This TOP 25 list is a compilation of rankings from several reputable sources, including US News & World Report, Business Insider, Forbes and medical-schools.startclass.com. There appears to be no definitive consensus on what are the best medical school in this country. Regardless, all of these learning institutions offer an excellent education, and as you’ll read, tuition varies considerably. Some medical school emphasize research versus primary care which influences the ranking system also. Please note that the tuition, as stated, is for tuition only. It doesn’t factor in other fees, room and board, health insurance, and ancillary costs associated with a college education.

For the prospective student who is mulling over the decision to enroll in med school or not, here are some interesting facts to consider…The median four-year cost of medical school (including expenses and books) was $278,455 for private schools, and $207,866 for public schools in 2013 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. While grants and scholarships account for some of this total, lowering eventual debt to an average of $170,000–interest accrues while doctors are still completing their residencies, sometimes adding as much as 25% to the total debt load. Added to the lost potential income above, and assuming a modest 10% increase in debt burden through interest during school, doctors are routinely $416,216 more in the hole when compared to the average college graduate. In other words, comparing doctors to average college graduates, doctors are half a million dollars behind in real and potential losses, all by their early thirties. Potential salary losses swell to $674,400 through residency (even subtracting the average medical resident salary of $48,800). Coupled with average medical school debt of $170,000, the total cost of attending med school including lost opportunity is around $800,000. Thus, for the physician, financial rewards are a marathon, as it may take until the medical specialist is in his/her early 40’s to surpass the undergraduate in realized monetary gains. 

startclass medical schools

IMAGE SOURCE: Pixabay, public domain

1. Harvard

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The school is the third-oldest medical school in the United States, and was founded by John Warren on September 19, 1782, with Benjamin Waterhouse, and Aaron Dexter. The first classes were held in Harvard Hall in Cambridge, long before the school’s iconic quadrangle was built in Boston. The first class, composed of two students, graduated in 1788. Over the years, fifteen researchers have shared in nine Nobel prizes for work done while at HMS. The first being awarded in 1934.

Beginning in August 2015, Harvard Medical School launched an innovative new curriculum – Pathways.  This bold revision of the MD curriculum incorporates pedagogical approaches that foster active learning and critical thinking. The Pathways curriculum begins with the foundational building blocks to study medicine, including fundamentals of anatomy, histology, biochemistry, and molecular and cellular biology; genetics; immunology; and introductory pharmacologic principles.  From the first week of medical school, beginning with the Introduction to the Profession, students engage in a longitudinal clinical course, The Practice of Medicine, which is integrated with the basic and social science courses. One of the greatest features of the Pathways curriculum is the opportunity for students to customize their route through Years III and IV to prepare optimally for whatever aspect of the profession of medicine has attracted their curiosity. In addition to receiving one of the best in medical education, students may opt to combine their MD with a dual degree: PhD, MBA, MPH (Public Health), or MPP (Public Policy). Roughly 18% of the total MD students (726 for 2014-15) pursue a joint degree at Harvard.

Tuition: $55,850
Regional Accreditation: The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges

2. University of California-San Francisco

Founded in 1864 as Toland Medical College, the UCSF School of Medicine is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It joined the University of California in 1873, and in 1898, moved to its present Parnassus Heights campus. The first UC hospital opened there in 1907, eventually growing into Moffitt-Long Hospitals and later Benioff Children’s Hospital. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical schools, the UCSF School of Medicine earns its greatest distinction from its outstanding faculty – among them are four Nobel laureates, 82 National Academy of Medicine members, 64 American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, 41 National Academy of Sciences members, and 17 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.

The MD program consists of two integrated phases: the pre-clerkship years during which students complete Essential Core curriculum work, followed by Clinical Studies, which offers significant inpatient and ambulatory clinical experiences at a variety of different sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. In addition to the clerkships, students gain clinical experience through volunteer work with any number of UCSF-affiliated projects. The Essential Core constitutes the first 18 months of medical school and consists of 9 interdisciplinary block courses organized around central themes or systems. This is followed by the Clinical Studies curriculum that consists of the third-year core clerkships and fourth-year rotations. During the fourth year, students choose from a variety of clinical electives as they begin to focus on the specialties that most capture their interest. Students must complete a total of 239 units with a passing grade including all required courses prescribed in the curriculum of the UCSF School of Medicine.

Tuition: $37,297
Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

3. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is located on the East Baltimore, Maryland, campus of Johns Hopkins University together with the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the School of Nursing. The founding physicians of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine included pathologist William Henry Welch (1850-1934), the first dean of the school and a mentor to generations of research scientists, as well as, internist Sir William Osler (1849-1919), sometimes called the “Father of Modern Medicine.” For years, Johns Hopkins has been among the nation’s top medical schools in the number of competitive research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The school may also boast about their sixteen Nobel Laureates, from 1933 to 2009, who have been associated with the School of Medicine as alumni or faculty in Medicine or Chemistry.

