The Domenici Center for Health Science Education
The Domenici Center for Health Science Education at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.  
Credit: Sara Mota

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine ranks third in the nation for its Rural Medicine Program in the upcoming issue of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools for 2018." The SOM has maintained this top-five national ranking since 1996, underscoring UNM’s commitment to programs that serve New Mexico’s rural communities.

The magazine also ranks the school’s Family Medicine 11th and the Primary Care Curriculum (PCC) 18th in the nation, up considerably from its 45th ranking last year. 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, which has 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 NM legislature to provide New Mexico residents with an opportunity for a medical education and to help address the medically underserved areas of our state,” says Paul Roth, MD, UNM School of Medicine dean. “Today, 40 percent of the practicing physicians in New Mexico have graduated from our programs.

​“Our ability to quickly but thoughtfully develop research and health care initiatives for all New Mexicans has kept us at the forefront of both rural medicine and primary care education,” Roth adds. “These national rankings directly reflect our priorities in training our health care work force, and reaffirm that we are addressing New Mexico’s unique health challenges and opportunities in providing quality health care.”

This year’s medical school rankings are based on surveying 170 U.S.-accredited medical schools (140 allopathic and 30 osteopathic). The schools were 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 has maintained its ranking of 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.

For more information on the UNM School of Medicine, visit http://som.unm.edu/. For more information on the UNM College of Nursing, visit http://nursing.unm.edu/.