May 17, 2013
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) graduated 109 at the college’s 35th Commencement held at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on May 11. More than 60 percent of the graduates who received their degrees of doctor of osteopathic medicine from OU-HCOM are entering a primary care residency, and 72 percent plan to practice in Ohio.
The students accepted into primary care residency programs will serve in front-line specialties like internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine.
OU-HCOM Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., noted that the impressive number of graduates entering primary care and remaining in Ohio to practice reflects the commitment of the college to becoming a national leader in educating primary care physicians.
“At a time when our nation is recognizing the need to recruit and retain outstanding family physicians, we are proud that 60 percent of this graduating class will pursue a primary care specialty,” Johnson told graduates and more than 1,500 audience members.
Within the next decade, experts predict a national shortage of more than 45,000 primary care physicians, with people living in rural or inner-city medically underserved areas being hit the hardest. OU-HCOM is aggressively addressing that shortage, Johnson said.
Already, OU-HCOM leads all Ohio medical schools with the highest percentage of graduates – currently about 60 percent – practicing in primary care and remaining in the state to practice.
In March, U.S. News & World Report ranked OU-HCOM 11th in the country in producing primary care physicians based on a peer assessment survey. The same survey ranked the college 17th for graduates who practice family medicine. This is expected to increase with the opening of two new extension campuses in Ohio, one in Dublin in 2014, the other in the Cleveland area in 2015.
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