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50 Best Medical Schools for 2024 Top US Medical Colleges Ranked

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Contributing Editor
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Susan A. Kemppainen has been a freelance writer and researcher for nearly 10 years, following a career in healthcare developing and coordinated continuing clinical education programs for physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff. She also has significant experience working with students and administration in a university setting.
Managing Editor
Carrie Sealey-Morris has covered bootcamps, careers, and higher education for College Consensus since 2017. Carrie is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned a B.A. in American Studies. 
BEST Medical Schools 1

This is a good time for medical school applicants. The best medical schools are beefing up their diversity programs and are seeing record numbers of women and minority applicants.

Understanding Medical School Admissions

We’re glad to be part of your search and have provided information on 50 of the Best Medical Schools in the country. It’s impossible to describe all parts of a medical school’s degree programs, curriculum, and in depth research opportunities. However, this list will give you an overview of each school’s academic and research endeavors.

Medical school admission is competitive. Currently, there are 156 accredited medical schools in the US that are seeing a record number of students applying (AAMC). Medical schools offer far more than a Doctor of Medicine degree. Many offer PhD and masters degrees in basic science, clinical, and research studies.

Methodology for How College Consensus Ranked the Best Medical Colleges

To create our ranking of the Best Medical Schools we averaged the results of the five most respected medical school ranking systems to come up with a Consensus Score for each school. Schools were then ranked from highest to lowest Consensus Score. This approach allows us to create a medical school meta-ranking, revealing the best of the best schools. Only medical schools in the US were considered. Data for this year’s ranking comes from the following national published rankings:

  1. U.S. News & World Report
  2. QS World University Rankings
  3. CEO World
  4. Shanghai Ranking
  5. Times Higher Education World University Rankings

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awf8rvxytkqn5bw8bpt2One of America’s most prestigious medical schools has trained physicians and medical professionals since 1782. Harvard Medical School (HMS) has an impressive history of excellence which includes 10 Nobel Prizes in Medicine or Physiology and 16 in the Peace category.

With a faculty exceeding 12,000, Harvard Medical School at Harvard University provides education and training for physicians, research PhD, masters, and postgraduate programs. The school also offers medical executive education for business professionals (MBA), as well as, online certification coursework.

Research opportunities exist in a variety of medical fields, including genetics, immunology, stem cell regenerative biology, and neurobiology. Clinical and research affiliations are represented by some of the nation’s most distinguished centers. These include the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and also Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Admission to Harvard Medical School is highly competitive. However, approximately 70% of HMS students receive financial aid with an average scholarship of around $59,500 for eligible students seeking a medical degree.

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medicine.logo .small The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine grew from the 1889 philanthropy of a grocer Johns Hopkins. He established a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHSM) lives up to its pledge, “Together, We Will Deliver the Promise of Medicine” by operating 6 academic and community hospitals.

Additionally, its dual medical and combination degrees allow students to expand their studies into areas of public health, medical science, and administrative business of medicine. This top medical school has a graduate Medical Education that offers residencies and fellowships in numerous clinical areas. Furthermore, the Medical School is committed to inclusivity and has a dedicated Office of Medical Student Diversity. Global health benefits from a diverse community. So JHSM encourages qualified international students from other countries who want to study medicine to apply.

A robust research commitment at JHSM features 902 research laboratories and an alumni and faculty that holds over 2,200 patents. Affiliated institutes that work with JHMS research and investigate brain science, biomedical sciences, genetics, and also cell engineering.

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1401777248905If cutting-edge research is your passion, you’d be hard-pressed to find a medical school to match Stanford University. It produces groundbreaking developments in research protocols and clinical therapies development. The list of medical innovations for this top ranked medical school are impressive and include the first heart transplant in the US in 1968, and the first successful heart-lung transplant in the world.

The Stanford University School of Medicine offers seven, dual degree programs including masters studies in public health, medical science, business, law, and others. Admission to the medical school is holistic and determined by 15 Core Competencies in four areas of Science, Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Thinking & Reasoning.

Faculty at Stanford University include seven current Nobel Prize winners and substantial membership in the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine. With laboratories and affiliated institutes, research at Stanford has the highest NIH funding level per researcher in the country. Research spans studies from basic science to disease-specific clinical trials. Stanford University also offers community-based training and research, population health, and global research and design innovation.

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The University of Pennsylvania is home to the country’s oldest school of medicine (est.1765) and teaching hospital. Now known as the Perelman School of Medicine (PSM), the school concentrates on education, research, and patient care.

Medical students study an evidence-based curriculum emphasizing instruction in small groups to enhance interaction and self-directed learning. PSM offers combined degree MD programs with PhD (MSTP), MBA, Master of Law, Master in Public Health, and more. Research and Fellowship options are available.

Research is a crucial part of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and it’s affiliated with six acute care facilities and students earn experience working in free community clinics and other outreach programs. The medical school has 36 free-standing, interdisciplinary clinics in oncology, immunotherapy, diabetes, geriatric, cardiology, neurology, organ transplant, and more. Research funding is a staggering $891 million.

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f05a57ad 78ea 41ed 9a40 16dab2667200The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) has been educating physicians for over 250 years and is one of the nation’s most respected medical schools. This school takes a patient-focused approach and developed the narrative medicine concept to patient care emphasizing hearing the patient’s story as a vital part of the diagnosis and treatment process.

Students participate and run clinics in underserved communities in the university’s Washington Heights area as well as the Columbia-Bassett track in a mostly rural population. VP&S utilizes state of the art simulation centers where you’ll gain experience with equipment, procedures, and patient-interaction with skilled actors in a variety of physician-patient scenarios.

The school is known for its research and development, receiving over $622 million in NIH funding and its faculty includes 3 Nobel Laureates, Howard Hughes Medical Institute: Faculty Scholars, National Academy of Medicine Members, and more.

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david geffen school of medicine secondary application e1552896088408The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is a relatively young program that opened in 1947. Despite its age, the University of California Los Angeles has a significant national and global impact on the field of medicine through training and research. US News and World Report consistently rank this school in its Best Medical Schools.

Medical students have a choice of MD degree concentrations at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine with its HEALS curriculum. The school also provides a dual MD/Medical Scientist Training Program, a five-year MD+Masters, and the UCLA/Charles R. Drew Medical Education Program MD dedicated to having an impact on medically underserved communities.

US News and World Report also rank the SOM in its top medical research programs in the country. Faculty investigators conduct trials in a wide array specialties including genetic diseases, endocrine and metabolic, cancer, infectious disease, pediatric, genetic diseases, and several others. The research efforts encourage student participation and the institution provides several funding opportunities.

