SOURCE: Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences

July 22, 2010 13:15 ET

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Among Top Medical Schools in 'Social Mission'

POMONA, CA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2010) -  Western University of Health Sciences' College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) is among the nation's top medical schools in social mission, and is No. 1 in its home state.

"The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools," published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ranks COMP 21st overall in the study -- the highest ranking for a U.S. osteopathic medical school and the highest ranking of any medical school in California.

"It is with great pride and a sense of commitment that WesternU is recognized as a leader in meeting our mission to serve society by providing culturally sensitive primary care providers to America's underserved populations," said COMP Dean Clinton Adams, DO. "In our commitment to our osteopathic educational philosophy, we have created an educational continuum that focuses on a holistic approach to treating patients as individuals, incorporating the latest in scientific principles and technology.

"We never forget the necessity of touching patients in the process of achieving a diagnosis, and this appears to be a primary driver that results in graduates who both desire and enjoy a primary care mission," Adams said.

The composite social mission score is a combination of the percentage of an institution's graduates who practice primary care, work in health professional shortage areas, and are underrepresented minorities.

The Annals of Internal Medicine analysis was performed using data on graduates from 1999 to 2001 to capture the most recent cohort of graduates who had completed all types of residency training and national service obligations, according to the article. These factors were essential to determine graduates' actual choices of location and specialty rather than intermediary placements.

"As citizens and policymakers reconsider the U.S. health care system and seek 'quality, affordable health care for every American,' the nature of the physician work force is becoming a key concern," the article reads. "… Beyond their general educational mission, medical schools are expected to have a social mission to train physicians to care for the population as a whole, taking into account such issues as primary care, underserved areas, and workforce diversity."

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