The Best Medical Schools In The US [Updated]

It’s hard to get into the best medical schools in the U.S., so it’s easy to see why there’s so much competition for the few spots.

Did you know that over 40,000 people do apply to the top medical schools in the U.S. Hence, it is always a competitive discipline.

By the end of this article, you will see the best medical schools in the U.S.

Best Medical Schools in the US

The characteristics of the best medical schools in the U.S. are analyzed based on factors such as acceptance rate, MCAT score, enrollment, and generally by the rating of U.S. News.

Given below are the best medical schools in the US:

Harvard University

The first best medical school in the US that tops the list is Harvard Medical School. Since 1782, when Harvard Medical School was started, it has kept coming up with new ideas and changing the way medical education is done. 

Today, students are split into five academic societies, and these societies offer mentoring and advice, as well as team-based learning supervised by faculty. 

The Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program at HMS is made available for people who want to work in biomedical research.

Most HMS students join the Pathways program after the annual White Coat Ceremony for new students. In this program, they learn basic scientific ideas and build clinical skills early on before starting their main clinical experiences in their second year. 

There are no traditional letter grades in pre-clerkship courses. Instead, students are given either a satisfactory or an unsatisfactory grade.

Students go to class at the medical school campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, and they can do their clinicals at institutions around the city that are affiliated with the school. 

Medical students can also get joint degrees like an M.D./Ph.D. or an M.D./MBA, and they can take classes at other schools in the same university, like the highly ranked Law School and Business School.

Even though HMS students have a lot of work to do, they still get to have fun through events and social groups like the HMS Chamber Music Society, as well as through a number of extracurricular groups that focus on service, identity, and other things.

Harvard University stands out because it has 14.6 professors for every 1 student and 10,175 full-time staff at the Medical School.

TUITION AND FEES

To apply to the best medical school in the U.S., you need a $100 fee to apply. It costs $66,284 to go there full-time.

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

For the year 2022, the total number of students enrolled was 699.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

The average medical college admission test (MCAT) score for accepted students is 520.

New York University (Grossman)

Among the best medical schools in the U.S., this medical school ranks second. The NYU School of Medicine is in the Langone Medical Center, which is on the east side of Manhattan and looks out over the East River. 

Through a dual degree program, students at the NYU School of Medicine can earn an M.D., a Ph.D., or both. 

Programs at the NYU School of Medicine that deal with drug and alcohol abuse and AIDS are ranked very highly.

Students in the School of Medicine at NYU who want to learn more about the field can join the School of Medicine Honors Program, which requires at least 18 weeks of scientific research and a thesis. 

There are also other academic opportunities, like the International Health Program, which lets NYU School of Medicine students travel abroad to do research, work on public health projects, or learn about clinical education. 

The School of Medicine Student Ambassador program is for NYU students who want to represent their fellow students and make it easier for current and future students to talk to each other.

Students at NYU school of Medicine can join one of more than 50 student clubs. These clubs include academic, clinical, athletic, national, and special interest groups. 

Outside of school, there is a lot for NYU students to do in New York. At the Xpress Office in the School of Medicine, medical students can get discounted tickets to events all over the city, like Broadway shows, operas, ballets, sports games, and movies.

At New York University (Grossman), there are 2.5 professors for every student. The Grossman School of Medicine has a staff of 1,023, all of whom work full time.

TUITION AND FEES

To apply to this medical school, you will need to pay an application fee of $110 and full-time tuition of $0.00.

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The average number of students enrolled yearly is pegged at 410.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

To qualify for this top medical school in New York, you need to have an average MCAT score of 472, but with a score of 513, your chances of being admitted will be tripled.

Columbia University

Of the best medical schools in the U.S., this university ranks 3rd. Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. 

It is also known as Columbia, but its full name is Columbia University in the City of New York. Established in 1754 as King’s College on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest college in New York and the fifth-oldest in the United States. It is also considered one of the best schools in the world.

