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March 15, 2011

U.S. News & World Report releases medical school rankings

Daily Briefing

U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its annual Best Medical Schools list based on select indicators for research and primary care, as well as the list of top medical schools for eight specialties like family medicine, rural health and women's health.

For the rankings, U.S. News & World Report used survey data from 123 U.S. medical and osteopathic schools. The magazine assessed each school's performance based on several factors, including student selectivity admission statistics, faculty-to-student ratio, research activity and the proportion of graduates entering primary care after graduation.

Harvard Medical School topped the list of best medical schools for research, followed by the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. According to the magazine, there were no "major moves" on the research list, although the Stanford University School of Medicine this year tied for fifth place, up from an 11th-place tie last year. Top research schools maintained the lowest overall acceptance rates of any major graduate discipline—only one school in the top 20 research schools accepted more than 10% of applicants.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine placed first in the primary care rankings, followed by the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the Oregon Health and Science University. U.S. News & World Report highlighted the importance of primary care, noting that primary care will "train doctors to meet the most pressing needs of patients today" and that several major research institutions are devoting more resources to primary care programs. In contrast to the research rankings, several institutions moved up the list this year, including East Carolina Brody School of Medicine, which improved to a 10th-place tie this year, up from a 28th-place tie in 2010.

U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday also released its nursing school rankings. Johns Hopkins, Penn and UW tied for first place, followed by UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of California-San Francisco, which tied for fourth (Burnsed, U.S. News & World Report, 3/15; Morse/Flanigan, U.S. News & World Report, 3/14; U.S. News & World Report nursing school rankings, 3/15).

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