The fact that this country needs more primary care physicians isn't a secret - nor is it a new concern. The average primary care production rate from medical schools is around 25%, but some are doing much better.
The fact that this country needs more primary care physicians isn’t a secret — nor is it a new concern. The primary care physician shortage is so daunting that the industry is trying to find ways to fill the gaps, like, for instance, using nurse practitioners in the place of physicians when possible.
According to a study in the Academic Medicine, from 2006 to 2008 the average overall primary care production rate from medical schools was 25.2%. In fact, 158 of 759 (21%) produced no primary care graduates.
The study also found that just 4.8% of graduates practiced in rural areas, which goes toward explaining the uneven distribution of physicians in the country. A policy paper from the Robert Graham Center revealed that 90% of physicians are in urban areas, 6.7% in large rural areas, 2.4% in small rural areas and just 1.1% in isolated rural areas.
Another issue is that just because a new physician graduates in primary care, doesn’t mean that he or she will stay in primary care. In fact, it’s more common that primary care physicians will switch into another specialty later.
Medical Economics is giving credit where credit due, though, for the medical schools doing the job and churning out primary care physicians. Using the date from Academic Medicine, the Medical Economics has ranked the top 20 schools based on the percent of graduates in primary care.
Here are the top five.
5. James H. Quillen College of Medicine
Location: Johnson City, Tenn.
Primary care graduates: 47.1%
4. Brooklyn Hospital Center
Affiliated with Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical College
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Primary care graduates: 48%
3. Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Primary care graduates: 49%
2. Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center
Affiliated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Location: Bronx, N.Y.
Primary care graduates: 50%
1. University of Nevada School of Medicine
Location: Reno, Nev.
Primary care graduates: 54%