The West Virginia University School of Medicine has been ranked in several different categories in U.S. News and World Report’s lists of high-achieving medical schools.

 The latest issue of the magazine, which is titled "America’s Best Graduate Schools," revealed their 2013 rankings of the best graduate and professional schools in the country.

 The WVU School of Medicine was ranked No. 9 in rural care, No. 52 in primary care, No. 63 in physical therapy, No. 86 in research and No. 116 in occupational therapy. The WVU School of Pharmacy was also ranked No. 26.

 "U.S. News and World Report is a highly regarded publication, and many look to it for guidance," said Arthur Ross, dean of the School of Medicine. "To be included in such a positive light is very gratifying, and we really appreciate that we received this recognition."

 In order to create the lists, U.S. News and World Report sent a survey to medical school deans and senior faculty members at all 126 accredited allopathic and 23 accredited osteopathic medical schools.

 Based on the replies they received from the surveys, U.S. News and World Report then compiled the data to create the rankings seen in the magazine and online.

 "It’s a form of peer recognition, meaning we received good ratings because deans of other schools have the WVU School of Medicine in mind," Ross said. "It also lets us know we are meeting our goal of providing good care to West Virginians."

 Finishing in the top 10 for rural care is exciting because providing primary care in rural settings is one of the main objectives of the School of Medicine, Ross said.

 "The reason we are here is for West Virginians," he said. "Everything we do all day every day needs to be focused on West Virginians and ways to hopefully improve their health and wellness."

 The School of Medicine particularly focuses on preparing students for careers in rural primary care departments in order to better serve the residents of West Virginia, Ross said.

 "West Virginia is largely a rural-based state, and the diseases that many West Virginians suffer from are the types of diseases that can be treated by good primary care," he said. "If someone tells us we did a good job at placing students into primary care settings, then we are doing our job."

 Last year was the first year the WVU School of Medicine was included in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings, and the school has maintained a similar standing this year.

 "We’re not here to maintain, we’re here to improve," Ross said. "We’re working hard to do the things we need to in order to improve."

 Ross said the WVU School of Medicine is happy for the challenge to progress, in hopes that it will make the school even better.

 "Our goal is to find ways to improve, and we are working hard to do the types of things necessary to become better," he said. "We’re no different from Coach Huggins or Coach Holgorsen – we want to be No. 1."