Wright State Ranks Fourth in the Nation for Its Social Mission

Class of 2010

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine ranks the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine fourth in the nation for its social mission. The study, entitled "The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools," measured the percentage of graduates who practice primary care, work in health professional shortage areas and are underrepresented minorities, and combined the data into a composite social mission score. It is the first to score all U.S. medical schools on their ability to meet a social mission.

To determine the true outcomes of medical education rather than the intermediate preferences of medical students and residents, the study tracked physicians in practice after the completion of all training and national service obligations. The researchers examined data from medical school graduates from 1999 to 2001. This approach differs from previous studies, which relied on the initial residency selection or reported specialty preference of students. This study pinpoints where graduates are and what type of medicine they actually practice.

"The study provides a balance to other rankings such as the U.S. News & World Report rankings that emphasize research funding, student selectivity and school reputation, which is very subjective," said Howard Part, M.D., dean of the medical school. "Since many medical school graduates who enter primary care residencies such as internal medicine, ultimately practice in sub-specialty areas such as cardiology or gastroenterology, studies that only track initial residency selection can be misleading. The methodology used in this study gives a much clearer picture of how many graduates actually practice primary care."

As the nation's health system faces an influx of newly insured patients, the study examined the record of 141 U.S. medical schools in graduating physicians to meet the need for more primary care physicians and highlights the role medical schools play in determining the make up of the U.S. physician workforce. The study was funded with a grant from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.

"Where doctors choose to work, and what specialty they select, are heavily influenced by medical school," said lead author Fitzhugh Mullan, M.D., a professor of health policy at George Washington University. "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," he said.

"As a community-based medical school, we are closely intertwined with the community we serve, and many of our students have come here for that reason," Part said. "I'm always impressed by how focused our students are in serving their fellow human beings."

Top 20 Medical Schools

  1. Morehouse College, Ga.
  2. Meharry Medical College, Tenn.
  3. Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  4. Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Ohio
  5. University of Kansas, Kan.
  6. Michigan State University, Mich.
  7. East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, N.C.
  8. University of South Alabama, Ala.
  9. Universidad de Puerto Rico en Ponce, Puerto Rico
  10. University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa
  1. Oregon Health & Science University, Ore.
  2. East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine, Tenn.
  3. University of Mississippi, Miss.
  4. University of Kentucky, Ky.
  5. Southern Illinois University, Ill.
  6. Marshall University Joan C. Edwards University, W.Va.
  7. University of Massachusetts Medical School, Mass.
  8. University of Illinois, Ill.
  9. University of New Mexico, N.M.
  10. University of Wisconsin, Wis.