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AAFP Awards Ceremony Photo

June 24, 2009

SIU Med School Awarded National Family Medicine Honor

The Department of Family and Community Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine has received a “Top Ten Award” from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) as one of the top ten medical schools in the nation for producing family medicine physicians.

The award recognizes SIU’s efforts to foster student interest in family medicine and was given at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine meeting in Denver in May.  Using a three-year average (2006-08), 16.3 percent of SIU’s graduating students from SIU have entered accredited family medicine residency programs, the ninth highest percentage in the country.

"This award recognizes our students who choose family medicine for their life’s work as well as the SIU faculty who train them," said Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, SIU's dean and provost.  “This accomplishment signals that we are continuing to meet our mission of placing SIU graduates into primary care practices around Illinois."

The family and community medicine specialty emphasizes comprehensive care to individuals and families, with emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, and care of the acutely and chronically ill.  Dr. Amber Barnhart, associate professor of family and community medicine and pre-doctoral education director, and Dr. Harald Lausen, assistant professor of family and community medicine and clerkship director, oversee SIU’s family medicine training, which occurs in all four years of medical school.

In their third year, SIU medical students work with practicing family physicians in central and southern Illinois.  This preceptorship experience lets students work and learn in an office setting under supervision of an experienced physician.  The students choose from more than 160 family practice physicians in Illinois for their preceptorship.

SIU School of Medicine is a public medical school established in 1970 and focused on the health care needs of downstate Illinois.  An international leader in medical education, the school is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians for practice in Illinois communities.  Since opening, more than 2,260 physicians have graduated from its program.  Its Web site is

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