The mission of the The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is to educate medical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in accordance with the highest professional standards.  Today, Johns Hopkins utilizes the Genes to Society curriculum. This curriculum presents a new model of health and disease based in the principles of adaptation to the environment, variability of the genotype and stratification of risk, rather than simply a dichotomous view of “normal human biology (health)” and “abnormal physiology (disease).” The Genes to Society curriculum spans Years 1 and 2, surrounding the ideas of genetics, biology and physiology and the impact that social, community and environmental factors have on the individual.  In late March of Year Two, medical students proceed to the Transition to the Wards program. These provide the knowledge and training to enable students to function competently in the hospital-based clerkships from day one.  Year three and four consist of rotations in  Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery and Women’s Health.

Tuition: $47,250
Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

4. University of Washington-Seattle

Founded in 1946, the University of Washington School of Medicine is a regional resource for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. It is recognized for excellence in training primary-care physicians and for advancing medical knowledge through scientific research. The UW School of Medicine is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s top physician-training sites. The school’s physician training was ranked highly in several other specific disciplines: No. 4 in AIDS care, No. 8 in pediatrics and internal medicine. The bioengineering graduate program jointly run with the College of Engineering was ranked No. 9. Their MD program has adopted the College System whose primary goal is to emphasize proficiency in the basic clinical skills of physical examination and diagnosis, clinical reasoning and interpretation, and use of informatics (science of computer information systems).

Throughout this first year and continuing into the second year, the student learns clinical skills including interviewing skills, history taking and recording techniques, and the art of the physical examination. These skills are taught in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) series. The third year primarily consists of the required clinical clerkships. The required third year clerkships are in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.
Rehabilitation Medicine/Chronic Care, Emergency Medicine, Neurology and an additional four-weeks of Surgery Selectives are also required and may be taken in the third or fourth year. Because of the regional nature of the University of Washington School of Medicine and the value of seeing health care delivered in different settings, it is expected that ALL students will take at least three clerkships outside the Seattle area. In addition, there are concurrent degree programs, leading to the MD and Masters in Health Administration, Masters in Public Health, Masters of Biomedical, or Health Informatics.

Tuition: $33,519(in-state); $63,954 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

5. University of Pennsylvania

The Perelman School of Medicine, commonly known as Penn Med, is the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located in the University City section of Philadelphia. Founded in 1765, the Perelman School of Medicine is the oldest medical school in the United States. The school of medicine was founded by Dr. John Morgan, a graduate of the College of Philadelphia (A.B. 1757) and the University of Edinburgh Medical School (M.D. 1763). Today, it is a major center of biomedical research and education, and it is widely regarded as one of the country’s top medical schools. Currently, the medical school employs over 2,000 faculty to teach 791 students and more than 1,100 residents and fellows.

First year med students emphasizes basic science and clinical medicine, along with an emphasis on body structure in anatomy interfaced with radiology, diagnostics, ultrasound, and physical exam findings. Year two and three requires clinical clerkships involving management of acute and chronic illnesses across all age groups in both inpatient and ambulatory settings, clinical therapeutics, medical genetics, patient safety, and interprofessional team-based practices. Students have access to five teaching hospitals within walking distance as part of the curriculum. The final 16 months, or Module 5, as it is referred to, requires students to complete a 4 week sub-internship that allows increased responsibility for patient care in general medicine, general pediatrics, or emergency medicine. In addition, scholarly activity with a faculty member for a minimum of 12 weeks requires students to design and undertake a research project in the lab, clinic, or community and present their work in a formal paper.

Tuition: $52,210
Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan Medical School opened its doors in 1850 and became U-M’s first professional school. The first class of medical students paid $5 a year for two years of education. In keeping with the times, none of the members in the first class was a college graduate. Instead, to gain admission, medical students had to know some Greek and enough Latin to read and write prescriptions. In 1899, the U-M Medical School successfully introduced the concept of the clinical clerkship. Because U-M owned its own hospital, it could set up such clerkships directly at its hospital. Other medical schools had previously tried to incorporate such clerkships into their curriculum, but privately owned hospitals would not allow medical students to touch their patients. Currently, approximately 700 medical students at the University of Michigan work toward their M.D. degree. U-M Medical School has more than 9,000 graduates and 9,000 M.D.s and M.D./Ph.D.s who completed their residencies and/or fellowships at Michigan, many of whom comprise their 19,000 alumni.

Beginning the first month, students are introduced to team-based clinical care as part of the Initial Clinical Experience (ICE), and then will continue these skills and communications training throughout the first year with biweekly, half-day sessions in a variety of clinical settings.  The Medical School refers to year one as the Scientific Trunk or Organ-Based Sequences, followed by Year two referred to as the Clinical Trunk, with the emphasis is on science in the clinical setting. Year three and four is called the Branch Science Curriculum as it entails more clinical rotations, as wells as clinical and professional electives. UM Medical School believes they have a proven learning system based upon: scientific foundation, small group learning, in-depth clinical training—and expanding these elements across all four years of the program. This successful program is accomplished through their M-Home program which engages every med student with faculty mentors and peers from all classes through small groups and one-on-one interactions.

Tuition: $32,700 (in-state); $51,116 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

7. Oregon Health and Science University-Portland

Less than a quarter century after the Oregon Trail opened, and only eight years after Oregon joined the Union, Willamette University welcomed its first medical students to its Salem, Oregon campus. In 1877, Willamette University’s medical program relocates to Portland. In 1887, the University of Oregon charters a state medical school in Portland and officially opens its doors as the University of Oregon Medical Department. Today, it is a nationally prominent research university and Oregon’s only public academic health center. It educates health professionals and scientists and provides leading-edge patient care, community service and biomedical research. There are roughly 2,861 students in OHSU degree programs taught by a faculty of 2,608. The campus consists of 36 major buildings and eight parking garages with an operating budget of $2.2 billion annually that is generated from patient care, grants, gifts, and contracts. OSHU is one of Oregon’s largest employers.

