UNMC garners two top 10 rankings from U.S. News & World Report

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., center, and Paul Paulman, M.D., professor of family medicine, right, with medical students in the simulation lab.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., center, and Paul Paulman, M.D., professor of family medicine, right, with medical students in the simulation lab.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s primary care program jumped two slots and is now ranked No. 4 in the country in the latest ranking of the nation's top graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report.

In addition, UNMC's physician assistant program also cracked the top 10 and is ranked No. 9 by U.S. News for 2015, up seven spots from when the magazine last ranked PA programs in 2011.

In other rankings, UNMC was ranked 39th in public health, the first time it has been ranked in that category. In addition, UNMC moved up four spots in the research rankings to 60th.

"UNMC continues to be recognized for the excellence of its primary care program, which is a testament to the work of our medical students and faculty," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "It is exciting to see both the primary care and physician assistant program counted among the best in the nation and to see continued growth in the national recognition of our College of Public Health and our research program. This is truly the result of clear focus and hard work."

U.S. News surveyed 130 medical schools and 26 school of osteopathic medicine during 2014 and 2015 while compiling the rankings, which were released Tuesday. Schools surveyed were accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association. For more on U.S. News' methodology, click here.

“These rankings offer a reason to take pride in UNMC," said Dele Davies, M.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs. "Our educational mission at UNMC is a vital part of what we do, and these rankings for primary care and the physician assistant program emphasize our strong commitment to that mission."

The ranking in the public health category was especially pleasing to Ali S. Khan, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the UNMC College of Public Health, as the college only became operational in 2007 and is by far the newest of UNMC’s colleges.

“We are excited that our young college is already listed among the country’s outstanding programs,” Dr. Khan said. “This is a sign that what we are doing here in Nebraska is being noticed on a national scale. Our ultimate goal is to be a college of public health with a purpose, to reach large groups of people and revolutionize public health in exciting ways. We hope to be the healthiest state in the nation by 2020 and work to make a difference around the world.”

Making the top 10 in the physician assistant program rankings was rewarding to Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the School of Allied Health Professions, which includes educational programs in 13 professions and hopes to become UNMC’s sixth college this summer.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time one of our allied health programs has been ranked in the top 10 nationally,” Dr. Meyer said. “I am extraordinarily proud of the faculty and students. The dramatic rise in our ranking reflects the magnitude of UNMC's exceptional contributions to physician assistant education and research.”

Although new rankings for 2015 weren't available in all health care categories, UNMC continues to be ranked in three other programs: 

  • 32nd in pharmacy programs (last ranked in 2012);
  • 34th in physical therapy programs (last ranked in 2012); and
  • 93rd in biological sciences (last ranked in 2014).

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu and follow us on social media.

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Breaking down the rankings:

The primary care ranking included indicators such as student admission statistics (MCAT, GPA and acceptance rate), the percentage of graduates entering primary care residencies, peer assessment, assessment by residency program directors and other factors.

The rankings of the physician assistant programs, where UNMC placed ninth, are based on the results of peer assessment surveys sent to physician assistant programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

The research ranking included the total dollar amount of National Institutes of Health research grants and the average amount of those grants per full-time medical school science and clinical faculty member.