Examining Lab-Developed Molecules
Assistant Professor Lina Cui and her students examine a freshly made molecule that will be used for heparanase research.
Credit: Aaron Hilf

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine ranks 20th in the U.S. in its Primary Care Curriculum (PCC) in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools for 2019,” on newsstands now.

The university’s PCC was developed in the 1970s as a problem-based learning method that combines student-centered, small-group education with early clinical skills through community-based, self-directed instruction. UNM was one of the first in the country to use problem-based learning in medical education. It has since become the accepted model for medical training in the U.S. The program has been improved over the years by embracing evolving, proven learning techniques and promptly addressing health needs of the state.

"The medical school was established by the New Mexico Legislature to provide our residents with an opportunity for a medical education and to help address the medically underserved areas of our state,” says Paul B. Roth, MD, MS, dean of tthe UNM School of Medicine. “Today, more than 40 percent of the practicing physicians in New Mexico have graduated from our programs."

The medical school also ranked 72nd nationally in research, bringing in $203 million last year in extramural funding through the National Institutes of Health and other public and private grantors. “Over the last decade, we’ve drawn more than $1.5 billion in biomedical research grants,” says Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research. “Our researchers have made important discoveries alleviating suffering and curing disease in New Mexico, and we’re making real progress in building healthy communities.”

This year’s medical school rankings are based on a survey of 177 U.S.-accredited medical schools (144 allopathic and 33 osteopathic). The schools are ranked according to selected measures of academic quality, including academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources and the percentage of graduating physicians who go into the primary care specialties of family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics.

The Health Sciences Center’s College of Nursing Midwifery Program ranked seventh nationally, as well. These health school rankings are based on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to deans, other administrators, and/or faculty at accredited degree programs or schools in each discipline. Only fully accredited programs in good standing during the survey period are ranked.