The new M.D. curriculum was launched in August 2014 shortly after the opening of the OHSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB). The curriculum integrates foundational scientific knowledge and clinical sciences across all years. Innovative hands-on, team-based learning methods foster in-depth understanding and application of knowledge, while also helping students develop self-assessment, critical thinking and lifelong learning skills. Their curriculum deliberately connects knowledge and its application. Students learn foundational science – anatomy, genetics, pharmacology, immunology – through an integrated prism of its application to clinical and social sciences.  To graduate, a student will demonstrate competency in defined areas – such as delivering care as part of an interprofessional team, demonstrating skills in lifelong learning, and integrating direct physical exam findings with laboratory data, imaging studies and genetic profiles to develop a diagnosis.

Tuition: $39,980 (in-state); $57,972 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

8. University of Colorado-Aurora

Anschutz Medical Campus is one of the nation’s newest health care campuses. Innovative architecture fosters collaboration among students, researchers and clinicians and extends to two world-class campus hospitals: University of Colorado Hospital and The Children’s Hospital. In 2006, in recognition of a series of gifts totaling $91 million by The Anschutz Foundation, the University of Colorado Denver announced that its Aurora campus would be named the Anschutz Medical Campus. The new name recognizes the significant contributions made by the foundation to the university and University of Colorado Hospital. Each year US News & World Report ranks medical schools in two broad categories – primary care and research. In this year’s rankings, the University of Colorado School of Medicine ranked No. 8 for primary care and No. 35 as a research institution. University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) was ranked Colorado’s best hospital in U.S. News. And nationally, (out of nearly 5,000 hospitals surveyed) UCH ranked as a Best in 11 adult specialties.

The School of Medicine curriculum is divide​d into 4 phases: the Essentials Core (Phases I & II), the Clinical Core (Phase III) and Advanced Studies (Phase IV). Woven through all Phases are four Threads that integrate over-arching topics into the curriculum: Culturally Effective Medicine; Evidence-Based Medicine and Medical Informatics; Humanities, Ethics, & Professionalism; and Medicine & Society. The Essentials Core Curriculum (Phases I and II) comprises the first 18 months of the undergraduate medical curriculum. The Clinical Core Curriculum (Phase III) consists of required clinical clerkships and incorporates many disciplines of medicine. The Advanced Studies Curriculum (Phase IV) consists of 32 weeks of educational time. The curriculum includes a required four-week Sub-Internship rotation, two required two-week Integrated Clinician Courses, 24 weeks of elective time, and the presentation of students’ capstone Mentored Scholarly Activity (MSA) projects. The MSA project is a four year requirement for all undergraduate medical students.

Tuition: $34,639 (in-state); $33,704 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation:  The Higher Learning Commission

9. University of California-Los Angeles

At the end of World War II, a group of physicians began pushing hard the idea that the University of California should have a medical presence in Southern California. One of the leading proponents was Elmer Belt, a distinguished urologist who treated, among others, then-Governor Earl Warren. On October 19, 1945, the University of California Board of Regents voted to establish a medical school as part of UCLA. The state Legislature unanimously passed a $7 million appropriation bill to fund the new school, and Governor Warren signed it into law. The medical school’s first 28 students – 26 men and 2 women – began attending classes in the fall of 1951. Fast forward to 2002 when  Mr. David Geffen announced a $200 million unrestricted endowment for the school and the school thus was named. Mr. Geffen was creator or co-creator of Asylum Records (1970), Geffen Records (1980), and DreamWorks SKG (1994 with Steven Spielberg). On December 13, 2012, Mr. Geffen established an unprecedented $100 million scholarship fund that will cover the entire cost of education for the very best medical students attending the David Geffen School of Medicine. 

The mission of the medical education program of the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA is to prepare graduates for distinguished careers in clinical practice, teaching, research, and public service. The four year MD program is comprised of four phases. The block-based curriculum for years one and two (Phase I) integrates human biology with disease processes and clinical skills from the first week of medical school onward. Instruction is driven by cases explored via problem-based learning, laboratories, conferences, clinical skills workshops, and independent study accompanied by approximately 10 hours of lecture a week. The third year or Phase II begins with a two-week course, Clinical Foundations, focuses on the basics of clinical care, including a review of the physical examination, basic radiology, write-ups and presentations. In Phase III, fourth year med students select one of five colleges during the latter part of their third year based on career interest or enrollment in special programs. All senior students are required to complete a three-week, 400 level Intensive Care Unit rotation and pass a simulation and written assessment at the end of the three weeks.

