Madison, Wisconsin – The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has received a Top Ten Award for its contributions to building the family-physician workforce.

Each year, the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) presents the Top Ten Awards to honor medical schools that graduated the greatest percentage of students who chose family medicine over a three-year-period.

The School of Medicine and Public Health ranked eighth in the country for the highest percentage of graduates matching in family medicine residency programs. Over the past five years, the percentages of students that went into family medicine residencies ranged from 9.3 to 18.2 percent.

It’s the second year in a row that the UW School of Medicine and Public Health has received the honor from the AAFP.

“It is wonderful that we received this award,” said Dr. Valerie Gilchrist, chair of the Department of Family Medicine. “I would like to double or triple the number of students going into family medicine to meet the current need. Currently one in five Americans lacks access to primary health care.”

With the U.S. facing a shortage of primary-care physicians, AAFP president Dr. Robert Wergin said filling the pipeline is vital to the health of America.

“Although we’ve seen incremental growth in student interest in family medicine, those increases will not meet the skyrocketing demand for family physicians,” said Wergin. “The top schools including the UW School of Medicine and Public Health are outstanding examples of the commitment to building the nation’s family-physician workforce.”

The AAFP represents nearly 116,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Published: 05/05/2015