The Top 20 Medical Schools in the U.S. in 2019

Harvard University

If you’re going to commit your time and money to a university, you’ll want to know the return on your investment is worth it. When it comes to medical schools, the range of options is almost endless; whether all of them are worthy of your application is another thing entirely. Fortunately, help is on hand. Each year, US News publishes a list of the US’s top-ranking universities, along with a special ranking dedicated just to medical schools. Here, we take a look at which universities perform well enough to justify a spot among the top 20 medical schools in the U.S. in 2019.

20. Northwestern University (Feinberg)

In at number 20 is Northwestern University (Feinberg), a university that can boast a full-time faculty-student ratio of 2.7:1, a 46.1% to 53.9% female/ male balance, and residencies in anesthesiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, psychiatry, radiology – diagnostics, and surgery – general. The university offers a choice of research programs, including a 5-year M.D./M.M. program through the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a 27-month long physical therapy program.

19. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Given that the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ranks as the 19th best medical school in the US, it’s tuition fee of $52,682 offers a very reasonable ROI. With 1,627 full-time faculty on staff, the university offers an excellent faculty-staff ratio of 2.9:1. Comprising of 39 multidisciplinary research, educational, and clinical Institutes and 34 academic departments, the school’s previous accolades have included the #1 position on Diversity Inc’s list of “Top 12 Hospitals and Health Systems” and 4th among “World’s Most Innovative Companies in Data Science” by Fast Company magazine.

18. Vanderbilt University

Up next is Vanderbilt University, which ranks #18 overall, #10 in internal medicine specialty, #15 in pediatrics, and #32 in medical primary care. In terms of grant support provided through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the university ranks No. 8 in the nation, up two places on last year. It currently offers 10 types of single degree programs (including Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, and Master of Science in Medical Physics) and 9 dual degree programs (M.D./Ph.D. through a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), M.D./J.D. and M.D./M.S. in Biomedical Informatics, and M.D./M.Div. and M.D./M.T.S., and M.D./M.Ed., M.D./M.P.H, M.D./MBA, and M.D./M.A. in Medicine, Health, and Society).

17. University of Michigan Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor has been one of the most respected medical schools in the US since it first opened its doors in 1850. Offering 20 clinical and nine basic science departments, the school graduates approximately 170 physicians annually, all of whom have the opportunity to participate in the school’s global activities through programs such as Global REACH before they leave. Coming it at 17th overall, the university ranks #6 for training primary care physicians, #3 for family medicine specialty, #6 for surgery specialty, and #3 for residency director reputation score among primary care schools.

16. University of Chicago (Pritzker)

The University of Chicago (Pritzker) comes in at number 16, making it the highest-ranking research and primary care medical school in Illinois. “The results of these rankings reflect the broad efforts and accomplishments of the faculty in the Biological Sciences Division and the quality of our students,” said Kenneth Polonsky, MD, executive vice president of medical affairs at the University of Chicago. “I would like to acknowledge, in particular, the faculty and staff in the Pritzker School of Medicine, who work with such passion and commitment to ensure that our students receive an outstanding medical education.”

15. Yale University

Ranking #3 in national universities and #15 in medical schools is Yale University. Since it was established in 1701, Yale has grown into one of the most respected and well known higher educational establishments in the world. Each of its 12 professional schools (which includes the Law School, School of Management, School of Medicine, School of Art and School of Nursing) rank highly, with its Law School taking the top position in this year’s round-up. The Medical School offers a variety of degree and joint degree programs, with most students graduating with an MD, and around 20% of those obtaining a joint MD/Ph.D. degree.

14. University of Pittsburgh

As a regular fixture of best medical school listings, the University of Pittsburgh makes a sound choice for any prospective medical student. According to the latest data available on its website, the school consists of 20 divisions, 5 centers, 320 faculty, 84 fellows, 116 residents, and nearly 300 researchers and staff. While it enjoys an excellent reputation across the board, the school is particularly renewed for the specialty areas of diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and pulmonology.

13. Duke University

Established in 1930, Duke’s School of Medicine (which includes more than 2200 academic and clinical faculty members in 23 departments) comes in as one of the youngest of this year’s highest-ranking medical schools. Ranking 13th overall, the university takes 5th place for Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, and Surgery, 6th for Radiology, 8th for Psychiatry, 9th for OB-Gyn, and 15th for Pediatrics. “We are pleased to again be ranked among the top schools and medical specialties in the country,” Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine says. “This is a testament to our outstanding faculty, staff, and students who work tirelessly to provide the best education for our students, deliver the most advanced care to our patients, and make seminal discoveries that evolve our knowledge of the body and ways to improve health in our community and globally.”

12. University of Washington

The University of Washington School of Medicine is a consistent feature of annual “best of” publications, and this year is no exception. Additional accolades include ranking #7 in Pediatrics, #8 in Surgery, #9 in Internal Medicine for medical programs and specialties, #2 in Microbiology, #5 in Genetics/genomics/bioinformatics, #9 in Biomedical/bioengineering, #11 in Psychiatry, #11 in Radiology, #13 in Anesthesiology, and #15 in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

11. New York University (Langone)

Founded in 1841, New York University (Langone) enjoys a global reputation as one of the world’s foremost medical schools. It’s currently home to 1,177 full-time faculty and 3,091 part-time faculty members, 481 medical students and 220 laboratories dedicated to biomedical research. One of its key features is its accelerated three-year MD degree pathway, which allows students to gain their degree in a shorter time and at a significantly reduced cost.

