US News Ranks Standout Medical Schools by Specialty

Marcia Frellick

April 05, 2019

Again, this year, the best medical school program for primary care is at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to the latest rankings by US News & World Report.

The University of Washington in Seattle came in second and the University of California, San Francisco, third, in the rankings released on March 12.

Rounding out the top 10 in order were Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas; the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA, Geffen); and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, which tied for 6th; the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha; the University of California, Davis; and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) in Philadelphia, which tied for the 10th spot.

The top five schools with the highest percentage of graduates entering primary care specialties (2016-2018 average) were Lincoln Memorial University (DeBusk; 80.1%) in Harrogate, Tennessee; the University of Pikeville in Kentucky (73.2%); West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (70.2%) in Lewisburg; Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (69%) in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia (67%).

Best in Research

Harvard University in Boston again grabbed the top spot for research this year.

Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, was ranked next, and medical schools at Stanford University in California and the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) tied for third.

Also in the top 10, in order, were the University of California, San Francisco;  Columbia University in New York City and UCLA (Geffen), which tied at 6th; Washington University in St. Louis; and then a 3-way tie for the last spot between Cornell University (Weill) in New York City, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine (Alix) in Rochester, Minnesota, and New York University (Langone) in New York City.

The top-ranked schools in eight specialties were:

  • Anesthesiology: Johns Hopkins

  • Family medicine: OHSU

  • Internal medicine: Johns Hopkins

  • Obstetrics/gynecology: Harvard

  • Pediatrics: University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

  • Psychiatry: Harvard

  • Radiology: tie between Harvard and Johns Hopkins

  • Surgery: Johns Hopkins

How They Were Chosen

US News surveyed the 152 medical schools fully accredited in 2018 by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the 33 schools of osteopathic medicine accredited in 2018 by the American Osteopathic Association in fall 2018 and early 2019. Of those schools, 120 responded and provided the data required to calculate the rankings. The full methodology is explained on the news site.

US News also listed the medical schools where 2018 graduates racked up the most debt, and Rocky Vista University in Parker, Colorado, topped the list. Graduates there who incurred debt had an average of $364,000.

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