In your Oct. 13 article “Governor candidates on the issues: Health care,” a review of Maine gubernatorial candidates’ health plans, your references to the shortage of primary care doctors in rural areas omitted one important factor, and that is the role the University of New England plays in combating this shortage.

UNE is the largest provider of primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas of Maine. This is not a coincidence: We emphasize the teaching of primary care, and we arrange for students to spend clinical training time in rural Maine.

The facts:

Of all practicing physicians in Maine, 538 are graduates of UNE’s medical school, which is more than from any other school.

 Over one-third of these UNE graduates practice in rural Maine.

 Most (61 percent) of these UNE graduates practice primary care. One in four of all primary care physicians in rural Maine are UNE graduates.

 A large proportion of UNE medical students are from Maine, including 32 recipients of the Doctors for Maine’s Future scholarship, an important funding source that allows Maine students access to medical school.

These factors make it more likely for UNE graduates to train in Maine. In fact, 38 UNE graduates are currently doing their postgraduate training in Maine.

In addition, UNE students are receiving a top-ranked education, with UNE’s medical school ranked 11th for primary care and 16th for rural medicine by U.S. News & World Report.

With data estimating an ongoing health care provider shortage in rural America, Maine is fortunate that UNE is addressing this need, by educating not only primary care physicians but also dentists, dental hygienists, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses, nurse anesthetists, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and public health professionals.

Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H.

vice president for clinical affairs, University of New England