EVMS is among the nation’s top third of medical schools in terms of diversity, according to the latest ranking from U.S. News and World Report.

U.S News & World Report issues its widely watched listings annually, ranking medical schools in a range of areas. The diversity index debuted this year, ranking medical schools based on their enrollment of under-represented minorities as of fall 2020.

Of the total 191 allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools in the United States, 118 were ranked for the diversity index and EVMS came in at number 39, placing it ahead of all other Virginia-based medical schools and tied with a handful of institutions, including Cornell University and the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. Only medical and osteopathic schools that responded to the U.S. News fall 2020 and early 2021 survey and supplied ethnic information for fall 2020 were included in the diversity ranking.

"This is yet another indication that our diversity and inclusion efforts are succeeding,” says Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine. “Our work is not done, however. We need to continue to diversify our student body and our institution so that they more closely resemble the community we serve.”

Mekbib Gemeda, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, credits much of the improvement to the strategic priorities the school has identified over the past few years.

“Our strategic priorities focus on cultivating diverse students, resident trainees, staff and faculty by deploying holistic recruitment and mentoring practices,” Mr. Gemeda says. “We are also developing an innovative medical curriculum that integrates structural inequities and cultural humility designed to prepare a healthcare workforce responsive to our diverse community.”

EVMS also was the highest rated medical school in Virginia for primary care, placing at number 46 among 159 ranked schools. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a range of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Schools were not ranked when available information was limited.

The interest in primary care among EVMS graduates is nothing new. In fact, the school is number 59 among 159 ranked schools in the number of graduates practicing in primary care fields.

“Primary care serves as the backbone of our medical system,” Dr. Homan says. “Without primary care physicians, there would be no continuity or coordination of care. The ranking reflects the collaborative culture of EVMS, which attracts students with a passion for patient care and community health. It’s also a reflection of our community origins and our vision to become the most community-oriented school of medicine and health professions.”

Many EVMS graduates practice in medically underserved areas — another new area of focus in this year’s rankings — helping the school earn number 58 in that category among 159 schools. The ranking is based on the percentage of graduates from 2012 to 2014 who practice in areas that are experiencing a shortage of health professionals. Limited access to physicians is a key health disparity that plagues communities both urban and rural.

EVMS also inched up the scale in terms of research. It came in at 88 of 191 schools in this year’s rankings of the best schools for research.

William Wasilenko, PhD, Vice Dean for Research, attributes the higher ranking to a concerted focus on research important to the people of Hampton Roads. “The improved ranking demonstrates that our strategic plan has helped promote collaborative research aimed at some of the important health problems of our community,” he says.