OHSU School of Medicine Receives National Award

05/07/01    Portland, Ore.

School of Medicine lauded for its commitment to education.

Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine has received the American Academy of Family Physicians' (AAFP) Bronze Achievement Award. This award recognizes the school's outstanding efforts to foster student interest in family practice and produce graduates who enter this primary care specialty. This recruitment effort is particularly significant as the need for family medicine practitioners and other primary care providers is increasingly important nationwide.

In recent weeks OHSU's School of Medicine also received national recognition when U.S. News & World Report announced its "Best Graduate Schools 2002." This annual report ranks OHSU's primary care education program No. 2 in the nation among American medical schools, up from third last year. This is the sixth consecutive year that the medical school has ranked in the top 2 percent nationally. In the specialty of family practice, OHSU tied for fourth place, making this the sixth consecutive year it has garnered that spot. Its rural medicine program tied for eighth place, up from 11th last year.

"Our success in promoting primary care careers among the medical students at OHSU is directly attributable to scores of volunteer faculty from all around Oregon," said John Saultz, M.D., professor and chairman of family medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, and director of the Oregon statewide Area Health Education Centers program. "These physicians donate their time and expertise by hosting students in their practices, allowing the students to experience medical practice in a community setting. This type of education has proven effective in promoting primary care careers and enhancing care for underserved populations. Because so much of our state is rural, it is particularly important for Oregon's medical school to excel in these areas."

The AAFP based its decision on the percentage of OHSU School of Medicine graduates entering ACGME-accredited (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) family practice residency programs during a three-year period. For the period ending October 31, 2000, about 50 percent of OHSU medical school graduates entered primary care specialties -- about half of those (or 24 percent) entered accredited family practice residency programs.

The AAFP, founded in 1947, is one of the nation's largest medical organizations with more than 90,000 members in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Its mission is to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public.

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