Commitment to care earns UNTHSC spot in magazine rankings
By Jeff Carlton
UNT Health Science Center’s dedication to primary care has received national recognition for the 15th consecutive year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of medical schools.
Among the magazine’s ranked programs, UNTHSC’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) is first in Texas and second nationally in the percentage of graduates entering primary care fields. Overall, TCOM is No. 50 in the country out of more than 170 eligible medical schools nationwide in the primary care rankings.
“We are pleased to remain nationally recognized for our commitment to increase the number of primary care providers for the state of Texas and beyond,” said Don N. Peska, DO, MEd, Dean of TCOM.
Nearly 66 percent of TCOM graduates enter primary care, helping everyday Texans get critical access to the health care system in a state with a growing physician shortage. Texas is 45th in the nation in physicians per capita, with about 43,000 practicing physicians for a population of 23 million people.
Examples of UNTHSC’s commitment to care include its innovative geriatrics and rural medicine programs. In geriatrics, the Health Science Center has teamed up with JPS Health Network, Texas Christian University and the United Way’s Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County to improve medical training and health-care delivery for the region’s rapidly growing population of older residents.
The school also boasts a rural medicine program that prepares physicians to care for rural Texans. Texas has 35 counties without a practicing physician and 80 counties with fewer than five. The TCOM program places students with rural physicians in every corner of the state
Of the 220 TCOM graduates in 2015, 142 began residencies in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology or pediatrics. The other 78 students went into specialties such as emergency medicine, anesthesiology, general surgery or physical medicine and rehabilitation.