Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 04:58 pm
As if we need another reason to be proud of Springfield, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield was just ranked 13th out of 161 medical schools in the U.S. for training primary care doctors. That’s especially important given the shortage of primary care doctors nationwide, especially in rural areas. (The American Association of Retired People estimates the U.S. needs another 16,000 doctors to meet current demand.) The ranking comes from a new study published in the September issue of research journal Academic Medicine. SIU School of Medicine has a comparably high rate of graduates – 37 percent – who go into primary care practices, the front lines of medicine. About 12 percent of those graduates go to work in “underserved” areas, and 16 percent serve in rural areas. Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, dean and provost of SIU School of Medicine, says primary care doctors improve patients’ health by coordinating care “longitudinally” – essentially walking patients through their treatment over time. “SIU School of Medicine is proud to train primary care physicians,” Dorsey said. The school was established in 1970 and has graduated more than 2,500 doctors.