Tuition: $11,220 (in-state & out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

10. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The first University-sponsored School of Medicine was established in 1879, though there is evidence that medical instruction was given in Chapel Hill before the Civil War. Dr. Thomas W. Harris, an honor graduate of the Class of 1859 at the University of North Carolina, was dean and professor of anatomy until 1885. At that time 37 students had attended the School of Medicine. After a series of funding problems, the North Carolina Memorial Hospital (renamed in 1989 as the UNC Hospitals) opened in 1952 and the forty-eight members of the first class in the newly expanded program of the School of Medicine received their M.D. degrees in 1954. In November 2000, and the School launched new construction and renovation plans for one million square feet of existing medical school space, including the Neuroscience Research Building, the Bioinformatics Building, the Biomolecular Research Building and, at UNC Hospitals, the North Carolina Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. Today, the School of Medicine’s primary teaching hospital, UNC Hospitals, is dedicated to delivering quality health care.

The School of Medicine launched its new curriculum, Translational Education at Carolina (TEC), in August 2014. The Foundation Phase is a 16-month education replaces the traditional curriculum often seen in the first two years of medical school. This initial phase concentrates on basic sciences and organ systems. During the Application Phase, students spend 12 months completing core clinical clerkships in psychiatry, neurology, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and family medicine. Students will also participate in the Intensive Integration course, a monthly session designed to integrate foundational sciences and population health principles. The final phase is the Individualization Phase that entails electives and research opportunities. The school offers a two week career exploration of these electives: Dermatology, Family Medicine, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Diagnostic Radiology, Radiation Oncology, Radiology Career Exploration, and Surgery. Additional electives comprising the fourth year curriculum can be found here.

Tuition: $24,268 (in-state); $51,146 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

11. Stanford

Stanford University School of Medicine is the medical school of Stanford University. It is located at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. It is the successor to the Medical Department of the University of the Pacific, founded in San Francisco in 1858 and later named Cooper Medical College; the medical school was acquired by Stanford in 1908. Due to this descent, it ranks as the oldest medical school in the Western United States. In the early years of the 21st century Stanford School of Medicine underwent rapid construction to further expand teaching and clinical opportunities. The Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge opened in 2010; it serves as the gateway to the School of Medicine as well as providing a new model of medical education by combining biomedical research with clinical education and information technology. Stanford is one of several schools in the states to use the multiple mini interview system, developed at McMaster University Medical School in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to evaluate candidates.

Beginning in 2008, each incoming medical student will be matched with an Educators-4-CARE faculty, who will serve as a teacher, mentor, and colleague for the duration of the student’s time at the School of Medicine. Each Educator-4-CARE will teach and guide five to six students per class year in the following ways:

  • During the pre-clerkship years, precept students once per week in the Practice of Medicine (POM) course, cultivating students’ acquisition and refinement of patient communication skills, physical examination skills, clinical reasoning, and professionalism
  • During the clerkship years, continue to provide guidance for students’ bedside clinical skills and professionalism through semi-monthly Doctoring with CARE sessions
  • Provide student mentoring and regular, periodic feedback throughout medical students’ tenure at Stanford
  • Work with others to ensure that all Stanford medical students graduate with mastery of core clinical skills

Tuition: $17,497
Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

12. Columbia University

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, often known as P&S, is a graduate school of Columbia University that is located in the Columbia University Medical Center in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Founded in 1767 by Samuel Bard as the medical department of King’s College (now Columbia University), the College of Physicians and Surgeons was the first medical school in the thirteen colonies and hence, the United States, to award the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. It is one of the most selective medical schools in the United States based on average Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score, GPA, and acceptance rate. In 2011, 6,907 people applied and 1,158 were interviewed for 169 positions in its entering class. The average undergraduate GPA and average MCAT score for successful applicants in 2011 were 3.78 and 35.7, respectively. Columbia is affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the nation’s 6th-ranked hospital according to U.S. News & World Report. 

The Columbia Curriculum is an innovative and flexible curriculum that reorganizes the academic structure of medical education by dispensing with the old designations of first, second, third, and fourth years. Those categories are replaced by three major segments in the restructured curriculum: Fundamentals, Major Clinical Year, and Differentiation & Integration. Fundamentals involves courses such as: Molecular Mechanisms, Anatomy, Clinical Medicine Seminars. Body in Health and Disease and Psychiatry. The Major Clinical Year (MCY) features clerkships in major clinical areas paired to promote interaction and continuity and thus optimizing clinical experiences. The ten clerkships are divided by two week-long intersessions called Mechanisms & Practice. The third and final phase of the curriculum, Differentiation & Integration (D&I), involves 14 months of electives and the Scholarly Project. The Scholarly Projects Program (SPP) links medical students with faculty mentors to explore an area of medical practice or research. All students are required to complete a scholarly project.

Tuition: $55,418
Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

13. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Medical School began in the late nineteenth century when three of the private medical schools in the Twin Cities in Minnesota offered up their charters and merged their programs to form the University of Minnesota Medical School. A fourth school was absorbed in the early twentieth century. As a consequence of these mergers in 1888 and 1908, the School is the only medical school in the Twin Cities or Duluth. The Duluth campus was founded in 1972 with a particular focus on primary care for rural communities and Native American health. A small class of 60 MD students is admitted annually, whereas the Twin Cities campus accepts 170 MD and MD/PhD students each year. The school has produced leaders in primary care with 44% of alumni practicing in communities with populations under 25,000. Hence, the U of M Medical School ranks fourth in rural medicine, according to U.S. News & World Report. After two years in Duluth, the students have a variety of options for completing their medical education, including the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) or clerkships in Duluth, Minneapolis, or St. Paul.

