US News Ranks Top Medical School Programs by Specialty

Megan Brooks

April 02, 2021

The best medical school program for primary care is at the University of Washington in Seattle, according to the latest rankings by US News & World Report.

The University of California, San Francisco, ranks second and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, third, in the rankings released March 30.

Rounding out the top 10 for primary care (in order) are the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland; the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; the University of Colorado in Aurora; the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha; Harvard University in Boston; the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas; and the University of Massachusetts-Worcester.

The top five schools with the highest percentage of graduates entering primary care specialties (2018-2020 average) were New York University-Long Island in Mineola, New York (83%); Lincoln Memorial University (DeBusk) in Harrogate, Tennessee (78%); the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (71%); William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi (70%); and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg (69%).

Best in Research

Thinking of going into research? Harvard University in Boston continues to rank number-one in research. New York University Grossman School of Medicine in New York City takes the number-two spot, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, comes in third. There is a three-way tie for the fourth post between Columbia University in New York City, Stanford University in California, and the University of California, San Francisco.

Rounding out the top 10 best medical schools for research are Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; the University of Washington, Seattle; the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman), Philadelphia; and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

The top-ranked schools in eight specialties are:

  • Anesthesiology: Johns Hopkins University

  • Family medicine: OHSU

  • Internal medicine: University of California, San Francisco

  • Obstetrics/gynecology: University of California, San Francisco

  • Pediatrics: University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

  • Psychiatry: Yale University

  • Radiology: Johns Hopkins University

  • Surgery: Johns Hopkins University

How They Were Chosen

US News surveyed 191 medical and osteopathic schools accredited in 2020 either by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association. Of those schools, 129 responded and provided the data required to calculate the rankings. The full methodology is explained on the news site.

As part of its report, US News also listed the medical schools where 2020 graduates racked up the most debt, and Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, topped the list. The school's graduates who incurred debt had an average of $340,620.

Rounding out the top five schools for average amount of debt incurred (in order) were Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois ($335,960); Nova Southeastern University Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida ($308,321); New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York ($268,820); and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California ($267,525).

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