Boonshoft School of Medicine recognized for meeting nation’s need for family physicians

(L-R) Paul Hershberger, director of behavioral science, Family Medicine Residency Program; Reid Blackwelder, AAFP president; Therese Zink, chair, Department of Family Medicine; and F. Stuart Leeds, assistant professor of family medicine.

For the second consecutive year, the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine received an American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Top 10 Award for its consistent contributions to building the family physician workforce.

The award was presented May 5 during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference in San Antonio. Each year, the AAFP presents its Family Medicine Top 10 Awards to honor medical schools that during a three-year period graduated the greatest percentage of students who chose first-year family medicine residency positions.

At Wright State, 15.9 percent of medical graduates entered family medicine over the last three years. Along with Wright State, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health were some of the schools that received a Top 10 Award out of 129 medical schools.

At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, filling the family physician workforce pipeline is vital to the health of Americans, said AAFP President Reid Blackwelder.

The importance of family physicians also has escalated as the complexity of primary care has intensified, according to the AAFP. Family physicians provide preventive and first-encounter care. They diagnose and treat patients with conditions ranging from a sore throat to multiple, complex conditions, including diabetes combined with congestive heart failure. Research has shown that family physicians are the source of care for more than six in 10 patients with anxiety, depression or diabetes, six in 10 patients with cancer and almost six in 10 patients with heart disease.

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