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Release: Immediate

Award honors UI College of Medicine for promoting family medicine

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Iowa College of Medicine has been recognized for its high rate of graduates pursuing family medicine. This year, 27 percent of the college's 169 graduates will begin residency training in the specialty, well above the national average of 17 percent.

The Gold Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) honors medical schools where at least 30 percent of graduates enter family medicine over a three-year period. With a three-year average of 32.7 percent, the college is one of three schools nationwide to receive the award this year.

"We are proud to see so many of our students choose to enter family medicine, a field essential to the health of Iowa and the nation," says Dr. Robert P. Kelch, dean of the college. "By the time they graduate, all of our students see how family physicians benefit their communities. Many students decide it is the type of medicine they want to practice."

This year's Gold Achievement Award is the college's second in as many years. In 1994 and 1995, the college received the AAFP's Silver Achievement Award for averaging between 25 and 29 percent of graduates intent on specializing in family medicine.

"The ongoing success of the college and the department of family medicine reflects effective teamwork among faculty and staff who remain very student-centered," says Dr. Evan W. Kligman, UI professor and head of family medicine. "Our high level of student interest in family medicine is further driven by the college's focus on community-based training."

Family medicine is the most popular career choice for UI medical graduates, followed by other primary care specialties like internal medicine and pediatrics -- all responsible for treating most common health problems. The UI College of Medicine is a recognized leader in these specialties, ranked eighth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report magazine for primary care education.

Dr. Barcey Levy, UI assistant professor of family medicine and director of the department's predoctoral education program, will accept the award on behalf of the college May 5 at the annual meeting of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine in Boston.