Sanford School of Medicine School of Medicine

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With Honors

Medical School Receives National Accolades

The Sanford School of Medicine recently received national recognition for producing family physicians and serving rural South Dakota.

Rural Medicine

The medical school placed in the top 10 in rural medicine in the latest national rankings by U.S. News & World Report.The magazine's "America's Best Graduate School's 2011" guide ranks the medical school 10th, tied with West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and West Virginia University. The University of Washington was the top-ranked medical school for rural medicine.

"We are honored that this ranking recognizes the quality of our education and our commitment to serving rural South Dakota," Rodney R. Parry, vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical school, said. "This is particularly gratifying because these rankings are based solely on ratings by our colleagues - medical school deans and senior faculty."

Physicians in Rural South Dakota

A study that examined the rural physician workforce in the United States found the medical school ranked fourth nationally with 31 percent of its graduates practicing in rural areas. West Virginia University ranked first with 41 percent. The study tracked medical school graduates from 1988 to 1997 who were rural physicians in 2005.

"This study shows how seriously we take our mission of encouraging our graduates to serve in rural South Dakota," Parry said. "We know the need for health care is critical in rural South Dakota."The study is published in the April issue of Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Family Medicine Careers

The medical school ranked third nationally for the percentage of its students who choose family medicine. "This award shows our emphasis on family medicine throughout our medical school curriculum," Parry said. "Faculty in our family medicine department also deserve credit for serving as outstanding role models and for continually encouraging students to consider a career as a family physician."

The American Academy of Family Physicians presented its Top Ten Awards during a recent conference. The awards recognize schools that during a three-year period graduated the highest percentage of students who chose family medicine. The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences was first with 20.4 percent. USD's medical school was third with 16.9 percent.