National Public Radio – The Next Frontier For Elite Med Schools: Primary Care
Elite schools have long focused on training specialists and researchers, but with the federal health law's emphasis on primary care, some schools are looking harder at family medicine.
Elite schools have long focused on training specialists and researchers, but with the federal health law's emphasis on primary care, some schools are looking harder at family medicine. Until this year, for example, Mount Sinai School of Medicine had neither a department nor any family physicians on staff. Students like Demetri Blanas, 26, who were interested in becoming family doctors found little support. For the first three years of school, his training focused almost exclusively on taking care of extremely ill patients in the hospital. Mount Sinai ranks among the bottom 20 medical schools in the country when it come to the number of primary care doctors it graduates. But that may soon change. In June, Mount Sinai started a new department of family medicine. Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of the medical school, says the new department represents a fundamental change in Mount Sinai's mission. "We want to be one of the leading medical schools that educates the next generation of primary care doctors," he says. Dr. Neil Calman, president and CEO of the institute, was intrigued by Mount Sinai's partnership offer from the start. "It's pretty hard to have a family medicine-based organization in a hospital and a medical school that doesn't have a department and doesn't recognize it as a specialty," he says. So Mount Sinai worked with Dr. Calman to start a department, signing institute doctors onto the faculty. Learn more.