Top 10 Medical Schools for Primary Care Physicians

May 9, 2011

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences graduates the largest percentage of primary care physicians, according to the AAFP. Here are the Top 10 schools for graduating primary care physicians, including what the physicians face financially to attend.

Which medical school cranks out the largest percentage of primary care physicians? The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks, N.D., received top honors from the American Academy of Family Physicians, with 19.6% of its graduates choosing to enter the field of family medicine.

The 10 schools were honored by the AAFP at the 2011 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference in New Orleans. The awards recognize schools that, during a three-year period, graduate the greatest percentage of students who choose first-year family medicine residency positions.

AAFP President Roland Goertz, MD, said that filling the pipeline of primary care physicians is vital at a time when many regions are experiencing doctor shortages.

“Family physicians are the bedrock of primary care, and primary care is the foundation of a healthcare system that provides high quality, effective and efficient care to patients,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Top 10 schools employ several initiatives that support students who are interested in and most likely to become family physicians. These 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.

Here are the AAFP’s primary care physician award recipients, including what the physicians face financially to attend according to a ranking of top medical schools for primary care compiled by U.S. News & World Report:

1. University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, N.D.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 19.6%

Tuition: $24,119 (in-state); $44,644 (out-of-state)

Fees: $1,607

Room and Board: $9,104

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $159,376

Total Enrollment: 241

2. The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 18.9%

Tuition: $9,497 (in-state); $35,432 (out-of-state)

Fees: $2,057

Room and Board: $11,498

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $92,416

Total Enrollment: 309

3. University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, N.M.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 17.1%

Tuition: $16,170 (in-state); $46,347 (out-of-state)

Fees: $3,124

Room and Board: $11,546

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $114,500

Total Enrollment: 335

4. University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kan.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 16.3%

Tuition: $26,404 (in-state); $46,825 (out-of-state)

Fees: $3,056

Room and Board: $12,150

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $129,657

Total Enrollment: 720

4. Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, Huntington, W.V.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 16.3%

Tuition and Fees: $17,688 (in-state); $44,478 (out-of-state)

Room and Board: N/A

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: N/A

Total Enrollment: N/A

6. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, Little Rock, Ark.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 15.8%

Tuition: $17,980 (in-state); $35,960 (out-of-state)

Fees: $1,498

Room and Board: N/A

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $129,886

Total Enrollment: 629

6. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 15.8%

Tuition and Fees: N/A

Room and Board: N/A

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: N/A

Total Enrollment: N/A

8. University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

Percentage of students choosing first-year family medicine residency positions: 15.6%

Tuition: $32,049 (in-state); $38,436 (out-of-state)

Fees: $6,164

Room and Board: $12,306

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $166,667

Total Enrollment: 998

9. Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, Bryan, Texas

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 15.3%

Tuition: $11,170 (in-state); $24,270 (out-of-state)

Fees: $2,412

Room and Board: $12,930

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $95,156

Total Enrollment: 534

10. Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Percentage of Students Choosing First-Year Family Medicine Residency Positions: 15.0%

Tuition: $17,291 (in-state); $41,417 (out-of-state)

Fees: $5,275

Room and Board: $24,531

Average Indebtedness of 2009 Graduates: $129,741

Total Enrollment: 217