The West Virginia University School of Medicine has been recognized as one of the top ten schools of medicine in the country for rural medicine, and placed in the top 50 for primary care. WVU made the top ten list in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

The rankings are based on ratings by medical school deans and senior faculty in the nation’s 126 accredited medical schools and 20 accredited schools of osteopathic medicine.

“We have been working very hard for decades to address the unique health care needs of West Virginia,” WVU School of Medicine Interim Dean James Brick, M.D., said. “It’s gratifying that our colleagues across the country recognize our leadership in rural health and primary care.”

School of Medicine students learn and care for patients in rural areas of West Virginia as part of the requirements for graduation. They work in partnerships with rural communities and with other health care providers in rural clinics across the state.

About 50 percent of WVU School of Medicine graduates choose to practice in primary care areas, such as family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, and pediatrics.
The number of physicians who practice in rural, underserved communities has increased by 200 percent in recent years.

The WVU School of Nursing received high marks for its Masters of Science in Nursing program, as judged by nursing deans and faculty at schools across the country.

“We are very proud of our faculty, our programs, and especially, our students,” School of Nursing Dean Georgia Narsavage, Ph.D., said. “An education from the WVU School of Nursing can take them anywhere they want to go. Our graduates, whether they choose to stay in West Virginia, or work in facilities across the country, become leaders in healthcare.”

Health Sciences Chancellor Christopher Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., thanked faculty, staff and students in Morgantown, and at the campuses in Charleston and Martinsburg, for their dedication.

“We are the largest and most powerful force for health in this state,” Colenda said. “It is an honor to be associated with the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing today.”

The U.S. News & World Report 2011 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” is available in bookstores this week, or online at

For more information about the WVU School of Medicine, visit

For more information about the WVU School of Nursing, visit



CONTACT: Amy Johns, HSC News Service