U of Washington, Harvard Ranked Top Medical Schools ― Again

It may seem like déjà vu as not much has changed regarding the rankings of top US medical schools over the past 2 years.

The University of Washington in Seattle retained its ranking from the US News & World Report as the top medical school for primary care for 2023. Also repeating its 2022 standing as the top medical school for research is Harvard University. Both schools ranked in the top 10 for primary care and research, with Harvard also ranking in the top spot for half of eight specialties reported.

In the primary care ranking, the top 10 schools after the University of Washington were the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Minnesota; Oregon Health and Science University; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of Colorado; the University of Nebraska Medical Center; the University of California, Davis; and Harvard. Three schools tied for the no. 10 slot: the University of Kansas Medical Center, the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh.

The top five schools with the most graduates practicing in primary care specialties are Des Moines University, in Des Moines, Iowa (50.6%); the University of Pikeville, in Pikeville, Kentucky (46.8%); Western University of Health Sciences, in Pomona, California (46%); William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (44.7%); and AT Still University of Health Sciences – Kirksville, in Kirksville, Missouri (44.3%).

Best for Research

When it comes to schools ranking the highest for research, the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University takes the no. 2 spot after Harvard. Three schools were tied for the no. 3 spot: Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California, San Francisco; and two schools for no. 6: Duke University and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. No. 8 goes to Stanford University, followed by the University of Washington. Rounding out the top 10 is Yale University.

Specialty Ranks

The top-ranked schools in eight specialties are as follows:

Anesthesiology: Harvard

Family medicine: the University of Washington

Internal medicine: Johns Hopkins

Obstetrics/gynecology: Harvard

Pediatrics: the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

Psychiatry: Harvard

Radiology: Johns Hopkins

Surgery: Harvard

Most Diverse Student Body

If you’re looking for a school with a significant minority representation, Howard University, in Washington, DC, ranked highest (76.8%), followed by the Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University, in Miami, Florida (43.2%). The University of California, Davis (40%), in Sacramento, California, and the University of Vermont (Larner), in Burlington, Vermont (14.1%), tied for third.

Three southern schools take top honors for the most graduates practicing in underserved area, starting with the University of South Carolina (70.9%) followed by the University of Mississippi (66.2%) and East Tennessee State University (Quillen), in Johnson City, Tennessee (65.8%).

The colleges with the most graduates practicing in rural areas are William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (28%), the University of Pikesville (25.6%), and the University of Mississippi (22.1%)

College Debt

The medical school where graduates have the most debt is Nova Southeastern University Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Graduates incurred an average debt of $309,206. Western University of Health Sciences graduates racked up $276,840 in debt, followed by graduates of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, owing $268,416.

Ranking Criteria

Each year, US News ranks of hundreds of US colleges and universities. Medical schools fall under the rankings for best graduate schools.

US News surveyed 192 medical and osteopathic schools accredited in 2021 by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association. Among the schools surveyed in fall 2021 and early 2022, 130 schools responded. Of those, 124 were included in both the research and primary care rankings.

The criteria for ranking include faculty resources, academic achievements of entering students, and qualitative assessments by schools and residency directors.

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