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Quillen ranked 20th in nation for producing family medicine doctors
Dr. Robert Means

JOHNSON CITY – The Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University has been ranked 20th in the nation for producing medical doctors who go into family medicine, a primary care specialty that focuses on comprehensive health care for people of all ages.

A study recently published in the journal Family Medicine illuminates the need for U.S. medical schools to train a physician workforce that meets the health care needs of every American. The article highlights medical schools that are making the largest impact on the issue, with the Quillen College of Medicine landing in the top 20 on the list.

“This is a significant ranking for us at Quillen because our mission since the medical school began at ETSU in the 1970s has been to produce primary care physicians who can serve rural and underserved populations,” said Dr. Robert Means, dean of the Quillen College of Medicine. “Our success in producing graduates who go into family medicine is a direct result of our efforts to support that mission.”

In 2015, 12.5 percent of Quillen’s graduates entered an accredited family medicine residency program.

“As the U.S. struggles with a current primary care physician shortage that is expected to be exacerbated to a shortage of more than 33,000 primary care physicians by 2035, this contribution is critical to the health of all Americans,” wrote Dr. John Meigs, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in a letter sent to Means earlier this month. “As we know, it can be difficult to predict a graduate’s exact future, particularly in regard to whether they will provide primary care as physicians… However, we can be confident that the graduation rate of family medicine residents from your medical school is a reliable marker of graduates who will go on to provide this vital care and help fill the greatest need of our country’s physician workforce… We hope that East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine will continue to lead the way.”

The Quillen College of Medicine was the only medical school in the state to be listed in the top 20 schools graduating family medicine residents. To see all 20 schools on the list or to read more of the study published in Family Medicine, visit

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