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yale school of medicine logo vectorNew Haven, Connecticut is home to the Yale University School of Medicine. a forerunner in medical research and treatment modalities. Among the landmarks of this medical school are the first use of cancer chemotherapy, first US patient x-ray, fetal heart monitoring, and diabetic infusion pump. Yale physicians also developed the first artificial heart pump.

The school uses the “Yale System of Medical Education” (developed in 1920), which centers on no grades/rankings in the first two years, few examinations, and the encouragement of independent investigation. Yale offers several medical degrees, PhD and Masters programs. Educational departments range from Anesthesiology to Urology and all specialties in between. Furthermore, Yale has the finest medical library in the world with over 380,000 volumes.

Yale has a robust clinical investigation commitment and was on the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine trials in adults and children. Basic and Transitional Research faculty has received over 1,300 patents and ranks high in NIH funding. Faculty includes 3 Nobel Prize winners, Lasker Award winners, MacArthur Genius Grant recipients, and more.

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duke university school of medicine logo vectorAnother one of the best med schools, Duke University School of Medicine, opened in 1930. Its campus is in the North Carolina city of Durham and part of the Research Triangle Area. The school has 24 basic science and clinical departments with over 2,500 faculty members, including two Nobel Prize winners.

The Duke School of Medicine has an impressive offering of health professions training in the areas of medicine. Graduate students can enroll in the Doctor of Physical Therapy, Masters in Biomedicine, Occupational Therapy Doctorate, and also the Master of Science Training Program (MSTP). Additionally, the university offers unique international experiences through the Duke-NUS Medical School, and collaborations with Duke Global Health Institute and Duke Kunshan University. The MD program is divided into Pre-Clerkship (1st Year), Clerkship (2nd Year), and  Research (3rd & 4th Year). Classes in year one cover basic sciences and the second year is clinical foundation experiences. During the last two years, students take advanced clinicals and an 8-month mentored research activity.

Long known for its clinical research successes, the Duke School of Medicine receives substantial NIH funding. It has conducted over 2,300 active clinical studies with over 17,000 enrolled patients. Duke has a strong commitment with community initiatives ranging from neighborhood clinics and also healthcare projects.

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UnknownThe New York University Grossman School of Medicine MD program uniquely provides full-tuition scholarships to every enrolled student in its MD program. This financial assistance fulfills the school’s commitment to providing quality education and tuition-free medical training. In recent years, this equated to over $58,000 in annual scholarships for each student with satisfactory academic standing.

With 29 academic departments, the University of New York has been training physicians since 1841 and enjoys a national and global reputation. Committed to a multidisciplinary approach to medical training, NYU in 2013, created the Institute of Innovations in Medical Education. Dedicated to improving medical education models, the institute developed an accelerated three-year MD as well as a four and five year dual MD/MS degrees.

Over 1,300 medical fellows and residents provide patient care across more than 156 different residency and training opportunities. Additionally, the school has supported leading-edge medical research for over 175 years and its faculty researchers include four Nobel Prize winners, four Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, and twelve National Academy of Sciences scientists.

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Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Secondary EssayThe Washington University School of Medicine opened in 1891 and has a nationally and globally known faculty, including experienced clinicians and researchers. Nineteen Nobel Laureates are associated with this school, dating back to 1913.

In addition to the medical education program, WashU School of Medicine provides quality education in the fields of physical therapy and occupational therapy, and audiology and communication sciences. Over 1,200 residents and fellows train in close to 200 specialty and subspecialty areas. Clinical rotations are conducted with faculty in several of the school’s affiliated teaching hospitals in the Saint Louis Missouri area, including Shriners Hospital for Children-St. Louis and the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis.

The development of the Division of Physician-Scientists demonstrates the school’s commitment to research. Besides clinical trials participation, the school has developed groundbreaking work in areas of genetic testing, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and oncology among them.

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logo purpleLocated in Seattle, the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) is one of the nation’s best primary care programs. Founded in 1946, UW developed a partnership in 1970 with Washington, Alaska, Montana,  Idaho, and Wyoming to offer medical education (aka WWAMI) and became the only five-state medical school in the nation.

You can choose from five clinical pathways developed to meet specific career goals. The pathways provide the opportunity to arrange courses and clinical rotations for work concentrating on particular populations. The unique WWAMI partnership has led to an innovative approach providing mentors for students in areas such as patient care as well as clinical skills.

UW Medicine supports vigorous, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and clinical research programs conducted by an award winning faculty. Faculty members include recipients of Gardiner, Nobel, Lasker awards and membership in the National Academy of Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and National Academy of Sciences.

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wcm 2line cobrand rgbIf you’re looking for a medical school affiliated with some of the worlds most respected medical centers and facilities, you may want to explore Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), located in New York City.

Students can earn a Doctor of Medicine degree as well as opt for a joint degree. Weill Cornell Medicine participates in a Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University to train future researchers. The WCM has options in PhD programs in biomedicine as well as business administration. Graduate studies in biomedical science, computational biology, physician assistance, and public health are also offered.

WCM has an admirable grouping of medical centers and institutes dedicated to studies in Vascular Biology, Hepatitis C, Brain and Mind Disease, Stem Cell, Cardiovascular, and several others. Additionally, WCM has core research facilities  as well as shared facilities with other research studies located in the vibrant Upper East Side Medical Research Corridor.

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MedSchoolLogo StackThis medical school is another one of “firsts.” Since its opening in 1850, the Michigan Medical School has been the vanguard in medical education. The school was among the first in establishing a physician teaching hospital, moving the student from passive observer to active medical participant, introduced a science focused curriculum, and was one of the first major medical schools to admit minorities and women.

A student-oriented medical curriculum provides for smaller group learning and collaboration and introduces you to clinical participation within the first month of study. The aim is to provide you a systems-based science curriculum, professional growth working with mentors, vigorous clinical setting education, as well as a healthy life balance.

This School of Medicine has a remarkable $1.58 billion investment in medical and scientific research making it the top public university with such a commitment. U.S. News and World Report ranks 12 of the school’s medical specialty and sub-specialty programs in its 2022 Best Graduate Schools categories.

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Unknown 2For over a century, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) has provided one of the country’s most highly regarded medical programs. UPSOM’s curriculum blends medical courses and lectures with problem based studies. The school believes in early clinical training to prepare students for clerkship opportunities during their clinical years.

Among the available degrees are the MD, the  Clinical Scientist Training Program (CSTP), and a multidisciplinary MPH. Students can also enroll in the Physician Science Training Program which is a collaborative effort between UPitt and Carnegie Mellon University. Several additional educational opportunities are offered in Clinical Research, Medicine & Bioethics, Medical Grand Rounds, and others.