Columbia scientists and scholars have made important contributions to many scientific breakthroughs, such as the brain-computer interface, the laser and maser, nuclear magnetic resonance, the first nuclear pile, the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas, the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift, and much of the early research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. 

At Columbia University, there are four professors for every student. There are 2,334 full-time faculty working at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

TUITION AND FEES

There is a fee of $110 to apply to Columbia University, and it costs $66,816 to go there full-time. 

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The average number of enrolled students in this school is 577.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

For this university, the average MCAT score for students is pegged at a minimum of 512, but for an increased chance of success, an applicant should target 516 or higher.

Johns Hopkins University

One of the best medical schools in the U.S. today is John Hopkins. At the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, students learn through the Genes to Society Curriculum, which combines classroom work with real-world experience. 

Intersessions, which last a week and focus on simulation and more advanced skills, happen every few months. All students are put into one of four colleges: Nathans, Sabin, Taussig, or Thomas. 

This is meant to help students from all four years of medical school feel like a group. Notably, each college has advisers who help students figure out what classes to take in medical school, how to get involved in research, and how to choose a career. 

Every year, the colleges put on the College Bowl, which is a day of games like kickball, races, and tug-of-war.

A traditional M.D., a Ph.D., or both can be earned in about eight years. Other university departments offer programs that lead to both an M.D. and a Master of Public Health or an M.D. and an MBA. 

The National Institutes of Health and other groups give the school a lot of money for research, and it runs top research centers like the Brain Science Institute and the Institute of Genetic Medicine.

Johns Hopkins Medicine is highly ranked, and it is known for being the only place in Maryland with pediatric and eye trauma centers. 

The medical campus is in Baltimore, and students can live on school grounds in an apartment building two blocks from the school. 

Students can also join more than 80 groups, and some of them plan volunteer projects all over Baltimore.

It costs $58,000 to go there full-time. At Johns Hopkins University, there are 5.1 professors for every student. There are 2,407 full-time faculty working at the School of Medicine.

TUITION AND FEES

To be accepted as a student at this school, one has to first pay an application fee of $100, and full-time fees are pegged at $58,000.

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

Yearly, this medical school enrolls 507 students.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

To be admitted into this medical school, you will need an MCAT of 521, which is the average standard for this school.

To increase your chances of being admitted, you should aim for a higher grade than the one above.

University of California–San Francisco

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), which is in San Francisco, California, is a public land-grant research university.

It is part of the University of California system and is all about health science. It is one of the best medical schools in the U.S. and is a very important place for teaching and research in the fields of medicine and biology.

When it first opened in 1864, UCSF was called Toland Medical College. In 1873, it joined the University of California and became the Medical Department. In the same year, it made the California College of Pharmacy official, and in 1881, it opened a school for dentists. 

U.S. News & World Report says that UCSF’s medical school is ranked second in the country for its clinical training. The same is true for its pharmacy school and many of its nursing programs.

Since 1873, when the San Francisco General Hospital opened, UCSF faculty have treated patients and taught residents there. For more than 50 years, they have done the same at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

At the University of California-San Francisco, there are 4.1 professors for every 1 student, and there is 2,657 full-time staff at the School of Medicine.

TUITION AND FEES

The application fee at the University of California-San Francisco is $80. Full-time tuition is $37,056 (in-state) and $49,301 (out-of-state).

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The yearly enrollment at this school is pegged at 646.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

To be admitted into this medical school, you need an MCAT score of approximately 516.

Duke University

Duke University is a private university that has been around since 1838. It is in Durham, North Carolina. 

It was started in the town of Trinity by Methodists and Quakers. In 1892, the school moved to Durham. 

Its research has made the U.S. one of the best medical schools in the world. Richard Nixon, who was President of the United States from 1969 to 1974, was one of the famous people who went to the school. 

Duke University has 2.7 professors for every 1 student. There are 1,348 full-time faculty members at the School of Medicine.

