This is the sixth consecutive year that the USD Sanford School of Medicine has been recognized by the magazine’s “Best Graduate Schools” for its rural medicine program.

“We are pleased to be recognized again as a top school for rural medicine,” said Mary Nettleman, M.D., M.S., M.A.C.P., dean of the USD Sanford School of Medicine, and vice president for health affairs at USD. ”In fact,” added Dr. Nettleman, “the data show that we lead the country in the proportion of our graduates who practice in rural areas.”

The USD Sanford School of Medicine’s mission places an emphasis on family medicine and encourages graduates to serve people in rural areas and other underserved places in South Dakota.

Criteria for the rankings include med school deans and faculty, who were polled by the publication in selecting the top programs in the nation. The rankings are part of the U.S. News Media Group 2016 Best Graduate Schools rankings available online at Highlights of the rankings will be published in the “Best Graduate Schools 2016” edition, on sale at

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