US News and World Report regards UPSOM as one of the top, national schools for medical research and primary care training. The school has a robust investigational commitment with numerous, ongoing clinical studies and a unique student opportunity in research. For example, the Longitudinal Research Project (LRP) allows students to work with faculty mentors on research projects throughout their four years of study.

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d0c02420 4c70 452e b18e c6e0ad28f347Chicago is home to the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Established in 1859, this school now ranks  as one of US News and World Report’s top Medical Schools for Research and top Medical Schools for Primary Care.

The medical training at Feinberg SOM encompasses medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant, and also prosthetics-orthopedics. Among the doctorate degrees are the Medical Scientist Training Program and Neuroscience. Some of the available masters degrees are in areas such as Biostatistics, Genetic Counseling, and also Public Health.

Feinberg SOM has a substantial commitment to Basic, Clinical, and Transitional Research areas. It receives over $610 million in NIH research funding and has more than a quarter of a million enrolled patients in 4,500 clinical trials. Research is also conducted in Public Health and community engagement research to better understand and address healthcare and real world challenges.

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Unknown 1The University of Chicago graduated its first class of medical students in 1927 from what would later be known as the Pritzker School of Medicine (1968). Located on UChicago’s Hyde Park campus, this is one of the few medical schools to be located on a university’s main campus.

Pritzker School of Medicine offers a range of medical and healthcare academic tracks including studies in Medical Education, Community Health, Basic Transitional Sciences, Clinical Research, Healthcare Delivery Services, Health Services and Data Science, and also Global Health. Four dual degrees are awarded in addition to the MD.

Approximately, 90% of medical students work in one of the 5 student-run free community clinics. Research opportunities for students exist through a summer research program, providing opportunities to work alongside faculty members in basic sciences, translational, or clinical studies. Numerous other research programs are available.

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sm09bEstablished in 1875 in Nashville, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is the best medical school in Tennessee. It is recognized as one of US News and World Report’s top Medical Schools and is top in the nation for NIH research grants.

Vanderbilt’s medical curriculum focuses on core sciences. But it also pays attention to the students overall experience, communication skills, and cultural considerations. The school offers not only an MD, but a unique Medical Innovators Development Program, MD/PhD (Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), as well as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery MD. Vanderbilt also provides an Interprofessional Learning Program which emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of medicine.

Medical research is a critical part of Vanderbilt’s mission and the school’s Basic Sciences Department has been on the forefront of discovery and innovation. The school is in the top research universities to consistently receive NIH funding.

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UCSD school of medicine logoThe only medical school in the San Diego region, UC San Diego School of Medicine was founded in 1968. UCSD offers a diverse and holistic student approach to the study of medicine.

This school has a commitment to the medically underserved and is proud that around a quarter of each class are members of underrepresented groups in medicine. Additionally, UCSD supports students by providing iPads and developing professional skills through interactional training. It also offers Standardized or Simulated Patients (SPs) for training using simulations at its Simulation Training Center.

UCSD medical students can choose to combine a MD with other fields of study with numerous options for dual degrees. Basic and clinical research is also a critical part of the medical school’s mission. UC San Diego SOM is one of the top public schools receiving NIH research funding and is in the top schools with intensive research programs as ranked by US News and World Report.

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MountSinai IcahnSchool LogoIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) is another well known New York medical school affiliated with a world leader in healthcare. Mount Sinai Hospital was established in 1852 and its medical school opened in 1968. The school was originally known as Mount Sinai School of Medicine and was affiliated with The City University of New York (CUNY).

In addition to the MD, there are three PhD degree programs in Biomedical Sciences, Clinical Research, and also Neuroscience Studies. The Biomedical Sciences PhD offers six Multidisciplinary Training Areas (MTA) thesis options. You can choose from dual degree and specialty programs such as the MD/PhD with the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), MSW/MPH, or the MD/MPH. The school also provides unique programs such as the Global Health Scholars Program, Primary Care Scholars Program, and the Physician Scholars Program.

ISMSS supports groundbreaking, original research and receives over $400 million in NIH research funding. Research projects include epidemiology, translational research, clinical trials, technology, and more.

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BUSMThe Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine at Boston University has trained students since 1848. Its commitment to practice based training and research innovation make it a world class medical school. BU was the first US medical school to admit women and the first to graduate a black, female physician.

Through clinical lectures, self-directed learning, small groups seminars, and patient contact beginning in the first year, students develop both clinical skills and foundational knowledge. Among the 33 medical centers with whom BUSOM is affiliated are Boston Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Bournewood Psychiatric Hospital, and also local veterans hospitals.

The school has 28 basic science and clinical science departments that support vigorous biomedical research and 19 research centers and facilities. US News and World Report ranks BUSOM in its Best US Research Medical Schools.

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Unknown 3Located in one of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, Atlanta, Georgia, Emory University School of Medicine roots date to the mid-19th century to its current affiliation with the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. This center is the umbrella for Emory University’s studies in patient care, education of healthcare professionals, health and illness research, and more. Emory’s School of Medicine is affiliated with four exceptional health facilities that provides clinical experience opportunities for medical students.

You can earn a MD degree, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)  or choose from dual degree opportunities in public health, business administration, and bioethics. A Master of Science Anesthesiology (MMSc) degree is available as is a MMSc degrees in Emory’s Physician Assistant and others. Emory supports one of the largest medical training programs in the country with over 1,300 residents in a range of specialties, 100+ fellowship opportunities, and first-year positions.

Research centers affiliated with this school are second to none, with studies conducted in AIDS, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Antibiotic Resistance, Translational Social Neuroscience, and more. The school is renowned for its research in brain studies, infectious diseases, pediatrics, oncology, geriatrics, and others. Ranking in the NIH top 15 in funding, research is currently conducting over 1,200 clinical trials.

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Baylor College of Medicine LogoThe highly respected Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) has impressive affiliations with some of the nation’s most prestigious medical hospitals and centers. Among those are the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center,  Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Menninger Clinic. These facilities provide quality clinical experiences to students as they earn their medical degree.

In addition to the MD program at BCM, students can opt to enter the dual degree programs in MD/PhD (Medical Scientist Training Program), MD/MBA, MD/MP, and a MD/JD. BCM has a significant array of PhD offerings through the Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Other healthcare degrees include Doctor of Nursing Practice, Physician Assistant, and also Doctor of Nursing Practice Program-Nurse Anesthesia

BCM enjoys an international reputation for its cutting edge research programs in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology & Genetics, and also Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Additionally, US News and World Report rank it in their Best Global Universities. The school receives significant research funding from the NIH as well as private, sponsor awards each year.

