Becoming a medical professional is a noble undertaking. The best doctors, nurses, psychologists and other medical workers save people’s lives every day, contribute to global health and ensure that their patients’ wellbeing is in the best possible shape.
But it’s incredibly challenging to become a medical practitioner of any sort. You need good grades, dedication and an attitude of always striving to be your best. If this sounds like you, then you’ll probably become a great healer in whatever capacity you wish.
However, what a lot of people that are looking to enter medicine don’t always realize is where the best studying opportunities are. Medical degrees are highly competitive, and even though medicine has been taught for thousands of years, many institutions disagree on the best teaching practices.
The great news is that the information in this article will provide you with everything that you need to know to get a great career in medicine. The difficult task of choosing the correct college for you will become significantly easier with the facts presented below. Selecting the best college will be the first step on your long medical career. It’s vital that you get this first stage right, as it will shape how you practice medicine and what opportunities are open to you upon your degree’s completion. Picking the right college, degree and area of focus will be instrumental in making your challenging medical career easier and more enjoyable.
Through highlighting the best parts of the best medical colleges, we’ve created a resource that is handy for all aspiring medical professionals. This article will outline which colleges are doing it right and how their education is impacting the wider medical world. It will provide for you a set of standards that you can compare with your own college options and highlight important things to consider that you may have been neglecting.
In creating this list, we’ve aimed to provide for you a resource that will show you what is required to get in to a medical college, what the years of study are like and what you can expect to gain afterward. This is a complex set of information to put together; therefore, we’ve compiled our research from a range of highly respectable sources. After consulting these sources, we’ve looked into the college’s medical degrees ourselves. We’ve checked claims such as graduation rates, employment rates and quality rates across the board, ensuring that the information provided is correct.
These are our primary sources:
US News, Best Medical Schools: Research: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/research-rankings
US News, Best Medical Schools: Primary Care: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/primary-care-rankings?int=8de407&int=b3b50a&int=aac509
Top Universities, What it’s Like to Study at the 10 Best Medical Schools in 2018: https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/university-subject-rankings/what-its-study-10-best-medical-schools-2018
Top Universities, 2018 Medicine: https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2018/medicine
Business Insider, The 25 Best Medical Schools in America: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-medical-schools-in-america-2015-3?op=1
Ranker, The Best Medical Schools in the US: https://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/best-medical-schools
The above lists have used a range of methods in ranking their medical colleges. Some have conducted rigorous studies of the college’s facilities. Others have interviewed medical professionals and compiled a consensus of opinion. However, our list is the only one that combines all styles and places them into a consistent set of rankings.
We’ve ranked the following colleges in order of these priorities: combined highest score in the articles listed above, information showing evidence of innovation, medical achievements to date and future career opportunities offered.
The list of lists, ranked from 30 to one, is here:
30. Indiana University
Indiana University really polarizes the methodology lists. Business Insider, which interviewed a range of medical professionals, places it the highest, at ninth place. US News ranks its medical research at joint 50th and primary care at joint 46th. Ranker places it at 41st. However, Top Universities/QS only ranks it at between 201st to 250th. The college’s areas of expertise are alzheimer’s disease, global health, personalized medicine and traumatic brain injury. It’s also the largest medical school in America, with over 613,360 square feet of space dedicated to research space.
29. University of Rochester
Medical Scientist Training Program
Both US News lists place University of Rochester at joint 32nd place, meaning that its research and primary care services are equal. Ranker places it at 47th. It doesn’t feature on Top Universities/QS. Business Insider’s medical professional sourced list places it much higher, at sixth place. The professionals commend the college for getting students into some of the world’s top residency programs. Some of this college’s greatest health related achievements include pioneering a new life saving brain cancer treatment, creating a vaccine that has almost wiped out meningitis in preschool children, creating a cardiac defibrillator that has significantly reduced death rates and much more.
28. University of Iowa
Business Insider gives University of Iowa its highest ranking of the methodology lists, at eighth place. Ranker places the college at 44th. US News places it at joint 32nd for research and joint 21st for primary care. Top Universities/QS places it between 201st to 250th. The college is particularly proud about five of its scientists being awarded the 2018 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize. The scientists received this award due to creating life altering treatments for cystic fibrosis. Additionally, the college has a range of medical specialisms due to its centers of care and research. These include a comprehensive cancer center, a muscular dystrophy research center, a center for macular degeneration, an institute for biomedical imaging, a neuroscience institute and a vision research institute.
