According to a first-ever study of U.S. medical schools in the area of social mission, Morehouse School of Medicine ranks #1 in the nation. The study reiterated a point we have been making for some time – that MSM and the other historically black health medical schools are vital components of the American healthcare system, supporting the national resolve to create a healthier America, by addressing head on the issues of diversity, mal-distribution and access.
The study, entitled “The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools,” appeared in the June 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The investigators developed a metric called the social mission score that evaluated schools on three dimensions: production of primary care physicians, underrepresented minority graduates, and graduates practicing in medically underserved areas. Conducted by Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan of George Washington University, the study found that historically black colleges and universities scored highest in social mission rankings. Meharry Medical College in Nashville and Howard University in Washington, D.C., ranked second and third, respectively.
This recognition of MSM re-emphasizes the importance of our mission at a critical time. As the nation reforms its health system with a strong focus on primary care, MSM is at the epicenter of the movement. This position builds upon our longstanding reputation of training the doctors America needs most. Moreover, it draws national attention to our unique position as the nation seeks new approaches and new alternatives to addressing the vexing challenges of health and health care: expanding the number of primary care physicians and critical specialists working in underserved communities; increasing the racial and ethnic diversity in the health professions; eliminating racial and geographic ethnic health inequities; and reducing preventable deaths and promoting healthier lifestyles. So I encourage you, as a member of the MSM community, to pause for a moment and enjoy this moment of recognition. It’s never easy to be number one in anything. It takes hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Our faculty, staff and students have delivered all three in the tireless pursuit of our mission. For that I thank you.
At the same time, this is not a moment to relax; we still have much work to do. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced the federal government will spend $250 million to increase the number of health care providers and strengthen the primary care workforce. MSM is in the unique position of having its lifelong mission parallel an unprecedented shift in the nation’s health care priorities.
As the national leader among medical colleges with a social mission, I am encouraged to keep striving toward our goal with even more determination. I hope you are, too.
John E. Maupin, Jr. DDS, MBA
View the President's bio here.