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MU Family Medicine Ranked Among Nation’s Best by AAFP


Medical school in top 10 for helping build family physician workforce

The University of Missouri School of Medicine today received an American Academy of Family Physicians Top 10 Award for its consistent contributions to building the family physician workforce. The award, presented during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine annual spring conference, marks the third consecutive year the school has received the honor.

Each year during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine spring conference, the AAFP presents its Top 10 Awards to honor medical schools that — during a consecutive three-year period — graduated the greatest percentage of students who chose first-year family medicine residency positions. The MU School of Medicine contributed 16 percent of graduates entering family medicine during this period.

At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, filling the pipeline is vital to the health of America, according to AAFP President Robert Wergin, MD.

“Although we’ve seen incremental growth in student interest in family medicine, those increases will not meet the skyrocketing demand for family physicians,” Wergin said. “These top schools are outstanding examples of the commitment to building the nation’s family physician workforce, and I commend them for their leadership, their faculty for their commitment and their entire staff for helping ensure that Americans have access to the care they need.”

The importance of family physicians also has escalated as the complexity of primary care has intensified. In addition to providing preventive and first-encounter care, family physicians diagnose and treat patients with conditions ranging from a sore throat to multiple, complex conditions such as diabetes combined with congestive heart failure. Research has shown family physicians are the usual source of care for more than six in 10 patients with anxiety, depression or diabetes; six in 10 patients with cancer; and nearly six in 10 patients with heart disease. Recent research has shown that 86 percent of visits for asthma occur in primary care physician offices, compared to 14 percent in subspecialist offices, and 84 percent of visits for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are in primary care physician offices, compared to 15 percent in subspecialist offices.

Stan Kozakowski, MD, AAFP director of medical education, agreed.

“Medical school admissions policies, the academic and clinical experiences with family physicians, and rural medicine tracks have significant influence on students’ choices,” he said. “The schools honored today have made important investments in these and other invaluable programs that help students understand the importance of family medicine and the professional satisfaction the specialty brings.”

He commended the MU School of Medicine for its ongoing focus on ensuring Americans have access to primary medical care.

“Three consecutive years of recognition says much about the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s focus on educating students to meet the needs of the nation,” Kozakowski said.

The Department of Family and Community Medicine at MU has recently received several national accolades, including a ninth place ranking for the specialty of family medicine by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools. The department has been ranked in the U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 for 22 consecutive years. MU School of Medicine was also named one of the nation’s best residency training programs for family physicians by Doximity, a California-based professional network for physicians.

Posted April 27, 2015



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