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Case Western Reserve University logo e1580585601907The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWR SOM) has a significant history of firsts. Beginning in 1843 and continuing to the 21st century the Ohio school has many pioneering innovations. Credited to CWR SOM are the MD/PhD dual degree program, CPR course, employment of full-time instructors in teaching and research, and also several others.

As with other medical schools, CWR SOM offers not only a MD degree program, but dual degrees of MD/MSTP and PhD and Masters Programs in areas of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Biochemistry, Anesthesia, and also Bioethics.

Medical research is at the core of CWR SOM’s mission to advance healthcare through education and scientific discovery. Reaching across five institutions, the school supports over 30 basic as well as clinical research areas and receives NIH and other supportive, research funding in pediatrics, oncology, neurology, urology, and radiology. The school has an imposing roster of renowned faculty. It includes Nobel Prize winners for their groundbreaking discoveries in diabetes, polio, DNA technology, development of MRI technology, and others.

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ucsf plus w30The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine one of the country’s top medical schools according to US News and World Report. Its faculty roster includes 17 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, 118 National Academy of Medicine members, and also seven Nobel Laureates.

Additionally, the University of California San Francisco SOM offers the Bridges Curriculum to train 21st century physicians. The MD program has an innovative curriculum developed around seven competencies of medical knowledge, patient care, evidenced-based learning, systems-based practice, communication skills, professionalism, and professional collaboration. Students must meet these competency goals to progress through the program. Other specialty curricula includes Doctor of Physical Therapy and a research based PhD in Rehabilitation Science.

Research is a core value for this school, with 18 departments receiving Top 10 NIH funding in 2018. Five of those departments earned a ranking #1 and twelve in the top five in NIH support and, overall, the school received $1.45 billion in funding from all sources. UCSF SOM also offers the Physician-Scientist Scholars Program (PSSP).

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University of Virginia School of MedicineThomas Jefferson established the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1819, becoming the 10th medical school in country. Today, UVA SOM in Charlottesville, ranks in the top medical schools in the US.

Medical education at this school includes the MD degree, but also many other fields. Students can earn a PhD in a wide range of Biomedical Sciences including Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, and also Neuroscience. The school also awards a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). Over 800 students and fellows have the opportunity to train in various specialties and subspecialties through UVA’s Graduate Medical Education.

UVA SOM has a vibrant research program in a variety of affiliated centers. The institution studies cancer, lupus, Covid vaccines, and Parkinson’s disease. And it is considered one of the nation’s Top Centers in Biomedical Research by the Hartwell Foundation. UVA SOM receives over $140 million in NIH funding and $23 million for the statewide integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV).

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UnknownFor over 150 years, the Mayo Clinic has educated of medical professionals and has treated 1.5 million patients from all 50 states and 130 countries. While the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Sciences Alix School of Medicine (MCASOM) may not be as well known, it is no less dedicated to elevating patient care. There are three locations for the medical school are in Rochester, Jacksonville, and the Phoenix-Scottsdale metro area of Arizona.

Globally recognized for its research programs, this medical school ranks in the top schools in the nation for research by US News and World Report. The school offers over 400 programs exploring the entirety of the medical fields in surgery, health sciences, and medicine. You can choose from the MD study or one of the eight MD-PhD tracks in the Medical Science Training Program (MSTP) program (available on three campuses).

The research reputation of the Mayo Clinic is unparalleled. Specialties are in areas such as Neuroscience, Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Virology and Gene Therapy, and also Biomedical Engineering and Physiology.

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82e30a79 6a56 43f9 9110 b9361709a5faMinnesota’s Twin City’s campus is home to the University of Minnesota Medical School (MMS). It is one of the largest medical schools in the nation, featuring 27 departments, 29 degree programs, and 10 centers.

You can earn a MD, a joint MD/PhD degree, or a PhD or MS in one of 10 graduate programs in Biomedical Sciences. All Biomedical Sciences PhD programs provide complete financial assistance  that include a stipend, tuition, and benefits. In excess of 120 residency and fellowship programs are available in specialties such as Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and also Surgery.

With high levels of NIH research funding, research studies at MMS include premiere studies in transplantations of kidney, bone marrow, and pancreas. The first cardiac pacemaker was implanted as a result of MMS clinical research. Researchers also helped to develop evidence-based medical options for COVID-19.

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OHSU V CMYK 4C posOregon Health and Science University established the first medical education program in Oregon in 1887.  And OHSU developed into one of the Best Medical Schools in Primary Care according to by US News and World Report. 

Located in the Oregon city of Portland, OHSU has seven programs covering a range of medical education. Among the academic and training programs are the MD in Primary Care and dual degree options and specialty opportunities. Degrees include a dual MD/PhD, MD/MPH, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS), MD/Physician Scientist, and also Pathology Year Experience. The Oregon FIRST program specially addresses the issues of Oregon’s medically underserved population.

OHSU’s collaborative regional research studies have garnered $384 million in research funding and national recognition in professional journals. Among the innovations originating from OHSU research was the first West Nile virus vaccine, genetic therapies for eye conditions, and also creation of the first successful artificial heart value.

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3k850AKZ 400x400The University of California at Irvine School of Medicine is one of US News and World Report’s Best Medical Schools for Research and Best Medical Schools for Primary Care.

In addition to the primary MD degree, you have the option to earn a MD/PhD in Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), MD/MPH, MD/MBA in collaboration with UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business, or the MS in Biomedical and Translational Science (MS BATS). UCI supports almost 700 residents and fellowships in its 64 accredited programs that represents the majority of medical specialties and subspecialties.

UCI has robust research programs in 11 specialties and is active in basic science, clinical and translational research studies. In 2021, the school received a record $592 million in NIH funding to support investigational studies. The School of Medicine’s nearly 700 faculty collaborate in primary research areas in a variety of diseases, conditions and innovations.

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SchoolMedicine logo 1c rgb vThe University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill started its School of Medicine in 1879. Today it is one of the country’s leading medical schools for Primary Care Education and in NIH research funding.

UNC offers an MD degree, as well as PhD, Medical Science Masters, and Allied Health programs. Students can can earn a dual degree in MD/PhD, MD/MPH. or MD/MBA. The School of Medicine also supports PhD and M.S. programs in some of the top Allied Health medical careers in: Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, Physician Assistant Studies, Clinical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, and also Radiologic Science.

It’s hard to find a school with as strong of a research commitment than UNC. On an annual basis, the school receives more than $1 billion in research funding, with most of its research conducted in Chapel Hill. The school also ranks high in the US for federal research funding. Research faculty includes two Nobel Laureates as well as members of national societies and medical academies.