The first 2 years of your University of Minnesota Medical School education links science and clinical medicine, and introduces you to clerkships. Five integrated Human Health and Disease courses span the second year, and are coordinated with your clinical curriculum. Each course includes pathophysiology, pathology, pharmacology, infectious disease, and therapeutics, and is structured around specific body systems, such as cardiac, gastrointestinal, or renal. Students complete years 3 and 4 in the Twin Cities, Duluth, or in greater Minnesota by participating in the RPAP.  This consists of rotating through 56 weeks of required clerkships, from Family Medicine to Neurology. The remaining 20 weeks are reserved for elective study. Also, each year up to 40 3rd and 4th year medical students live in rural Minnesota communities for 36 weeks while they study primary health care under the supervision of a local physician(s).

Tuition: $25,248 (in-state); $34,340 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

14. University of Wisconsin-Madison

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health was envisioned in 1848 when Governor Nelson Dewey included a medical school in his plan for the newly created University of Wisconsin. In 1908, eight students matriculated in the new College of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin. The two-year curriculum consisted entirely of basic science classes. The UW School of Medicine and Public Health has evolved to be recognized as an international, national and statewide leader in education, research and service. The school has a long tradition of rapidly translating discovery into application, and we believe there are important synergies in our tripartite missions of patient care, education and research. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is consistently ranked among the very top research institutions in the country. The school has strong partnerships with University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, a university health center that consistently receives major national awards, and the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, one of the 10 largest physician practice groups in the country.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) in Madison believes that no matter what field of medicine a graduate pursues or where he or she practices, integrating public health with clinical medicine will contribute to healthier patients and a more rewarding medical career. In 2005, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine changed its name to the School of Medicine and Public Health, a reflection of our commitment to this approach. The MD curriculum for all medical students includes a population health course where students learn epidemiology, biostatistics and public health principles. There are third year primary care clerkships and fourth year preceptorships throughout the state in which students perform community health assessments and engage in community health projects. It too has a rural program called the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM).

Tuition: $27,259 (in-state); $33,704 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

15. University of Chicago

Although the University of Chicago began in 1890, it was not until 1898 that the University became involved in medicine. Under President William Rainey Harper, Chicago temporarily became affiliated with the Rush Medical College with “the distinct purpose of the University to establish such a Medical School when funds shall have been provided.” Funds were allocated in when $5.3 million was set aside for construction, equipment, and an endowment. However, World War I put a halt to the development. The project resumed in 1921, eventually reaching completion in 1927. During the 1950s and ’60s, the Hospitals doubled in size. In 2006, the University of Chicago Hospitals changed its name to the University of Chicago Medical Center, and in 2012 the U of C Medicine opened the Center for Care and Discovery, a new 1.2 million square-foot building. To bolster its status as a world-renowned medical school, graduates and professors have been awarded 12 Nobel Prizes from 1912 to 2011.

The Pritzker School of Medicine emphasizes patient care and medical knowledge in their MD curriculum. Students learn to demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, then apply this knowledge to achieve appropriate patient care. To attain this objective, the first year courses concentrate on anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. Second year courses involve: neurobiology, pathophysiology, and electives. In third and fourth years, students engage in required clerkships which expose students to the wide range of clinical activities associated with each of eight disciplines. Students master core competencies unique to each clerkship as well as general communication and professionalism competencies that are observed in all. Fourth year students are required to complete 1200 credit units, including a Subinternship (inpatient selective), a month-long Emergency Medicine senior clerkship, a selective in the Scientific Basis of Medical Practice, and additional elective experiences.

Tuition: $47,673
Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association

16. Baylor College of Medicine

The school was formed in Dallas, Texas, by a small group of Baylor University alumni physicians who aimed to improve medical practice in North Texas. Originally called the University of Dallas Medical Department, the school opened its doors October 30, 1900, with 81 students. In 1969, the college separated from Baylor University and became an independent institution, and changed its name to Baylor College of Medicine. Each year the medical school matriculates around 185 students, around 75% of whom are Texas residents. Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is the least expensive private medical school in the country. It is also one of the few medical schools in the United States that is structured with an accelerated 1.5 year preclinical curriculum. Located in the middle of the world’s largest medical center in Houston, Texas, it includes a medical school, Baylor College of Medicine; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; the School of Allied Health Sciences; and the National School of Tropical Medicine. Its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is among the top 25 graduate schools in the United States.

One unique aspect of the BCM MD program is that students work with patients and practicing physicians the first month of school. One of the key differences at Baylor College of Medicine is that the classroom science courses – pre-clerkship curriculum – only take 18 months (as opposed to two years at most schools). During the pre-clerkship courses, students have early, one-on-one patient contact, state-of-the-art technological resources, and small group settings to learn skills that make them effective. The extra six months provide flexibility for their students to customize their training to fit their individual needs and interests. Baylor College of Medicine has developed eight specialized tracks to help students explore their interests and customize their education to match their career goals. For example, there is the Global Health Track-a four year program for medical students interested in earning the Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine. In addition, BCM offers four dual-degree programs to combine an M.D. with a PhD, M.B.A, M.P.H. (Public Health), or J.D. (law).

