what specialty they select, are heavily influenced by medical school,” Mullan said in a statement. “By recruiting minority students and prioritizing the training of primary care physicians and promoting practice in underserved areas, medical schools will help deliver the health care that Americans desperately need.”

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, challenges earlier ranking such as the U.S. News & World Report ranking, which uses data on initial residency selection.

The Top 5 medical schools with the highest social mission scores — primary care physicians, doctors work in underserved areas and minority physicians — ranked from highest to lowest are: Morehouse College, Meharry Medical College, Howard University, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and the University of Kansas.

Vanderbilt University, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, University of California Irvine and New York University had the lowest social mission scores, the study said.

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