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keck sm logoThe USC Los Angeles Keck School of Medicine is named in honor of philanthropist WM Keck. For individuals interested in studying medicine, it is the oldest medical school in Southern California.

Students have three degree options with this program, in medicine (MD), Masters/PhD, and Post Doctoral. The four-year MD program concentrates on basic science and clinical studies in close association with faculty. PhD studies span across the biomedical spectrum including Cancer Biology and Genomics, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, and also Pathogenesis. Additionally, the MS degrees are available in Health and Biomedical Sciences, with some of the programs are offered online.

Research reaches over 26 academic departments and 30 research centers and institutes. Keck School of Medicine received $350 million in research grant monies. Ongoing studies are conducted in several signature programs with clinical investigations in cancer, biomedical imaging, cardiovascular and lung diseases. Six departments make up 10% in national NIH funding.

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logo medThis private university in Providence, Rhode Island, is home to the third oldest medical school in New England, established in 1811. The school is now one of seven Ivy League schools of medicine in the US.

Degree options at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School include medical studies in primary care. But additional disciplines include Primary Care Population Medicine (PC-PM) in its MD/ScM dual degree. You can also train as a Physician-Scientist in the MD/PhD studies in areas in Pathobiology, Biotechnology, Neuroscience, Ecology, Evolution, and also Organismal Biology.

Warren Alpert Medical School has been growing in the clinical research area, having grown 109% in outside funding since 2013. While, perhaps, not as much as other schools BAMS and its affiliated hospitals have received over $200 million in NIH funds. The Brown Institute for Translational Science (BITS) focuses on critical issues in healthcare and accelerating information into quality patient care. The school supports 11 research centers investigating in a wide geographic area.

Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School

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3With a focus on medical education, research, patient care, and community health, the highly ranked University of Colorado School of Medicine (UC SOM) Anschutz Medical Campus offers seven professional degrees as well as the Doctor of Medicine on the PhD and masters’ levels. That’s quite a change from its opening in 1883 with two students and two professors.

In partnership with Colorado State University, UC opened a medical school branch in Fort Collins. The revised, Longitudinal Curriculum, includes elective track options in research, global, or rural health. Joint degrees exist in a Medical Scientist Training Program, MD/MBA, MD/MPH, and also MD/MS in Bioengineering. PhD programs are available in Biomedical Sciences, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. The program has Residency and Fellowship opportunities as well.

You’ll find substantial research studies at UC SOM in numerous categories. Among the active investigations are studies in hematology, oncology, infectious diseases, pain and inflammation, genetics, and many more.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine

Medical School Consensus Score

Unknown 6UMass Chan Medical School offers the MD curriculum which introduces patient care interaction in the first few weeks and is dedicated to providing you sound clinical foundations.

Additional degrees are available are a dual MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program which is a collaboration between the UMass Chan Medical School and Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The school has a program in Population-Based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH) dedicated to addressing health for the underserved urban and rural populations. A dual MD/MBA degree is also available and is a joint effort with UMass Lowell.

This school has a very robust research commitment with ongoing research in nearly all departments with an impressive roster of programs, institutes, and centers. With $254 million per year in funding, UMass Chan Medical School research efforts include a Noble Laureate, five Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, and two members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Medical School Consensus Score

Unknown 5The University of Utah School of Medicine offers Primary Care MD, Research MD, and Physician Assistant programs. Future physicians train using the Exceptional Learning Experience model which emphasizes self-motivation, is patient centered, and uses evidence-based medicine as a foundation. The SOM’s commitment to this transformational curriculum creates a collaborative learning environment.

This method is used in the school’s dual MD/PhD, MD/MSPH, MD/MPH, or MD/MBA degrees. Residency and Fellowship programs are available in numerous specialties. You can also received a degree through the MS in Laboratory Science focusing on laboratory science and medical science offered in either a biomedical research or clinical tracks.

This is the only academic medical center in the Mountain West area and its research efforts extend to clinical trials as well as research studies in genetics, ophthalmology, oncology, cardiovascular, among others. The innovative research program receives nearly $246 million on an annual basis in support.

Medical School Consensus Score

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ur smd logo h 4c   blue letteringThe University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD) in New York ranks in the top Medical Schools for both Primary Care and Research.

Offering Medical Education, this school utilizes the Double Helix Curriculum—Translations and Transitions for its MD and MD/PhD (MSTP) students. This methods emphasizes a Biophysical Model of collaboration, technology, and also professionalism. URSMD has more than 30 PhD and Masters degrees in health sciences and biomedical training. The school’s Master in Public Health (MPH) is offered on-campus and online hybrid. You may also complete your Residency or Fellowship in one of the school’s eighty medical, surgical, or hospital disciplines.

More than 3,000 professionals are engaged in investigational studies in neuroscience, pediatrics, RNA biology, cancer, orthopedics, immunity and infection. Almost 700 graduate students and postdoctoral students are in training for research.

Medical School Consensus Score

CoMedc nobackgroundThe Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa has national recognition in US News and World Report’s Best Medical School rankings. Among the UI CCM divisions recognized are Primary Care, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Research. The college ranks high in other categories as well.

UI’s medical college offers over 15 professional degrees. Among the degrees are a MD, MD/PhD (MSTP), PhD (Biomedical Science or Physical Rehabilitation Science), and combined degrees in MD/MBA in partnership with UI Tippie College of Business, and a MD/JD in collaboration with the UI College of Law. Carver College of Medicine also partners with UI’s College of Public Health a MD/MPH. There is also a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS), masters studies in Clinical Nutrition, along with other Professional Training Programs.

Iowa University receives over $240 million in external research funding. The medical school supports multiple institutes and research centers in an array of medical areas as gene therapy, macular degeneration, oncology, etc. Carver Medical School has a robust clinical trials program, as well.

Medical School Consensus Score

2017SMPH Logo ColorCenterWebLink 1The School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin covers all the bases when it comes to educating healthcare professionals.

UWM offers options of choosing your medical career path with a MD and a Medical Scientist Training Program MD/PhD degree as well as a MD/MPH. The school also provides several MS/PhD degrees in a range of scientific studies. Other professional career training is available in physical therapy (DPT), a stand alone public health degree (MPH), physician assistant studies (MPAS), or genetic counseling (MGCS). Two special programs are available with the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) and the Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) dedicated to training for medical service in rural and underserved communities.

You’ll find a vigorous research program at this school with a history of innovation in basic science, clinical, and public health science studies. With a research history that includes three Nobel Laureates, studies at UWM are generously funded.