27. Oregon Health & Science University
Doctor of Pharmacy Program
This Portland based medical institution is well regarded by Business Insider’s currently working medical practitioners, who place it as the fifth best college for medicine in the USA. It is also highly placed on both US News lists, where it ranks joint 29th for research and joint fifth for primary care. Ranker has it in a slightly less prominent position, at 43rd. It didn’t make Top Universities/QS’s list. OHSU has a range of medical schools that people can attend, such as dentistry, nursing and pharmacy, meaning that this college is a great choice for a medical professional who wants to enter a very specific area of study.
26. Northwestern University
Physician Assistant Program
This Illinois based college ranks at 15th on Ranker, 20th on US News’s medical research list, joint 21st on US News’s primary care list and 51st to 100th on Top Universities/QS’s list. Of the college’s entering class of 2021, their average GPA is 3.89, and the total class size is 161. Northwestern University’s students have a strong spirit of helping the community, and the college facilitates this by providing opportunities to participate in underserved communities, youth programs, government policy advocacy and more.
25. University of California, San Diego
Undergraduate Medical Education Program
Placing at 21st on Ranker, 19th on Top Universities/QS, 22nd on US News’s medical research list and 17th on its primary care list is University of California, San Diego. It did not make Business Insider’s list. At this college, students have the opportunity to really make an impact upon needing communities. This is because the institution has a student run free clinic that has helped countless people who otherwise couldn’t get medical help. Also, University of California, San Diego is certainly undertaking some unique areas of research that will interest many people. For example, one of the college’s geneticists recently successfully grew neanderthal minibrains into petri dishes, which will increase the understanding of the influence that ancient DNA has had on humans.
24. University of Colorado
This college’s medical school has vastly different scores on the methodology lists. Business Insider ranks it as the fourth best in the country. US News ranks it at joint fifth for primary care but joint 32nd for medical research. QS places it between 51st to 100th. Ranker does not include it. The college’s primary care work is definitely top rate. It has five affiliated hospitals that students gain practice within. These hospitals often top ranks of the best medical centers. The college is also expanding its reach, having most recently opened a medical center for veterans in 2018.
23. University of Chicago
University of Chicago places at 13th on Ranker’s list, 26th on Top Universities/QS’s list, joint 18th on US News’s research list and joint 39th on its primary care list. It isn’t on Business Insider’s list. University of Chicago’s medicine department is handled in a unique manner in that the college has grouped the medicine and biological sciences departments together. This approach has led to many medical breakthroughs, such as the invention of blood banking. If you want to mix your medical education with biological sciences, then Chicago could be your best choice.
22. Baylor College of Medicine
This college ranks at 17th place on Ranker, 43rd place on Top Universities/QS, 16th on US News’s medical research list and joint fifth on its primary care list. Baylor College of Medicine is based in Houston, Texas, and is the most affordable college on this list. For instance, one year of graduate program tuition costs $22,000, whereas one of the most affordable similar programs at our number one choice on this list costs $41,000 per year. Baylor College of Medicine definitely offers value for money, as can be seen in its winning of numerous awards in recent years.
21. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill tops US News’s best primary care medical schools list and comes at 23rd place on its research medical schools list. Ranker places it at 22nd. Business Insider puts it at seventh place. However, it doesn’t feature on the Top Universities/QS list. And University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is crystal clear about the type of candidate that would make an idea medical student at its college. It is looking for people that are always striving for more and to better themselves. Therefore, an applicant needs to have not just good grades and records but also commitment, extracurricular interests, life experience and more.
20. University of of Wisconsin Madison
This college ranks highly on most methodology lists. Its best score is on Business Insider, where it is placed third. US News places it at 28th for research medical schools and 14th for primary care medical schools. Ranker places it at 28th. Top Universities/QS is an outlier, placing it between 101st to 150th. University of Wisconsin Madison is certainly proud of its research history and toutes a range of accomplishments, such as having the first research team to derive a human embryonic stem cell line. However, its primary care work is also important, as can be seen in one of its latest products, a neighborhood map to guide medical decision making for people of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
19. Brown University
Brown secures consistent rankings across the methodology lists. Business Insider places it at 20th. Ranker places it at 30th. US News places it at 32nd for medical research and 39th for primary care. Top Universities/QS places it between 51st to 100th. However, a look at Brown’s recent innovative developments shows its medical school to be top rate. For example, Brown medical scientists recently discovered a new class of stronger antibiotics, developed a new way of imaging moving bone and body tissue and fought the government to allow children to access new life saving treatments.
