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Seven Department of Medicine Specialties Represented in 2015 U.S. News & World Report Rankings


Seven medical specialties in the University of Colorado Department of Medicine were ranked among the top 50 nationwide for clinical excellence in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Hospitals Guide. Overall, University of Colorado Hospital was ranked nationally in 11 specialties, as well as retaining its position as the best hospital in Colorado.

“We are proud of these rankings, and especially of our clinical faculty and residents, who – along with the hospital’s staff and our colleagues from within the university – are committed to providing high-quality, personalized care to patients,” says David A. Schwartz, MD, Robert W. Schrier Chair of Medicine at CU.

“The Department of Medicine and its faculty members have made an unparalleled commitment to clinical excellence and it shows in these rankings,” added Jeffrey Glasheen, MD, Director of the University of Colorado Hospital Medicine Group and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine. “More important, however, are the countless lives we improve daily. This is incredible affirmation of the work our faculty have done in expanding our clinical presence, building interdisciplinary clinical programs, and committing to quality above all else.”

The Report’s rankings draw from a pool of over 4,700 hospitals in the U.S., with most of the data used in the rankings taken from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' MedPAR database and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database. Key metrics evaluated using this data include safety and quality, reputation among specialists, patient volume, nursing intensity, and the presence of advanced technologies and a high-level trauma center.

Divisions of the Department of Medicine represented among the nationally ranked specialties are:

All seven specialties held or improved their rankings from last year, with two fields (Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Geriatrics) entering or re-entering the top 50. “We’re delighted with this recognition,” said Peter Buttrick, MD, Head of the Division of Cardiology. “We’ve always known that our cardiovascular programs are top-tier nationally, and it’s nice to have some external validation.”

“We have long had outstanding nationally recognized geriatrics programs including our fellowship and research training, clinical research programs, and outpatient and sub-acute clinical care,” added Robert Schwartz, MD, Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine. “This selection gives us external validation that a team approach to all aspects of what we do is working and is receiving the recognition it deserves.”

“The pulmonary program remains one of the very best in the country, reflecting the excellence of our faculty and fellows, as well as the superb staff at University of Colorado Hospital,” said Marvin Schwarz, Interim Head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine. “The new Center for Lungs and Breathing (a collaboration between the CU School of Medicine, University of Colorado Hospital and University of Colorado Health) will also help expand our reputation and impact in pulmonary medicine.”

Education programs are also essential to clinical success, notes Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, Director of the CU Internal Medicine Residency Training Program and Vice Chair for Education within the Department of Medicine. “The University of Colorado medical school is excellent and the internal medicine clerkship is consistently top rated by our terrific students. Our residency program is also superior, matching outstanding competitive candidates from across the country who excel in training and go on to be leaders in multiple realms.”

Other University of Colorado Hospital specialties that were nationally ranked are Orthopedics (25), Neurology & Neurosurgery (26), Urology (30) and Gynecology (31); Ear, Nose & Throat was also ranked as high-performing.

University of Colorado Hospital is the academic medical center of University of Colorado Health (UCHealth), a nonprofit health care system that includes five hospitals (all ranked among Colorado’s top 10 by U.S. News) and over 100 clinics throughout Colorado. With nearly 850 faculty members, the Department of Medicine is the largest academic department in the CU School of Medicine.

Related link: Hospital Steadily Climbs in U.S. News Rankings, but Barriers Remain (UCH Insider)