TUITION AND FEES

Duke University has a $100 application fee, and it costs $63,310 to go there full-time. 

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The average enrolment each year is pegged at 507.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

The minimum MCAT score for this school is 503. But to increase your chances, a score of 517.4 is recommended.

University of Pennsylvania (Perelman)

The first medical school and school hospital in the country were both at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Today, the School of Medicine is connected to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Pennsylvania Hospital.

As being one of the best medical schools in the U.S., students can get M.D., Ph.D., M.D.-Ph.D., master’s, M.D.-master’s, or post-doctoral degrees. 

Students can get a second degree at any of Penn’s other schools, like the highly regarded Wharton School. There are also certificate programs in areas like global health, women’s health, and getting older.

Medical students learn through six different modules, which are often taught in small groups. These modules focus on how to be a good leader and work well with others as a doctor. 

Students can learn by doing in more than 50 centers and institutes or in simulation facilities like the Flyers/76ers Surgery Theatre.

Faculty and students at Penn Medicine are also often involved in the Philadelphia community. They run free health clinics, programs to raise awareness about AIDS, and more.

The school offers different ways to learn about global health, such as a Spanish immersion program in Mexico and South America. 

Students can live on the Penn campus in University City, or they can find housing in Philadelphia outside of the campus.

Michael Stuart Brown and Stanley Prusiner, who both won Nobel Prizes, went to the Penn School of Medicine. George McClellan, who started Jefferson Medical College, which is now called Thomas Jefferson University, also went to Penn School of Medicine.

At the University of Pennsylvania (Perelman), there are 4.6 professors for every 1 student. The full-time staff at the Perelman School of Medicine is 2,883.

TUITION AND FEES

The University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) application fee is $100. It costs $61,586 to go there full-time.

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The average enrollment per year is pegged at 607 students.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

The average MCAT score expected of intending students is 512, but for higher chances of entry, a score of 521.9 is advised.

Stanford University

Officially called Leland Stanford Junior University, Stanford University is a private research university in the California census-designated place of Stanford, which is close to the city of Palo Alto.

The campus is one of the largest in the United States. It is 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares) large and has more than 17,000 students. 

Stanford is known as one of the best schools in the world. As one of the best medical schools in the U.S., there are 2.3 professors for every 1 student, and there are 1,118 full-time faculty members at the School of Medicine.

TUITION AND FEES

There is a $100 fee to apply to Stanford University. It costs $63,747 to go there full-time. 

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The average enrollment for each year is pegged at 491.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

The minimum MCAT score required from interested students is 510. But to increase your admission success, an MCAT of 520 is encouraged.

The University of Washington

At the University of Washington School of Medicine, new students are split into six colleges named after natural wonders. 

These colleges are Rainier, Wind River, Denali, Big Ski, Snake River, and Columbia River. Each college has its own mentors who help students through all four years of medical school. 

Through the Medical Scientist Training Program, students can get an M.D. or a Ph.D., and about 10 students a year can get both.

Students do several six-week clerkships in Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and Idaho as part of the WWMAI program. 

This program is a partnership between the School of Medicine and nearby states. At the Western Student Medical Research Forum, students can also show what they know about the area and share their research. 

Students in the UW medical school can take part in service-learning projects like the Community Health Advancement Program (CHAP) and SPARX (Students Aiming for Rural and Underserved Experience). 

The University of Washington has 3.1 professors for every 1 student. The full-time staff at the School of Medicine is 3,359.

TUITION AND FEES

The University of Washington is one of the best medical schools in the U.S. with a $35 application fee and full-time tuition of $39,906 (in-state) and $70,569 (out-of-state).

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

Yearly enrollment at this school is pegged at 1092.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

The MCAT score for interested students is pegged at 509.

Yale University

For the first two years of school at Yale School of Medicine, students do not get grades or a class rank, and this makes it one of the best medical schools in the U.S. 

