NOVEMBER 24, 1997

UNT Health Science Center Honored for Highest Percentage of Family Practitioners

FORT WORTH, Texas -- For the fourth consecutive year, Fort Worth's Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) has won recognition for the high percentage of its graduates who choose primary care residency programs.

Of the medical school's 92-member class of 1997, 69 new doctors -- or 75 percent -- chose primary care residency training programs, including family practice, general internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics.

TCOM earned special recognition from the Texas Association of Family Physicians for the 43 members of that most recent graduating class who elected to pursue family practice residencies. These 43 represented 47 percent of the class of 1997, the highest percentage to choose family medicine residencies among the eight medical schools in Texas.

"For every entering class, we seek young men and women -- mostly Texans -- who express a real interest in primary care careers," said Dr. David Richards, president of the UNT Health Science Center that includes TCOM and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

"We exist to provide medical talent for the urban and rural areas of this state that continue to be medically underserved. That's our medical school's mission," Dr. Richards emphasized. He credited Dr. Samuel T. Coleridge, chairman and professor of family medicine at the health science center, for motivating medical students to seek family practice credentials and careers.

TCOM was founded in 1971 and remains the state's only school of osteopathic medicine. Its alumni, now numbering some 1,800 physicians and surgeons, practice mainly in Texas and in the Southwest. The college is part of the UNT Health Science Center, located in Fort Worth's Cultural District.