10. Mayo Clinic School of Medicine (Alix)

While 2019 sees Mayo drop several positions from its 6th place position in 2018, the university still ranks as one of the foremost medical schools in the country. “To be included as one of the top schools in the country is a real testament to the tremendous educational efforts of our faculty, students and staff,” says Dr. Meyer, Waugh Executive Dean for Education, Mayo Clinic. “It also recognizes the strong bonds between practice, research and education at Mayo Clinic and how we work together to develop the workforce of the future.”

9. Cornell University (Weill)

As one of the most selective universities in the country, Cornell might be a nightmare to get into (admitting around 100 students per class from over 6,000 applicants), but if you do, you’re secured of a place in one of America’s top institutions. It’s currently affiliated with some of the highest ranking hospitals in the region (including the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, which ranks #1 in the region and #10 in the nation, Hospital for Special Surgery, which ranks #1 in the nation for orthopedics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which ranks #2 in the nation for cancer, and Rockefeller University) offering students the ideal opportunity to combine classroom theory with onsite practice.

8. Washington University in St. Louis

Founded in 1891, Washington University in St. Louis offers a combination of highly respected masters and doctoral degree programs in medicine, biomedical research, allied health professions and clinical and population research. Of its 2,379 full-time faculty members, 13 are fellows of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, 27 have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and 6 have achieved NIH MERIT status. The message is clear: if you want to learn from the best, Washington University in St. Louis makes a sound choice.

7. University of California–Los Angeles (Geffen)

With tuition fees of $47,432, an enrollment of 713, a faculty-student ratio of 3.8:1, and a full-time faculty of 2,723, the University of California–Los Angeles (Geffen) ranks as 7th best medical school in the US. Its curriculum is divided into three parts (Human Biology and Disease, Core Clinical Clerkship, and 4th Year Colleges), giving students the ideal opportunity to perfect their skills across the disciplines. It also offers students the change to diversify with a combined degree, such as an M.D./M.B.A. with the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In terms of specialty rankings, the school comes #10 in Anesthesiology, #6 in Psychiatry, and #11 in Radiology.

6. Columbia University

In at number 6 is Columbia University, a school which ranks #6 in Anesthesiology, #7 in Internal Medicine, #5 in Obstetrics and Gynecology, #4 in Psychiatry, #8 in Radiology, and #8 in Surgery. In addition to offering more than 70 residency and fellowship programs in adult and pediatric specialties alongside its affiliate New York-Presbyterian (NYP), the University offers research opportunities in Columbia labs and a mentorship program in partnership with the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons5. University of California–San Francisco

5. University of California

With an overall ranking of #5, the University of California–San Francisco ranks #3 in Anesthesiology, #5 in Family Medicine, #3 in Internal Medicine, #3 in Obstetrics and Gynecology, #5 in Pediatrics, #5 in Psychiatry, #3 in Radiology, and #5 in Surgery, making it the only school to rank in the top 5 across both biomedical research and primary care. “By excelling equally in research and primary care, we serve as a model for 21st Century medicine,” says Talmadge E. King Jr., MD, Dean of the School of Medicine. “We attract some of the brightest, most dedicated students because our training is both rooted in science and committed to fulfill the promise of a better future for our patients, our communities, and the world.”

4. University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

2019 marks the 22nd consecutive year the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) has ranked in the top ten of research-oriented medical schools. In addition to its overall ranking, the school ranks well across all major specialties: Pediatrics (#1), Anesthesiology (#3), OB-GYN (#4), Radiology (#4), Surgery (#4), Internal Medicine (#5), Psychiatry (#9), Primary Care (#10), and Family Medicine (#19). The school is currently home to 587 medical students (190 of whom are enrolled in combined MD/PhD programs), and 2,625 faculty members, given it a faculty-student ratio of 4.5:1.

3. Stanford University

In at number 3 is Stanford, a school that ranks #8 in Anesthesiology, #11 in Internal Medicine, #6 in Pediatrics, #10 in Psychiatry, and #8 in Surgery. Its full-time faculty of 2445 includes 7 current Nobel Prize winners and 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences, while its NIH funding of $381 offers the highest funding per researcher ratio in the country.

2. Johns Hopkins University

For over 100 years, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has enjoyed a reputation of one of the most prestigious universities in the nation; if its 2019 ranking is anything to go by, it’s likely to enjoy that standing for quite some time to come. The university operates a collegiate system, with students divided into one of four colleges; Nathans, Sabin, Taussig, and Thomas. Each college comes complete with its own group of advisors that serve as mentors throughout the four years of medial training. In addition to the traditional M.D., and Ph.D. programs, the university offers students the chance to beef up their studies with a dual degree program through other university departments.

1. Harvard University

In at number 1 is Harvard University, a school which needs little by way of introduction. Since its foundation in 1782, Harvard has served as one of the nation’s foremost educators, churning out some of the most successful graduates of any other university. Today, Harvard Medical School divides its student body into five academic societies, each offering the necessary mentoring and support systems needed to enable students to excel. In addition to its overall rating, Harvard ranks #2 in Anesthesiology, #2 in Internal Medicine, #1 in Ob-Gyn, #2 in Pediatrics, #1 in Psychiatry, #1 in Radiology, and #3 in surgery.


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