Medical School Consensus Score

color without R centeredFollowing a remarkable $95 million gift from Marnix E. Heersink, M.D., the University of Alabama in Birmingham renamed its School of Medicine in his honor. Part of the University of Alabama System, UAB has sister campuses in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, and Montgomery.

The UAB Heersink School of Medicine (HSM) provides programs for students interested in a primary care track, rural medicine, and dual MD/PhD degrees in Medical Scientist Training Program, business administration and Public Health. The school has a unique Blaze to MD Program for students who show promise to succeed in medical school, but need additional basic sciences preparation. Participation in the Blaze Program is made through the regular medical school admission process, with no additional application needed.

Students are given research opportunities beginning in the summer of their first year. The HSM research endeavors are supported by $256 million in NIH funding and ranks #8 among public schools receiving NIH research grants. Research areas include genomics, basic science, informatics, population health and disparities, and inflammation/infection/immunity.

Medical School Consensus Score

University of Cincinnati logoRanked in the Best Medical Schools by US News and World Report, the University of Cincinnati (UC) has the oldest medical college (est. 1819) west of the Allegheny Mountains.

UC offers medical students primary care medical education as well as residencies and fellowships opportunities in various specialties. Several PhD degrees are part of the academic program in biomedical sciences, environmental and industrial hygiene, genetics, and also epidemiology. And a MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program is a collaborative effort between UC’s College of Medicine and Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Medical research at UC is considered in the top 40 of medical schools for research. The school supports four institutes for research in cancer, metabolic health, cardiovascular disease, and neurosciences. Additionally, UC College of Medicine receives NIH funding of over $130 million in research grants and contract holdings.

Medical School Consensus Score

uflogoThe College of Medicine at the University of Florida is the largest college in the UF academic health center and boasts thousands of students, staff, and faculty.

Medical education at UF COM includes both a U.S. News and World Report’s top ranked MD degree in over 100 medical general, specialties and subspecialties. as well as a MD/PhD or MS in biomedical science. The College of Medicine also provides a Physician Assistant program. Students can enroll in Masters and PhD programs through the College of Medicine. Vigorous Residency and Fellowship opportunities in a wealth of specialties from Anesthesia to Urology.

UF COM has an active, nationally recognized research arm and is one of the top public research institutions in the country. The school has a collaborative study in Alzheimer’s disease with Mount Sinai Hospital, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, chronic pancreatitis, cancer, and diabetes, among the investigations. UF supports 9 research institutes concentrating on genetics, aging, brain and neurological, cancer, and more.

Medical School Consensus Score

Georgetown University logoThe Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC has been training physicians for 150 years. Its curriculum focuses on cura personalis, or the treatment and care of a patient’s mental and spiritual well being. This urban school has a strong reputation and is ranks in the nation’s top Medical Schools for Primary Care and Research by US News and World ReportGeorgetown University SOM has a rigorous admission process and admits only 15 out of every 100 applicants.

A bit unconventional, when compared to some medical schools, the curriculum at Georgetown is a Journeys Curriculum with three phases: Foundational, Core Clinical, and Advanced Clinical. The first and second year Foundational phase introduces scientific foundations and patient care, along with anatomical studies. The third year of study involves clinical Clerkships with the fourth year dedicated to two Acting Internships (one required, one selective).

Biomedical research at Georgetown covers over 20 institutes and centers, 6 basic science departments 19 clinical departments. Research at Georgetown Medical Schools concentrates around four research areas: cancer, population health, global health, and mind and brain. Students are able to conduct research at any level of their education.

Medical School Consensus Score

UCDH SOM colorThe University of California Davis School of Medicine has been graduating physicians and health professionals for more than 50 years. It is recognized as one of the nation’s Best Medical Schools in both Research and Primary Care by US News and World Report.

Several degree options are available in the Doctor of Medicine featuring a revised curriculum known as the I-EXPLORE (Integrated Explorative Patient and Learner ORiented Education) which has its foundation in Biomedical Science, Clinical, and Health Systems studies. A dual degree is available in a fully funded MD/PhD for students who demonstrate a commitment to basic and clinical research. Students in this program are fully funded. The MD/MPH is an interdisciplinary degree partnership with various UC Davis schools as well as departments of public health and nonprofit agencies. Stand alone masters programs include Health Informatics and Public Health.

The school received over $315 million in research funding. UC Davis SOM has ongoing studies in its Stem Cell Program, Clinical and Translational Science, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and also Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Medical Students have research opportunities available through independent study, summer experience, and mentorships.

Medical School Consensus Score

university of miami miller school of medicine logo vectorThe University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has educated physicians and healthcare professionals since the 1950s. As with most other medical schools, the Miller SOM offers several medical programs including the Doctor of Medicine, and a dual Medical Scientist Training Program MD/PhD research option.

Students can choose from a MD/MPH, a MD/JD offered in partnership with UM’s School of Law, and an MD/MBA with UM’s Herbert Business School. If genomics is your interest, you could earn a MD/MS in Genomic Medicine. Uniquely, this medical school also awards degrees in MD/MA in International Administration using academic and theoretical studies. This degree looks at security problems and emergency management strategies. A MD/MA in Medical Humanities and Bioethics focusing on the historical, ethical, legal, as well as cultural contexts of medicine is offered.

Through its Research Departments, UM SOM supports discoveries in its institutes and research centers. With Clinical and Translational Research, Basic Science Research, and has several, active Clinical Trials programs.

Medical School Consensus Score

Unknown 1The Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston opened in 1893 with 25% of the first class comprised of women, a rare opportunity for the times. US News and World Report ranks Tufts in its Best Medical Schools for both Primary Care and Research.

Tufts has an impressive catalog of academic programs featuring programs in the Doctor of Medicine and the Maine Track MD. The Maine Track is a unique degree for students whose home is in Maine and it concentrates on rural medicine with an immersive experience for students. There is also a MD/MSTP option for students with a strong research interest. Additionally, there are six PhD degrees in biomedical science in areas of Genetics, Immunology, Neuroscience, Molecular Microbiology, and also Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology. The school also offers a MPH and an online MS in Health Informatics and Analytics.

With seven research areas, Tufts has a strong commitment to research and sponsors four biomedical research labs and several centers in a variety of clinical areas. Five Core Research Facilities round out the department.

Medical School Consensus Score

shieldThe Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College is the fourth oldest medical school in the US (est. 1797) and is a school of several firsts. For example, it was the first to use clinical X-rays in the US and to use a stethoscope in medical education. This Hanover, NH school ranks in US News and World Report’s Best Medical Schools for both Primary Care and Research.