Tuition: $6,550 (in-state); $19,650 (non-resident)
Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

17. University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) is one of five campuses of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) system. It is home to three schools: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Graduate School of Nursing, located in Worchester. UMMS was established in 1962 to provide residents of the commonwealth an opportunity to study medicine at an affordable cost and to increase the number of primary-care physicians practicing in the commonwealth’s under-served areas. The School of Medicine accepted its first class of 16 students in 1970. It is consistently ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the leading medical schools in the nation for primary care education. UMMS is a world-class research institution, as evidenced by the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine being awarded to UMMS professor Craig C. Mello, PhD, and his colleague Andrew Fire, PhD, of Stanford University. The School of Medicine is committed to training in the full range of medical disciplines, with an emphasis on practice in the primary care specialties, in the public sector and in underserved areas of Massachusetts.

UMass Medical School has launched a new curriculum called LInC (Learner-centered Integrated Curriculum) in August, 2010. The MD program begins with the Foundations of Medicine (FOM) in years one and two. FOM1 involves courses such as Building Working Cells and Tissues (BWCT) and Development, Structure and Function (DSF), and FOM2 consists of courses such as Organ System Diseases (OSD) and The Brain. In Year 3, the Core Clinical Experiences (CCE) span 48 weeks of curriculum organized into three 16-week coordinated thematic sections. These sections are Care of Adults (Medicine and Neurology), Care of Families (Family Medicine and Community Health, Pediatrics and Psychiatry) and Perioperative and Maternal Care (Surgery and Obstetrics & Gynecology). Advanced Studies begins in the spring of the third academic year and carries into year 4. The required elements include the Subinternship, an Advanced Biomedical and Translational Sciences selective, an Emergency Clinical Problem Solver course, the Capstone course (as a pilot initially and a requirement starting with the class of 2016) and Transition to Internship experience.

Tuition: $8,352
Regional Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

18. University of Iowa

In the late 1860s, a prominent Davenport surgeon named Washington Freeman Peck initiated efforts to create a medical college in Iowa City. The college opened doors for its first class on Sept. 20, 1870 with 37 students attending, including eight women. In 1898, the original University Hospital was opened, the first university teaching hospital west of the Mississippi river. Eventually it will be the largest such university-owned institution in America. In 2001, the College was named for Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver in recognition of the Carvers’ more than $90 million in gifts supporting patient care and research. Today, Carver College of Medicine consistently ranks high in primary care and research with 50% of Iowa’s 5,000 practicing physicians having received some or all of their medical education there. The UI Carver College of Medicine is comprised of 11 buildings that total approximately 1,392,850 gross square feet (gsf) of space. The Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was opened in 2014, comprising 250,000 SF dedicated to medical research.

The Carver College of Medicine’s medical doctorate degree curriculum consists of a triple helix model composed of three strands that extend through all four years of medical school.  The three strands are Mechanisms of Health and Disease, Medicine and Society, and Clinical and Professional Skills. Students will learn the art and science of medicine through an integrated approach among the three strands, which is similar to how they will practice medicine in the future. The Mechanisms of Health and Disease (MOHD) strand covers the 6 basic internal mechanisms that help maintain health. The Medicine and Society (MAS) strand also has separate courses in the first 18 months as well as content embedded within clinical clerkships. The physician or health care provider plays a critical role through the effective utilization of their professional skills in helping to maintain the health of individuals and populations.  These medical professional skills as well as expected professional behaviors will be taught in a third strand of the curriculum called Clinical and Professional Skills (CAPS). As with the previously mentioned strands, it too will have separate courses in the first 18 months and ongoing content integrated during the clinical clerkships.

Tuition: $16,766 (in-state); $25,301 (out-of-state)
Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

19. University of Pittsburgh

Chartered in 1886 as the Western Pennsylvania Medical College, a free-standing school formed by local physicians, the School of Medicine  sought university affiliation even in the early years of operations. In 1891 the School became affiliated with the Western University of Pennsylvania and, two decades later, was integrated into the newly designated University of Pittsburgh. Post World War II, with assistance from the wealthy Mellon family, the University accepted the University Health Center concept and, in 1953, appointed the first vice chancellor of the Schools of the Health Professions. The School’s faculty is currently ranked among the top 20 nationwide in federal grant and contract support. Today, The School of Medicine encompasses 31 diverse departments, ranging from traditional disciplines like anesthesiology, pediatrics, and orthopaedics – to newer scientific programs that integrate advanced concepts in cardiothoracic and plastic surgery, biomedical informatics, critical care medicine, and computational, systems, and developmental biology. Eighty-six current faculty members have been honored by the Academy of Master Educators for their excellence in medical education.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) has a well-developed curricular infrastructure that combines a lecture- and problem-based curriculum with early and in-depth clinical experiences and an integrated organ systems approach to the preclinical sciences. Scheduled instructional time in the first two years of the curriculum is apportioned approximately as one-third lecture; one-third small group learning (much of which is problem-based learning), and one-third activities. The latter emphasizes patient care, community-site visits, experience with standardized patients, and laboratory exercises. The third-year curriculum consists of eight required clerkships. Integrated into year 4 is one “acting internship” which is of four-week duration when the student completes an initial history and physical examination, constructs a differential diagnosis, formulates a treatment plan, writes orders, and carries out necessary therapy, all under careful supervision. Also during the fourth year, students take the Integrated Life Science (ILS) Program which includes a choice of courses that revisit some aspect of basic science. Each student is required to complete one of the eight ILS courses.

