UAMS Ranked 39th in Primary Care on U.S. News & World Report’s List of Best Medical Schools

By Linda Satter

“I’m very pleased with this finding. Being in the top 50 schools in the country for primary care fits directly into our mission to improve the health, health care and well-being of Arkansans,” said Christopher Westfall, M.D., executive vice chancellor and dean of the UAMS College of Medicine.

“We are extraordinarily pleased that so many of our graduates choose a primary care specialty and are actually practicing primary care when they finish training,” said James Graham, M.D., executive associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Medicine. “And our new three-year primary care track, which will open at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville this fall, should make our performance even better.”

The magazine determines its annual rankings after in-depth evaluations using statistical data and a survey of academic peers.

UAMS’ ranking in primary care went up from 63rd in 2021 to 39th in the recently published list. The list ranked 122 medical schools on the quality of education in the primary care field.

“Because primary care physicians play such a key role in addressing prevention and care of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes, continuing to improve in producing primary care physicians is likely to improve the health of Arkansans,” Graham pointed out.

He credited a new ranking methodology this year that gave more weight to the number of graduates who actually practice primary care after their training, saying he considers the new method a more accurate way to determine which schools are producing the most primary care physicians.

The magazine arrived at a variety of medical school rankings by surveying 191 medical and osteopathic schools accredited in 2020 by either the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association. The data collected, combined with results of peer surveys, were used to calculate overall rankings. Of the 191 schools surveyed in fall 2020 and early 2021, 129 schools responded. Of those, 122 were ranked on the quality of education they provide in primary care. The remaining seven in the primary care listing went unranked because they didn’t have full accreditation, which is a requirement for ranking.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state's Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — COPD, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and four dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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