Geisel awards six degrees covering the spectrum in biomedical, public health, and health research. You can earn an MD which offers first year simulated clinical experiences, a MD/PhD designed to train the physician-scientist, and a highly competitive MD/MBA. Also an MPH/MS through The Dartmouth Institute is offered and a MS/PhD through the Frank J. Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced studies. The PhD/MS in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (QBS) blends health care, biomedicine, biostatistics, big data, and population health.

As with other medical schools of this caliber, basic science research plays an important role in the Geisel School of Medicine as does Primary Care research. The Geisel School of Medicine counts numerous institutes and centers in its clinical and research commitment.

Medical School Consensus Score

umsom logoBeginning in 1807 the College of Medicine was the first chartered, public medical school in the US. T0day, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) is a rapidly growing biomedical research institution and 2,500 students, residents, and fellows. US News and World Report ranks this school in its Best Medical Schools for both Primary Care and in Research.

While more than half of the school’s students pursue the MD degree, UM SOM also offers dual degrees. Students can choose from a MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program and a MD/MPH. The SOM has a dedication to allied health professions through its graduate program in Life Sciences which features PhD and MS studies in several areas. Some areas of study include Epidemiology and Human Genetics, Neuroscience, Physical Rehabilitation Science, and also Biochemistry.

The school boasts state-of-the-art research facilities covering nearly 2.5 million square feet. Additionally, its over $550  million in research funding and 3,500 faculty mean the research focus of the school is formidable. Investigative concentrations in patient-oriented studies include studies in Cardiovascular, Stem Cell Research, Genomics, Cancer, Global Health and Vaccinology, and Basic Sciences. Clinical Trials are provided through the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC)

Medical School Consensus Score

wake forest school of medicine logo vectorWhile perhaps not part of the North Carolina Research Triangle as such, Wake Forest University School of Medicine ranks as one of the nation’s top primary care and research medical schools.

The MD program features an advanced curriculum (Wake Ready!) which emphasizes an individualized learning approach and introduces clinical experience early and continued throughout the program. WF SOM established in 1969, offers a Physician Assistant Program students can complete in 24 months. Over 700 residents and fellows participate in the in 99 accredited and unaccredited Residency and Fellowships in hospitals, clinics, and primary or specialty care. Medical education at WF SOM includes Biomedical graduate program degrees such as PhD programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology PhD, and Biomedical Engineering PhD and MS as well as many others.

Medical Research is robust and covers a wide range of investigational areas. With 16 Institutes and Centers, researchers work in oncology, cardiovascular, pediatric trauma, geriatrics, etc. WF has an enviable, institutionally shared resources infrastructure and ongoing clinical trials. The WF faculty interests range from basic science, preclinical, and clinical researchers.

Medical School Consensus Score

usf2Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida is in the city of  Tampa. USF Health has a goal devoted to improving collaborative medical education as well as scientific research.

USF’s college of medicine offers three options for a MD. The MD Core which is an integrated curriculum in basic science and clinical experiences which are introduced early in your studies. If your interests are in becoming a physician leader, you’ll want to explore the schools SELECT program (Scholarly Excellence. Leadership Experiences. Collaborative Training.) You can also choose the MD/PhD program designed for the future physician-scientist. Also offered are studies in the Physician Assistant Program, MS or PhD in Medical Engineering in conjunction with USF College of Engineering, and Residencies and Fellowships. Additionally, the medical school has an Athletic Training Program.

If research is your goal, the Morsani College of Medicine is active in research studies in basic sciences, translational, and clinical investigations. The school encourages collaboration between departments and around 95% of medical students conduct research.

Medical School Consensus Score

indiana university school of medicine logo vectorIndiana University School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the country, with five medical education centers across Indiana. The IUSOM operates 5 basic science departments as well as 20 clinical departments. Additionally, the school’s medical education curriculum prepares students for the new healthcare models in the US.

The four-year medical degree emphasizes clinical training. It integrates clinical practice with basic science studies in the first two years with the third and fourth years exclusively concentrating on clinical experiences. The required third year clerkships are clinical rotations in a variety of specialties. Dual degrees are available to pair your MD with a PhD in the Medical Science Training Program (MSTP), masters degrees in business administration, public health, biomedicine, or MS or MA studies in bioethics. Recognizing the stress medical students may have, IU offers free mental health and counseling services to all students, residents, or fellows on each IU campus.

IUSOM covers all the bases in medical research with its basic and clinical departments, institutes, research centers, and clinical trials. The research program at Indiana University receives funding from the National Institute on Aging and the US Departments of Pediatrics. It also receives over $200 million in NIH funding.

Medical School Consensus Score

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What Degree Do You Earn in Medical School?

There are two types of doctors or physicians, with similar degrees, a Medical Doctor (MD) and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). Both use the same methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery. But DOs place additional emphasis on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic or whole-person patient care. DOs are most likely to be primary care physicians, although they work in all specialties.

In the United States, medical school students who complete their studies typically receive a Doctor of Medicine (MD). Some doctors earn a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. No specific undergraduate degree is required to enter an MD or DO program. However, many schools require certain classes such as biology, biotechnology, physical science, or healthcare and related fields.

What Do Physicians and Surgeons Do?

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses and address health maintenance. They examine patients, take medical histories, prescribe medications, and perform diagnostic tests. Additionally, doctors counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. In contrast, surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones. Operations may also be to treat diseases like removing cancerous tumors or to improve deformities.

What’s the Difference Between a Primary Care Medical School and a Research Medical School?

The days of medical schools only training physicians with some research study is a relic of the past. Today’s medical schools are multifaceted in their degree and program offerings. As you’ve seen with this ranking, schools train students as primary care physicians, but also extend the MD to add a PhD or Masters in ancillary areas. Popular dual degrees include business administration (MD/MBA), law (MD/JD), or training as a physician-scientist (MSTP). Some medical schools include public health, nursing, physician assistant, and other health professions under their educational umbrella.

Most medical schools offer primary care physician education and scientific research investigation opportunities for students. It may be more difficult to get into a research-focused medical school. However, if you have a deep scientific interest in cutting-edge medicine, technology, or development, you may want to find the best medical school with a strong research program.

What is the difference between a medical school and a medical college? Medical schools and medical colleges are the same thing. The only difference is the verbiage. 

What are Popular Medical School Specialties?

Med school can be a highly specialized field, which means that studying for a profession in medicine requires a great deal of dedication and hard work. Upon entrance into medical school, students can choose to specialize in many areas of medicine, such as emergency medicine, surgery, neurology, or anesthesiology. Choosing a specialty can allow medical students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a certain area of medicine, and it can provide an opportunity to focus on specific interests or objectives.