Tuition: $50,010
Regional Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

20. University of California-San Diego

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (UCSD) is the graduate medical school of University of California, San Diego located in La Jolla, California. The school held its first class in 1968 and conferred its first degrees in 1972. The school aggressively recruited leading physician scientists of its era and rapidly gained a reputation as an elite medical school. The inaugural class in 1971 achieved the highest score in the country on the National Board of Medical Examiners Step 1 Examination. UCSD ranks 4th in the world in terms of ‘citation impact’ in the fields of science and social science, with world wide notable faculty. In individual categories, the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) ranks the School of Medicine 2nd in clinical medicine, 3rd in pharmacology, 4th in molecular biology and genetics, and 10th in psychology and psychiatry. It is a relatively small medical school with roughly 500 total students and 125 new students matriculated in the most recent first-year medical school class. UCSD offers professional medical education for a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, as well as dual degree programs: MD/PhD, MD/MPH, and MD/Masters dual degree programs.

Commencing in 2010, the medical school adopted the Integrated Scientific Curriculum or “ISC.” Beginning with the first quarter, this curriculum integrates clinical medicine and medical science covering health and disease in the context of human organ systems. One of the cornerstones of the ISC is the creation of six Academic Communities (ACs) at UCSD School of Medicine. Each incoming student will be assigned to one of the ACs and maintain this affiliation over his or her entire medical school career. As such, each AC would contain approximately 21 medical students from each class/year and a total of approximately 84 medical students. Each community has a faculty director. Years one and two entail the Preclerkship Core Courses that cover a myriad of courses. Year three consists of the required Clinical Core Courses, each lasting from four to twelve weeks, depending on the course. A minimum of three months of the fourth-year curriculum is devoted to Direct Patient Care (DPC) Clerkships at UCSD or a UCSD affiliated hospital.

Tuition: $36,987 (includes health insurance)
Regional Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

21. Washington University-St. Louis

Founded in 1891, Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), located in St. Louis, Missouri, is the medical school of Washington University in St. Louis that rests on 164 acres. The process of upgrading its medical education began in 1914 when facilities were permanently moved to their current location in St. Louis’s Central West End neighborhood in 1914, and was completed in 1918 with the official naming of the School of Medicine. As of 2014, there were a total of 1,360 students enrolled in the medical school, with 602 in the MD, MD/PhD, or MA/MD programs. The 1,250 clinical faculty members provide care for more than 430,000 children and adults annually and serve as the medical staffs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Both hospitals are nationally recognized, world-class teaching hospitals on the campus of Washington University Medical Center (2014 data). The medical center generates an annual economic impact of nearly $4.4 billion for the St. Louis area, according to an economic model maintained by the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association.

WUSM’s MD program emphasizes six primary areas:

  1. Medical Knowledge- core concepts and principles of human biology and genetics, the scientific foundations of medicine and the causations, epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of diseases
  2. Patient Care-  ability to provide appropriate patient care in a multidisciplinary setting
  3. Interpersonal and Communication Skills- ability to communicate effectively with members of the medical community and with patients
  4. Professionalism- adherence to ethical behaviors, and sensitivity to patients of diverse backgrounds
  5. Systems-Based Practice- awareness of the larger context and system of health care and its impact on patients and the practice of medicine
  6. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement- continuously improve patient care skills based on external feedback and self-evaluation

Tuition: $54,050
Regional Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission

22. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is a medical school located in Nashville, Tennessee, located in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The first diplomas issued by Vanderbilt University were to 61 Doctors of Medicine in February 1875, thanks to an arrangement that recognized the University of Nashville’s medical school as serving both institutions. In the most recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report, 9 pediatric specialties in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt were nationally ranked. For the 15th consecutive year, Vanderbilt University Medical Center was recognized in 2014 as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country by Truven Health Analytics. The School of Nursing has also been ranked in the top 25 from among 237 nursing programs in the U.S. Currently, there are 630 students enrolled in the School of Medicine with 91 MD degrees conferred in 2014.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) seeks to matriculate a diverse group of academically exceptional students whose attributes and accomplishments suggest that they will be future leaders and/or scholars in medicine. To accomplish this goal, VUSM provides a review of each candidate by multiple members of the faculty who are broadly representative of the faculty body. VUSM has revolutionized their medical education with an innovative system of learning, known as Curriculum 2.0. Faculty, residents, staff and students joined together to design this curriculum to prepare new students for leadership in the future of the health care industry. The curriculum integrates longitudinal programming across a student’s medical school career with course work and clinical and research experiences. Among a few of the foundations of this curriculum are: medical knowledge, clinical care, research, and health care delivery. Medical students benefit from exposure to one of the nation’s most successful biomedical research programs, ranked among the top 10 as measured by competitively awarded research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Additionally, there is the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program which offers a strong core education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry, preparing M.D./ Ph.D. students for faculty and research positions.