18. New York University
MD Degree Program
New York University polarizes the methodology lists. US News places it at third for research and 53rd for primary care. Top Universities/QS places it at 33rd. Ranker places it at 20th. Business Insider does not feature it at all. One of the main advantages that NYU has over many of its competitors is that it offers an incredibly flexible curriculum and provides a range of research opportunities for current students. The college is also committed to screening applicants in an holistic manner. What this means is that they consider a student’s achievements outside of high school qualifications and conduct a range of mini interviews.
17. University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota places at 46th on US News’s research schools list, 12th on its primary care list, 13th on Business Insider’s list, 33rd on Ranker’s list and 51st to 100th on Top Universities/QS’s list. The college’s mission is to combine its clinical and scientific strengths to give patients the best possible care. It’s also dedicated to impacting the field of medicine for the benefit of everyone. This college has a strong retention rate of graduating students staying in Minnesota. In fact, 70% of the state’s physicians trained at the college.
16. Washington University in St. Louis
Applied Health Behavior Research Programs
This college is at eighth place on US News’s medical research college list, 10th place on its primary care list, 38th place on Top Universities/QS’s list and eighth place on Ranker’s list. It isn’t on Business Insider’s list. Washington University in St. Louis has earned these accolades for a number of reasons. Faculty and students filed 209 patents in 2016, 18 Nobel Prize winners have been involved with the school and almost 70% of current faculty members are also actively treating patients.
15. University of Pennsylvania
Placing at joint sixth on US News’s medical research list, eighth on US News’s primary care list, 16th on Top Universities/QS’s list and fourth on Ranker’s list is University of Pennsylvania. It isn’t featured on Business Insider’s list. University of Pennsylvania was in fact America’s first medical school and home to the country’s first teaching hospital. In the centuries since, University of Pennsylvania has been pioneering and innovating a range of medical practices. Today, this college has a worldwide reach. Its global health programs are active in 55 countries. Therefore, the college is ideal for someone seeking medical career opportunities across the world!
14. University of California, Los Angeles
Medical Education Program
UCLA ranks at joint eighth place on US News’s medical research schools list, fourth place on its primary care list, seventh on Top Universities/QS’s list and 10th on Ranker’s list. It isn’t featured on Business Insider’s list. UCLA has four key values that make up its mission, which are as follows: To create world leaders in health and science. To discover the basis for health cures for disease. To optimize health through community partnerships. To heal humankind one patient at a time.
13. Stanford University
Stanford has generally high placements across the methodology lists. US News places it at fourth for medical research and 32nd for primary care. Top Universities/QS places it at fourth. Ranker places it at third. Business Insider does not feature it. Stanford certainly has many claims to being at the forefront of innovation in medicine. For example, the college’s students and professors were the first people that synthesized biologically active DNA into a test tube, performed the first human heart transplant, performed the first successful human combined heart/lung transplant and oversaw the first use of gene expression profiling to predict cancer outcomes.
12. Case Western Reserve University
Ranking at 21st on Business Insider, 24th on Ranker, 25th for medical research and joint 39th for primary care on US News is Case Western Reserve University. The only list that disagrees with these rankings is Top Universities/QS, which places it between 101st to 150th. However, one thing that could really boost this college’s rankings in future years is the 2019 opening of its new medical sciences building. Once this opens, the college’s schools of medicine, dental medicine and nursing will be in the same structure, encouraging collaboration and achievement.
11. Boston University
Doctor of Dental Medicine Program
BU ranks at 23rd place on Business Insider’s list, 36th on Ranker’s list, 49th on Top Universities/QS’s list and 29th for research and 26th for primary care on US News’s lists. This relative consistency show that while Boston University may not be the best medical college in the US, it definitely offers incredible opportunities. Also, you can use a breakdown of Boston’s various medical school’s admission requirements to see which options are most readily available to you nationally. For example, its school of medicine, which trains MDs, has students with a mean GPA of 3.71. Its school of dental medicine students have an average GPA of 3.40. And its school of public health master’s students have an average GPA of 3.3.
10. University of Pittsburgh
This college manages to place at 14th on US News’s medical research college list, joint 14th on the same site’s primary care list, 36th on Top Universities/QS’s list, 22nd on Business Insider’s list and 16th on Ranker’s list. University of Pittsburgh’s page that breaks down the profiles of its students showcases some interesting tips about applying to medical school in general. Of their current cohort, 76% performed volunteer work of a non medical nature, 87% performed volunteer work that was of a medical nature, 94% had research experience and 78% had physician shadowing experience.
