UMass Medical School ninth in U.S.News & World Report annual ranking of primary care schools

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U.S.News

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) was ranked ninth in primary care education among the nation’s 131 accredited medical schools and 25 schools of osteopathic medicine by weekly news magazine U.S.News & World Report in its annual “America’s Best Graduate Schools” issue, released just after midnight Thursday, April 15. UMMS has been listed near the top of the category since 1994 when the magazine began publishing the much-anticipated rankings. Of note, UMMS is the only school in the top 50 that accepts only in-state students into its medical degree program. U.S. News ranked UMMS 47th among top research schools and 20th in family medicine, among the specialty categories.

“The University of Massachusetts Medical School continues to be recognized as a national medical-education leader and is now firmly established as a major research institution, as a place of discovery and innovation,” said University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson. “The Medical School earns its many plaudits as a result of the quality of its students, faculty, staff and leadership. It is a source of great pride for the University of Massachusetts and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” 

“We take great pride in our role as educators and mentors, and we are especially proud of our faculty for making their commitment to quality in the educational setting apparent,” said Chancellor Michael F. Collins, MD. “As the country prepares for the most comprehensive reform of our national health care system in our history, UMass Medical School challenges our students with a comprehensive, rigorous curriculum that will best prepare them to care for their patients while also reflecting our focus on excellence. This external validation of success in our key mission areas is notable.”

The Medical School, which had accepted just 100 students per year since the 1970s, expanded the class to 125, beginning with the class of 2013, to help increase the pool of physicians, particularly primary care providers, trained to meet the needs of the commonwealth and the nation. Graduates of UMMS are poised to excel in their medical careers: members of the UMMS class of 2010 were accepted into some of the most competitive residency programs in the country, with 54 percent of graduates entering primary care (including obstetrics/ gynecology). Fifty-seven students will be staying in Massachusetts for their residencies, including 18 who will start residencies at UMass Memorial Medical Center in July. The school’s mission, as defined upon its creation by the state legislature in 1962, focuses on providing highly trained primary care physicians to practice in underserved areas of the state. The Medical School welcomed its first class of 16 students in 1970 and celebrated its first commencement in 1974. In addition, the Medical School accepts up to five additional students interested in pursuing an MD and PhD concurrently; such students may be state or non-state residents.

Beyond its core mission of distinction in medical education, UMMS has become an internationally recognized and respected research institute. UMMS also ranks near the top among public medical schools in the Northeast in the amount of funding awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Federal and private research grants and contracts at UMMS rose from about $2 million in 1977 to more than $240 million in 2010, making it one of the fastest-growing research institutions in the U.S.

The U.S.News & World Report rankings of the nation’s 131 accredited medical schools and 25 accredited schools of osteopathic medicine are based on measures of academic quality, which are weighted by reputation among faculty and residents, research activity, student selectivity and faculty resources. For additional information about the University of Massachusetts Medical School, visit www.umassmed.edu.