The George Washington University study of 141 U.S. medical schools found that historically Black medical schools had the highest social mission rankings. Courtesy Photo
As the nation's healthcare system braces for an influx of newly insured patients, a new study published in the June 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine examines the record of the nation's medical schools in graduating physicians to meet this new public need.
The study, the first to score all U.S. medical schools based on their ability to meet a social mission, reveals glaring differences among institutions with regard to their production of physicians who practice primary care, work in underserved areas, and are minorities.
The George Washington University study of 141 U.S. medical schools found that historically Black medical schools had the highest social mission rankings. In a Top 20 list of medical schools with the highest social mission rankings, Morehouse College, Meharry Medical College and Howard University ranking first, second and third respectively.
Many of the institutions generally considered to be the most prestigious medical schools did not even make the Top 20 list. In fact, many of the nation's most prestigious medical schools - including Duke University, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University and Columbia University - finished in the Bottom 20.
The study also found that: Medical schools in the Northeast generally performed poorly on all three measures and, as such, had the lowest regional social mission scores; Public medical schools graduated higher proportions of primary-care physicians than their private counterparts; Schools with substantial National Institutes of Health research funding generally produced fewer primary-care physicians and physicians practicing in underserved areas, and thus had lower social mission scores overall.