Brody School of Medicine repeats as Top Ten Award winner by the American Academy of Family Physicians in promoting primary care
By Spaine Stephens
For ECU News Services
Representatives from the Department of the Family Medicine accepted the award May 3, from left to right: Dr. Kari Kirian, clinical instructor; Dr. Lars Larsen, vice chair of educational development; Dr. Jeff Cain, AAFP president; Dr. Chris Duffrin, assistant professor; and Dr. Lauren Whetstone, assistant professor. (Contributed photo)
(May 24, 2013)
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has received a Top Ten Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians for contributing to the pipeline of family physicians.
With 20.9 percent of graduates choosing family medicine residencies, the Brody School of Medicine earned the top spot among the 12 schools that received 2013 Top Ten Awards. This is the third consecutive year that the Brody School of Medicine has earned the Top Ten distinction.
Representatives from ECU accepted the award in Baltimore, Md., earlier this month.
“The Brody School of Medicine has a strong tradition of continuing to work diligently toward its founding legislative missions of an emphasis on primary care training, training underrepresented minorities, and improving the health care of those in eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Ken Steinweg, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine. “This particular award is national recognition in one of those areas, our No. 1 standing in promoting primary care—in particular family medicine—as a medical profession among medical students.”
The medical school’s success in rankings over the last decade has helped attract promising family-medicine-track students who are enthusiastic about the campus and the faculty. The Brody School of Medicine focuses on recruiting and teaching the students but also on having a faculty of professional examples for the future physicians to learn from.
“They know that’s what we’re about,” Steinweg said. “They’re surrounded by good role models and beautiful facilities.”
The Brody School of Medicine has held fast to the top rankings consistently because of the support of the administration and efforts of other medical school faculty and staff, he added.
“We have a tradition of doing this,” Steinweg said. “All in all, it’s an initiative of the whole medical school.”
At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, adding to the pool of family physicians is vital to the health of America, said AAFP President Dr. Jeff Cain.
“Family physicians are the foundation of primary care,” Cain said. “Theirs is the only specialty in which all physicians are trained to provide primary care. The expertise of family physicians becomes even more important to people who have serious and chronic health conditions.”
Research shows that family physicians are the source of care for close to six out of 10 patients with anxiety, depression, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
This year’s Top Ten recognition was expanded to 12 schools out of the nation’s 126 allopathic medical schools to accommodate the growth in the number of geographically separated medical school campuses across the country.