This specialty focuses on managing patients’ pain and administering anesthesia during surgery. 

Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine and critical care doctors provide urgent care to patients who have an illness or injury. 

Obstetrics & Gynecology

An OBGYN specialty focuses on providing care to women during pregnancy, delivery, and the post-partum period, as well as treating diseases of the female reproductive system. 


This specialty focuses on analyzing laboratory tests and tissue samples to diagnose disease.

Primary Care

The primary care specialty focuses on providing primary care such as preventative care, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses. Examples include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics. 


Doctors with a Psyche focus treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Examples include anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. 


This specialty focuses on using imaging technologies such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. 


Surgeons perform operations on patients to treat diseases and injuries. Examples include general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and plastic surgery. 

What Kinds of Factors Make Med Schools Rank High?

One of the most recognized ranking services, the US News and World Report, looks at a variety of factors. Its program surveys rely in part on self-reported data from the schools. Among those are quality and peer assessments, student admission standards, acceptance rates, average GPA and MCAT scores, faculty qualifications, and resources. Tuition costs and graduation rates are also a factor when looking for the top medical schools. Research intensive medical schools are reviewed for funding levels and faculty accomplishments, as well as studies being conducted.

Increasingly, diversity and inclusion rates are considered in a medical school’s overall ranking. Race and gender have become an important factors in a school’s ranking as medical schools work to include students more representative of the country’s population.

How Long is Medical School?

Attending medical school is, in itself, only four years in length. But graduating from a top medical school is step one in the process of becoming a physician. All medical schools offer the MD Primary Care degree which includes two years of clinical rotations. However, before you can practice medicine, you’ll complete three to seven years of a residency program. If you pursue a specialty or subspecialty, you’ll need more residency and fellowship participation. So, the overall time commitment can extend to 7-10+ years.

Medical students are also required to take the three part United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to become a licensed physician. The USMLE is commonly referred to as the medical “boards” and all states require you have a license and also meet the individual state’s licensing requirements.

This ranking concentrates on top medical schools awarding the MD. But, students can also choose to earn a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from an osteopathic medical school. Osteopathic medicine takes a more holistic approach to patient care, or the mind-body-spirit connection. DOs take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA).

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What are the Basic Medical School Admission Requirements?

Med school students currently apply to an average of 16 schools using the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS). The average GPA and MCAT scores for med schools applicants varies by school. But overall, recent medical school students who applied and then later enrolled in a program have scores that offer insight. The most recent cohorts of med school students have an average GPA of 3.75 and average MCAT scores of 511.9 (AAMC).

The specific admission requirements vary from school to school. However, below are some of the most common requirements for medical school admission.

  • Complete an application and pay the application fee.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, most schools prefer a degree with a focus in the sciences.
  • Meet the required minimum grade point average specific to each medical school. A good GPA for medical school is typically 3.5 or higher. Like any other graduate school, the higher your undergrad GPA, the better.
  • A competitive score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). MCAT scores range from 472-528.
  • At least two years of coursework in the biological and physical sciences.
  • Letters of recommendation from people who have had exposure to your academic and professional performance.
  • Participation in extracurricular activities that demonstrate your commitment to a medical career.
  • A personal statement that outlines your motivation and commitment to becoming a doctor.
  • An interview with a panel of medical school faculty and admissions committee members.

What is a Good MCAT Score for Medical School? 

The average MCAT scores for medical schools are typically in the range of 510 and higher. There are many factors that play into admissions, but a great MCAT score is certainly needed for most of the top medical schools. For more competitive medical schools, applicants should aim for a 520 or higher.

Do You Need a License to Be a Medical Doctor?

Yes, all medical doctors must receive a license from their state medical licensing board in order to practice medicine. The licensing requirements vary from state to state and require medical school graduation, successful completion of licensing examinations, and a determination of good moral character.

Licensure requirements include passing standardized national exams. MDs take the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). DOs take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). For specific state information about licensing, contact your state’s medical board.

Board certification in a specialty is not required for physicians and surgeons. However, it may increase their employment opportunities. MDs and DOs seeking board certification in a specialty may spend up to 9 years in residency training,. The length of time varies with ech specialty. 

To become board certified, candidates must complete a residency program and pass a specialty certification exam from a medical certifying board. Examples of certifying boards include the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS).

What are the Other Important Qualities Medical School Grads Need?

In addition to completing medical school and a residency, there are other qualities that MDs need. Below are some of the other important qualities med school graduates need.

  • Empathy: Doctors must be able to listen to patients and show understanding and compassion. 
  • Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions and reactions is important for a doctor. 
  • Collaboration: Working with patients, colleagues, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is a key part of a doctor’s job. 
  • Instructional Skills: Doctors must be able to explain medical conditions and treatments to their patients. 
  • Attention to Detail: A physician must be precise and accurate in diagnosing and treating people. 
  • Interpersonal Skills:  Doctors must be able to establish good relationships with their patients. 
  • Adaptability: Doctors must be able to adapt to different situations quickly and effectively. 
  • Professionalism: all medical professionals must routinely display professional conduct and behavior. 
  • Communication Skills: Excellent communication skills are vital in order to talk to patients clearly and professionally. 
  • Decision-Making Skills: Physicians need to be skilled in making sound and ethical decisions on a regular basis.

How Do You Choose the Right Medical School?

It is not always easy to enroll in the right school for you. But generally you should choose the school that fits all your needs and has the best opportunities for you. First, determine your areas of interest within healthcare. Then consider what areas of medicine you might want to specialize in for your career. Think about the characteristics that define the school. Consider which characteristics are important to you in choosing a medical school, including factors like location, cost, size, curriculum, and supportive learning environment. 

Next you should Research the school. Explore the school’s amenities, accreditation, faculty, and graduate success rates. Also look into the requirements needed for admission, such as transcripts, content exams, and the medical school’s acceptance rate. If you have time, it never hurts to schedule a visit to the school. Make an appointment to visit and meet with staff and faculty. It helps to get a feel of the campus if you take a tour. 

How Much Does it Cost to Attend Medical School?

The cost of attending medical school depends on the school you attend, the degree you pursue, and whether or not you qualify for grants or scholarships. On average, a fouryear medical school program can cost between $150,000 and $275,000. This estimate includes tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Because the cost of medical school is expensive, it is often one of the biggest factors when prospective medical students choose a school. Typically private universities costs more than public medical schools. Additionally, in-state tuition at a public universities is much more affordable than tuition for out-of-state students. Also full time tuition includes a certain number of credit hours. 

Student and Professional Resources:

  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)
  • US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
  • American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS)
  • Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA)
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOA)


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