Tuition: $47,150
Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

23. University of Texas Southwestern-Dallas

Since its formation in 1943, Southwestern Medical School has grown from a small wartime medical college into UT Southwestern Medical Center, a multifaceted academic institution nationally recognized for its excellence in educating physicians, biomedical scientists, and health care personnel. When Baylor University elected to move its school of medicine from Dallas to Houston in 1943, the Foundation formally established Southwestern Medical College as the 68th medical school in the United States. The Medical Center currently encompasses UT Southwestern Medical School, UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the UT Southwestern School of Health Professionals. The faculty has had six Nobel laureates, four of whom are active faculty members, 23 are members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and 19 are members of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), a component of the NAS. The university has grown to include 10.9 million square feet of space with another 1.4 million square feet under construction. The medical school ranks in the Top 25% in both Research and Primary Care (U.S. News & World Report).

New in 2015, their medical school curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of biomedical sciences and the foundations for human body structure while integrating the normal and abnormal structures and functions of the primary organ systems. The revised curriculum comprises three distinctive periods – Pre-Clerkship, Clerkship, and Post-Clerkship – each of which offers different but complementary experiences. Pre-clerkship begins in August and continues until December of year 2. The majority of this time is devoted to Integrated Medicine. Clerkship starts in January of year 2 and continues through June of year 3. Clinical core blocks occupy 48 weeks total of this phase of the program. Post-clerkship is from July to April of year 4. Integrated into the latter phase is the Back-to-Basics (BTB) course following the clerkships that provides novel perspectives on the importance of biomedical sciences as a foundation for clinical medicine. Additionally, UT Southwestern has added a required 12-week scholarly activity that all students will complete by producing a product for evaluation.  Opportunities also exist for added activities that would lead to an M.D. degree with Distinction as well as combined degrees such as the M.D./Ph.D., M.D./M.B.A., and M.D./M.P.H.

Tuition: $20,441 (resident of state); $33,512 (non-resident)-includes fees
Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

24. Mayo Medical School

Mayo Medical School is a research institution and medical school which is a part of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In 1972, Mayo Medical School opened its doors to 40 students for the first Mayo Medical School class chosen from 473 applicants. Still highly selective, students are trained in a world-class setting — Mayo Clinic is ranked No. 1 in more specialties than any other hospital in the nation on the 2015-2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals list. The M.D. program at Mayo Medical School accepts 46 students each year out of more than 4,500 applicants. With Mayo Medical School campuses in Minnesota and Florida; a 2017 campus opening in Arizona; Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Georgia; and learning ventures with health care organizations near all their campuses, med students gain educational experiences across a broad spectrum of patient populations in multiple practice settings. In 2015, Mayo Medical School was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 10 most affordable private medical schools in the country.

The Mayo Medical School M.D. Program offers a powerful, life-enriching educational experience, enhanced by a class size of 50 students who have the benefit of 2,000 physicians and scientists on the faculty. Active and cooperative learning styles, supported by a pass/fail evaluation system in Year 1 and Year 2 that encourages collaboration by eliminating competition for grades. Students study one topic at a time for three to seven weeks. These courses are known as subject “blocks.” In the first year, students take a series of nine blocks. In the second year, students take eight blocks that address organ systems, pathophysiology, and diagnostics and therapeutics. The Year 3 curriculum contains seven core clinical clerkships, a three-week intersession of basic science integration and a research experience. There are 45 weeks in the fourth academic year. The curriculum is composed of the internal medicine subinternship, emergency medicine, elective rotations and a three-week intersession. In addition, students must complete at least one of each category (medicine, pediatrics and surgery) in addition to general electives.

Tuition: $47,470
Regional Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

25. Duke University

Established in 1925 by James B. Duke, Duke University School of Medicine (Duke Med) has earned its reputation as an integral part of one of the world’s foremost patient care and biomedical research institutions.  In particular, Duke University Medical Center is consistently ranked among the top 10 of some 5,700 American hospitals by US News and World Report, with 13 out of 16 specialties ranked among the nation’s top 20. In 1935, just five years after it opened, Duke was ranked among the top 25 percent of medical schools in the country by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Admission to Duke Med is incredibly competitive, with roughly 3.5% of applicants accepted for the 2015 starting class (7165 applied, 750 interviewed, 253 accepted, for a final class size of 115). The 2015 matriculants had an average GPA of 3.82-consisting of 60 men and 55 women representing 31 states and 51 undergraduate institutions. The selected med students are taught by a clinical and basic science faculty of 2,000 and 1,600 MD’s, health professionals and PhD students.

The mission of the educational program for MD students at Duke University is to prepare a diverse student body to pursue a spectrum of medical career options in order to become physician leaders who can advance biomedical research and improve local, national, and global health. Year 1 introduces students to the building blocks of medicine-the basic sciences consisting of four interdisciplinary courses. The second year consists of eight core clerkship rotations, a longitudinal Practice course and Clinical Skills course, a Health Policy/Global Health course, two Selective periods and a summative Clinical Skills assessment. During the third year, MD students will spend 10 – 12 months of scholarly investigation and complete their clinical electives. Students may also choose to do a dual degree program in lieu of research. During the fourth year, students are required to complete 28 hours of coursework including a four-week, five credit sub-internship, a four-week critical care elective, and the Capstone course. All students must complete a longitudinal Capstone course that teaches important information and tools to prepare them for their first year of residency.

Tuition: $39,500
Regional Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

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