Friday, May 7, 2010

UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine Acknowledged

US News & World Report (USNWR) has released its annual report ranking professional graduate school disciplines, including medicine and its various specialties. University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE-COM) was recognized as sixth in the nation for its leadership in primary care training, as well as its rural medicine and geriatrics programs, both earning top-20 honors.
Since its founding in 1978, UNE-COM has graduated nearly 2,400 physician alumni. Of all licensed physicians in Maine, more have graduated from UNECOM than any other medical school in the world. UNE’s commitment to the education of primary care physicians is unmatched by any other medical school in New England, and the USNWR ranking now places it among the best in the nation.
The overall rankings include 20 accredited schools of osteopathic (DO granting) medicine, as well as 126 accredited allopathic (MD granting) programs. The rankings are based on expert opinions about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research, and students. Highlights of the 2011 graduate school rankings are published in the May print issue of U.S. News & World Report.
Primary care resident training: UNE ranked 6th UNE-COM’s mission of educating the nation’s primary care leaders is reflected in the US News rankings, which rank the College as sixth in the nation for schools that turn out the most graduates entering primary care residency training programs. These programs include family medicine, general internal medicine and pediatrics. This ranking is borne out by the following statistics: 10 percent of all practicing physicians in the state of Maine, and 15 percent of Maine’s primary care physician workforce, are UNE-COM graduates; more than 60 percent of UNE-COM graduates practice in a primary care specialty (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics), where Maine’s needs are the greatest.
For the US News specialty rankings, medical school deans and senior faculty selected the best programs using peer assessment surveys. Two UNE-COM programs made the top-20 list.
Specialty rankings: Rural Medicine: UNE ranked 17th The substantial shortage of primary care physicians nationwide is more significant in underserved areas and among vulnerable populations. Through a partnership with the Maine Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Network, headquartered on the UNE campus, UNE-COM reinforces its commitment to rural primary care in Maine by requiring clinical training for students in rural and underserved areas. Consequently, many graduates choose to remain in rural areas after graduation, as recognized in the US News ranking. Moreover, 5 percent of physicians practicing in Maine’s rural areas are UNE-COM graduates and17 percent of UNE-COM graduates are practicing in medically underserved areas of New England.
Specialty rankings: Geriatrics: UNE ranked 20th In the Best Medical Schools specialty ranking for geriatrics, UNE-COM’s Geriatric Medicine program was ranked 20th nationwide. Its innovative curriculum includes the nationally recognized “Learning by Living” program, which places medical students in area nursing homes to live the lives of a resident; and U-ExCEL, a fitness program that was recently awarded the Maine Governor’s Council on Physical Activity 2010 Maine Fitness Award in the Special Populations Category.
The survey data also showed that UNE-COM students bear some of the highest debt in the nation. Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, Marc B. Hahn, DO announced a strategic plan for UNE-COM in January 2010 which includes a plan to address student debt through planned strategic growth in class size and an increase in mission-specific activities.
Dr. Hahn also stated: “UNE-COM’s Patient-First Curriculum focuses on creating outstanding physicians who are health care leaders that advance primary care and community health. I am pleased by the US News & World Report rankings and our peer recognition, which demonstrate not only the effectiveness of UNE-COM’s mission with regard to primary care education, but also our leadership in rural practice and geriatric medicine.”
For more information, visit Article submitted by UNE-COM.