April 6, 2021

The best medical schools, according to US News

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    U.S. News & World Report last week released its annual Best Medical Schools rankings, which include separate lists recognizing leading schools for research, primary care, and each of eight specialties.

    Cheat sheets: How hospital quality ratings work

    Methodology for research rankings

    For the research rankings, U.S. News assessed each school's performance based on a weighted average of the following indicators:

    • Quality assessment, including peer assessment scores on a five-point scale from medical and osteopathic school deans, deans of academic affairs, and heads of internal medicine or directors of admissions, as well as assessment scores by residency directors for specialties outside of primary care, such as surgery, psychiatry, and radiology. This indicator comprises 30% of a school's overall ranking.
    • Research activity, including total dollar amounts of federal research grants and dollar amounts of federal research grants awarded per total full-time faculty members. This indicator comprises 40% of the overall rank for schools considered in the research medical school ranking model.
    • Student selectivity, including median MCAT scores, median undergraduate GPA, and acceptance rate. This indicator comprises 20% of the overall rank for the research medical school ranking model.
    • Faculty-to-student ratios. This indicator comprises 10% of the overall ranking in the research medical school ranking model.

    Harvard University tops the research list

    The top 10 medical schools for research (including some ties), according to U.S. News, were:

    1. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts);
    2. New York University (New York);
    3. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina);
    4. Columbia University (New York);
    5. Stanford University (Stanford, California);
    6. University of California-San Francisco (San Francisco);
    7. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore);
    8. University of Washington (Seattle);
    9. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); and
    10. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut).

    Click here to view the full list.

    University of Washington tops the primary care list

    For the primary care rankings, U.S. News assessed each school's performance on a weighted average of the following indicators:

    • Quality assessment, including peer assessment scores on a five-point scale from medical and osteopathic school deans, deans of academic affairs, and heads of internal medicine or directors of admissions, as well as assessment scores by residency directors for primary care residencies, such as family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine. This indicator comprises 30% of a school's overall ranking.
    • Primary care production, including the proportion of medical school graduates practicing in primary care specialties and the proportion of medical school graduates entering primary care residencies. This indicator comprises 40% of the overall rank for schools considered in the primary care ranking model.
    • Student selectivity, including median MCAT scores, median undergraduate GPA, and acceptance rate. This indicator comprises 15% of the overall rank for the primary care medical school ranking model.
    • Faculty-to-student ratios. This indicator comprises 15% of the overall ranking in the primary care medical school ranking model.

    The top 10 medical schools for primary care (including some ties) were:

    1. University of Washington (Seattle);
    2. University of California, San Francisco (California);
    3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, North Carolina);
    4. Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Oregon);
    5. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis);
    6. University of Colorado (Aurora, Colorado);
    7. University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, Nebraska);
    8. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts);
    9. University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, Kansas); and
    10. University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, Massachusetts).

    Click here to view the full list.

    Best schools for 8 specialties

    U.S. News also ranked hospitals within eight medical specialties. These rankings were based on votes by medical school deans and senior faculty from the 129 responding schools. Respondents were asked to identify up to 15 schools offering the best programs in each specialty.

    Here is the top school listed in each specialty:

    • OB-GYN: University of California-San Francisco
    • Surgery: Johns Hopkins University

    (U.S. News & World Report research rankings, 3/30; U.S. News & World Report primary care rankings, 3/30; U.S. News & World Report Best Medical Schools methodology, 3/30)

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