If you ask the typical person on the street to list the top medical schools chances are they will be able to name at least a couple of them. US News ranks the top ten medical schools each year. The criteria used includes: Peer Assessment Score, Assessment score by residency directors, Average undergrad GPA, Average MCAT score, Acceptance rate, NIH research grants, NIH research grants per faculty member, Faculty / student ratio, Out-of-state tuition and fees , and the total medical school enrollment.
Although the information gathered about those institutions is important, it may not really determine the quality of the doctor that attends that school. Or does it?
First let's talk about the people that are concerned with these rankings. It stands to reason that medical schools care – particularly medical schools that rely on private donation to fund expansion and education. Obviously the schools with greater notoriety will receive more private funding.
Another likely group is that of medical students. Although their future patients may not be concerned with where the doctors learned their trade, (but rather, only that they know their stuff!), Medical students know that when applying for residencies it does make a difference where you're coming from. If you are coming from a medical school on the Top Ten List you'll be a residency program favorite.
The next – and last group of people to be discussed (that are concerned with the Top Ten List) is very likely a large group. This group includes the friends and relatives of the students that attend those schools. It seems that we all take pride in the achievements of those we love and care about.
Before actually sharing the list it is important to clarify that it is possible that some excellent medical schools may be missing. Just keep in mind that it's a matter of ranking and what characteristics are used to make it. It does not mean that if a school is ranked low the doctors coming from there are not excellent and highly qualified.
One more detail: The Top Ten Lists are broken into Medical Schools of Research and Medical Schools of Primary Care. The medical school rankings have always been a point of concern for the schools as well as the students. In reality no single method for determining ranking works perfectly. When the results are determined almost every institution feels it should have been ranked higher. By breaking the schools into two lists (research and primary care) the problem is at least addressed but weaknesses in the method still exist.
Enough said – Now for the List!
1. Harvard University
2. Johns Hopkins University
3. University of Pennsylvania
4. Washington University in St. Louis
5. University of California-San Francisco
6. University of Washington
7. Stanford University
8. Duke University
9. Yale University
10. Baylor College of Medicine (TX)
1. University of Washington
2. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
3. University of Colorado-Denver and Health Sciences Center
4. Oregon Health and Science University
5. Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
6. East Carolina University (Brody) (NC)
7. University of Vermont
8. University of California-San Francisco
9. University of Wisconsin-Madison
10. University of Nebraska College of Medicine