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KYCOM rises in rankings among top schools in rural medicine

March 12, 2013 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
The University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) is among the top five schools in rural medicine, rising significantly in the rankings for all medical schools in the nation, both D.O. and M.D., in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 edition of Best Graduate Schools.

Moving up from 12th place last year, KYCOM tied for fifth place in rural medicine rankings with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Minnesota and is the highest ranked college of osteopathic medicine in this category.

KYCOM is also second in the percentage of graduates who enter primary care residencies in the latest U.S. News rankings.

“We are pleased to be recognized by our peer U.S. medical schools for excellence in rural medicine and for our commitment to training primary care physicians. This ranking is a remarkable achievement for such a young medical school,” said Boyd R. Buser, D.O., dean of KYCOM and vice president of Health Affairs at the University of Pikeville.

With the opening of a $40 million educational facility last September, KYCOM began a new chapter in its mission of service. The Coal Building, named in recognition of an industry that has provided significant support to the institution for many years, features a clinical skills training and evaluation center, state-of-the-art robotic simulation, research and teaching laboratories, as well as classrooms, offices and student study spaces. It also accommodates a larger class size, which is in keeping with KYCOM’s mission to alleviate physician shortages in Kentucky and Appalachia, especially in rural areas.

“The success of our medical school is demonstrative of the wisdom of our board of trustees when they embarked on this mission a little more than a decade ago,” said University of Pikeville President Paul E. Patton. “I believe the school has met and exceeded our expectations.”

Medicine in the Mountains … Keeping the Promise: Since its inception in 1997, the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine has played an important role in preparing physicians to serve the health care needs of underserved populations in Kentucky and other Appalachian regions. Of the more than 700 graduates since the first class of physicians in 2001, 60 percent are serving in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia, as well as rural areas of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and New York. Currently, 69 percent of these physicians are serving in primary care.
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