Preclinical classes are often small seminars where students don’t have to show up, and tests are optional and self-directed. This is done to get students to take responsibility for their medical school education.

Students can get two degrees through joint programs like the M.D./M.P.H. (Master of Public Health) and the M.D./M.H.S. (Master of Health Science). 

They can also get an M.D./M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management, an M.D./M. Div. from Yale Divinity School, and an M.D./J.D. from Yale Law School. An M.D./Ph.D. degree and a Physician Associate program are also available.

The Yale-New Haven Hospital is one of the institutions with which the School of Medicine is connected. 

Before they can graduate, all medical students must write a thesis based on their own research. Students can go to their personal librarian for help with research.

 Each student is given a personal librarian at the start of medical school to help them through their four years of education. And students can choose to go to school for a fifth year if they want to do more research, study, work abroad, or do all three.

Yale University has 4.2 professors for every 1 student. There are 1,703 full-time faculty members at the Yale School of Medicine.

TUITION AND FEES

Yale University has an application fee of $95, and it costs $66,160 to go there full-time. 

ENROLLMENT (FULL-TIME)

The enrollment each year at this school is 408.

MCAT TOTAL SCORE

For interested students, the MCAT score is pegged at 519.

How to get into any of the best medical schools in the U.S.

Getting into the best medical schools in the U.S. can sometimes be difficult. And this is usually because most people don’t have the secret that makes it easy.

Given below are the simplified secrets that can increase your chance of being selected. 

Step 1: 

To get into the best medical schools in the U.S., you need to get good grades and create a unique profile for your extracurricular activities.

To get past the first step when admissions committees look at your application, make sure your GPA and MCAT scores are close to the averages for the schools you want to apply to.

If you want to be safe, you should have a GPA of at least 3.9 and an MCAT score of at least 520 to be competitive at any of the top 10 medical schools.

On top of doing well in school, top medical schools in the U.S. want to see that you’ve done all the extracurricular activities that most programs require. 

But if you want to stand out as a candidate, you should choose one or two extracurricular activities that you really enjoy and do well at. To stand out, your application should have a clear theme.

Step 2

The next way to improve your chances of getting into any of the top medical schools in the U.S. is by carefully reading each medical school’s mission statement and explaining in your application how it fits with your goals.

Even though most top medical schools are seen as “the same,” you’ll still need to explain how your experiences and interests make you a great fit for that program. 

To make it easier, read each school’s website and talk to current students to find out what each program cares about in particular.

Many students think they can win over admissions committees by saying nice things about a school’s programs, location, or reputation for excellence.

This is a mistake. But schools know what they have to offer already! Instead, you should talk about yourself and why the school would be a good fit for you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What’s the hardest medical school to get into?

According to data from U.S. News, medical school acceptance rates range from about 20% at the most open schools to less than 3% at the most selective schools. 

In fall 2020, only 2.1% of people who applied to Florida State University’s medical school were accepted.

How many medical students drop out?

In the United States, on the other hand, the dropout rate from medical school has been about 3.3% for decades. This number goes up to 4.8% for programs that combine a bachelor’s degree and an MD.

How difficult is MCAT?

Experts in test prep say that the MCAT is especially hard for a number of reasons. It is very long, covers many different topics, gets into the technical details of some fields, and sometimes asks test-takers to combine knowledge from different academic fields.

What is the average age of medical school students?

The average age of a first-year medical student, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, is 24.

Do all medical students become doctors?

Even though it may be hard to believe, not all medical students go on to become practitioners.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has found that between 80 percent and 90 percent of medical students graduate.

Even more (96%) of those who finish six-year programs do so successfully.

Conclusion

Now that you know about the best medical schools in the U.S. and the secrets that can make your application stand out, you should start applying for them.

And to sound like a note of concern, you shouldn’t be discouraged when you don’t secure an admission. But with consistency, you will definitely secure one.

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