9. Mayo Medical School
Coming in at joint sixth on US News’s research medical schools list, 32nd on US News’s primary care list, 48th on QS/Top Universities’s list, 24th on Business Insider’s list and 12th on Ranker’s list is Mayo Medical School. This college has three campuses based at Florida, Minnesota and Arizona, with each offering incredible training. It’s one of the colleges with the most even faculty to student ratios, with 3.4 faculty members for every student. This allows the students to undertake study that is closely observed by their professors. .
8. Duke University
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
Duke University has a strong ranking on every methodology list. US News places it at 10th for medical research and 26th for primary care. QS/Top Universities places it at 20th in the world. Business Insider places it at 17th in America. Ranker places it at fifth in America. Duke runs its medical programs differently. For example, students devote their entire third year to a scholarly research project, which is a year earlier than most colleges. Their educational model is called the Foundation for Excellence Curriculum, and the college has been developing and improving it over the last 40 years.
7. Yale University
US News considers Yale University to be the 11th best medical research college and 51st best primary care college. Top Universities/QS places it at eighth best in the world. Business Insider places it at 15th. Ranker places it at 9th. What makes Yale’s medical education unique is that it is based around “small seminar, conference and tutorial settings, and requires student self-evaluation, independent thinking and investigation. Additionally, the college has state of the art medical equipment and technology that assists with whole-genome sequencing, mass spectronomy, high resolution image analysis and more.
6. Columbia University
This New York City based college is a strong performer on every list. US News ranks it at joint 11th for medical research and 43rd for primary care (On the same lists, the local rival, New York University, places higher for medical research but lower for primary care.) It also places at 14th on Top Universities/QS’s list, 10th on Business Insider’s list and seventh on Ranker’s list. The Columbia University medical center gets almost $1.5 billion, which is almost half of the total college budget. Its medical center contains a range of schools with unique specialisms, such as dentistry, public health and nursing.
5. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Every methodology list places University of Michigan, Ann Arbor within the top 30, but at different areas of the spectrum. Top Universities/QS places it at 27th. Business Insider places it at 12th. Ranker places it at 11th. And US News ranks it at 15th for research and seventh for primary care. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is particularly proud of being one of the first medical schools to allow women and minorities to study. It has continued this inclusiveness to the present day; currently, 54% of students are female.
4. University of Washington
University of Washington tops Business Insider’s medical professional interview generated list, meaning that the consensus among practitioners is that this is the top medical college! It is also joint 11th US News’s top research medical schools list, third on its primary care list, 24th on Top Universities/QS’s list and 14th on Ranker’s list. One factor that has allowed it to claim the top space on Business Insider’s list is its high percentage of student matriculation when compared to other American medical schools. In 2017, it accepted 332 students into its medical degree program, which is significantly higher than the top college on this list.
3. University of California, San Francisco
This college is one of only two to feature in the top 20 of every methodology list. US News places it at fifth for research and second for primary care. Top Universities/QS places it at joint 11th. Business Insider places it at second. Ranker places it at sixth. The college has put together a profile of its successful applicants, detailing what kind of person makes their grade. The average grade point average of a University of California, San Francisco medical student is 3.81. Also, in 2017, the college took on more women than men, with 57% of new students being female.
2. Johns Hopkins University
Medical Scientist Training Program
This college places near the top of most methodology lists. US News considers it to be the second best research medical school but places it at 26th for primary care. Top Universities/QS places it at fifth. Business Insider places it at 11th. Ranker places it at second. One of the major advantages that Johns Hopkins has for students is its strong links to local careers. Business Insider reports that the college is connected to a range of affiliated hospitals, allowing graduating students to seamlessly enter the next stage of their career upon completing their degrees.
1. Harvard University
Topping US News’s best research medical schools list, QS/Top Universities’s best medical colleges list and Ranker’s best medical schools list is Harvard. The college also fared well on Business Insider’s medical professional interview generated list, where it placed 16th and on US News’s best primary care medical schools list, where it placed 12th. These strong ratings across the board mean that Harvard also tops our list. But getting into one of the top medical degrees in one of the top colleges in America, is hard. For the incoming class of 2021, 6,749 people applied, 885 were interviewed and 165 were accepted. Their average GPA was 3.9, and 71% were science majors. To date, 15 of Harvard Medical School’s students and faculty have won Nobel Prizes.