Brody again recognized as a top producer of family physicians

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

Brody School of Medicine student Dmitri Zouev, left, works with Dr. Celeste Jackson, a physician at Firetower Medical Office. Brody was named again this year as a top producer of family physicians. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
(May 8, 2014)  —  The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has again been honored as one of the top producers of family physicians in the nation.

The American Academy of Family Physicians Top 10 Award annually honors medical schools that — during a consecutive three-year period — graduated the greatest percentage of students who chose first-year family medicine residency positions.

This is the eighth consecutive year of recognition for ECU’s medical school, according to Department of Family Medicine records. Recipients were announced May 5 during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

“It is with immense pride that we welcome the award from the American Academy of Family Physicians, as we again rank with the medical schools across our nation who have committed to the mission of creating family physicians to serve the citizens of their regions and states,” said Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the Brody School of Medicine.

“With the anticipated changes that are predicted in the provision of health care services, this confirms that the Brody School of Medicine is as relevant as when it was established four decades ago,” Cunningham said. “The formula for our success has been carefully forged over these many decades, and I salute all of our faculty who have served in this mission with passion and capability.”

Brody ranked fifth on this year’s list, reflecting an average of 18.6 percent of ECU medical students entering family medicine during the last three years. No other North Carolina medical school received the award.

Between 1999 and 2009, East Carolina sent a higher percentage of medical graduates into training as family medicine physicians than any other school in the country.

“For the past five years, we have seen growth in student interest in family medicine,” said AAFP President Dr. Reid Blackwelder. “Much of the credit for that increase goes to the medical schools that have actively supported family medicine as the comprehensive, challenging and professionally fulfilling specialty that it is.”

Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians, according to AAFP data. That totals nearly 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty.

At a time when the nation is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, AAFP leadership believes filling the family physician workforce pipeline is vital to the health of Americans.

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. More information is available online at www.aafp.org.