The University of New Mexico School of Medicine has earned an Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) as one of the top ten schools nationally in contributing to the pipeline of family physicians. The award recognizes the School of Medicine’s efforts to efforts to foster student interest in family medicine and produce graduates entering the specialty.

B ased on a three-year average, for the period ending October 2010, 17.1 percent of the school’s graduates have entered an ACGME-accredited family medicine residency program, third highest of the group.

The ten medical schools that have contributed the most to the pipeline of family physicians were honored when the American Academy of Family Physicians presented its Top Ten Awards during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference. The awards recognize schools that, during a three-year period, graduate the greatest percentage of students who choose first-year family medicine residency positions.

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 Roland Goertz, M.D.

" Family physicians are the bedrock of primary care, and primary care is the foundation of a health care system that provides high quality, effective and efficient care to patients,” he said. “It all begins with the medical schools and their faculty’s commitment to family medicine. Increasingly, medical schools are working toward building the primary care physician workforce, and we applaud their efforts. The Top 10 Awards recognize schools’ consistent effort made over time.”

Perry Pugno, M.D., AAFP vice president for education, agreed. “We fully recognize that many schools are making substantial contributions to addressing the nation’s critical need for primary care physicians,” he said. “We acknowledge the top 10 schools as a way of raising the visibility of the important contributions all of our medical schools are making.”

Top 10 Award schools employ several initiatives that support students who are interested in and most likely to become family physicians. Those initiatives include student outreach, admissions policies that target students from rural and medically underserved areas, clinical rotations that emphasize positive experiences in family medicine, faculty involvement in medical school committees, strong family medicine interest groups and financial aid packages that minimize student debt.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322