Best Medical Schools In Tennessee: How To Get In

US News & World Report says that all of the programs offered by medical schools in Tennessee are among the best in the country. 

All of them have a reputation for training the best doctors who are not only very good at their specialties but also want to help people. 

Many people who need medical care but can’t get it live in the state of Tennessee. Luckily, the state is also home to some of the best medical institutions, research centers, and medical training programs in the country. 

In particular, the schools have a strong commitment to training doctors who are willing to work in rural and underserved areas.

And whether you choose to study at a large academic medical school like Vanderbilt University or at a school focused on preventive care like Lincoln Memorial University–DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, you are likely to find at least one Tennessee medical school that fits your own interests and goals.

And all the vital information that you will need about the medical schools in Tennessee will be provided in this article. 

The merits and demerits of living in Tennessee

Before enrolling in the best medical schools in Tennessee, it would be in your best interest to see if you will enjoy living in the state.

Given below are the pros and cons of living in the state of Tennessee.

Pros of being around medical schools in Tennessee

1. Cost of living is low

Tennessee has a cost of living that is about 12% less than the average for all states in the U.S. Cost savings come from things like groceries, utilities, and getting around.

But Tennessee really shines when it comes to how much homes cost. The average home in the state costs almost 30% less than the average home in the rest of the country.

2. Taxes on property that are fair

Whether or not you own a home and pay direct property taxes. Whether you own your home or rent, you still have to pay property taxes. No matter what happens.

And when it comes to property taxes, living in Tennessee will help your cash flow. Because Tennessee is one of the 10 states with the lowest property taxes on a home priced in the middle.

3. No tax on income

This part should interest you. As a student, you won’t be making a bad financial decision by moving to Tennessee when it comes to income taxes.

That’s because there is no income tax in Tennessee. Zero, to be exact. Tennessee is one of only eight U.S. states that does not have an income tax.

Do you want to earn as much money as possible? If so, Tennessee won’t take any of it.

It is difficult enough to be in medical school, and still have to work. But what about working and not being taxed for it?.

4. Scholarship program called Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise is a program that gives college scholarships and pairs students with mentors. 

Its goal is to increase the number of students in the state who go to college and help them do well in school.

Students who want to go to community college can get a last-dollar scholarship through the program. 

This means that the scholarship will pay for tuition and fees that aren’t paid for by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or funds from the state.

Another part of Tennessee Promise is that each qualified student will have their own mentor to help them. 

The mentor’s job is to help the student through the process of getting into college. and getting used to college life.

When money is tight for the family. A great choice is a community college that is free. Get your general college credits for the first year or two for free.

5. There are many ways to have fun

Tennessee has a little something for everyone when it comes to having fun. Like the many fun things you can do when you live in Florida.

Tennessee is known for its beautiful scenery and land. If you live in Tennessee, you can check out a lot of caves. 

Some of the places you can go are free. While those that charge for tours are worth it because they teach you something.

Do you like how the trees change color in the fall? Fall is the best time of year to see the beautiful colors of the leaves in Tennessee.

6. Easy winter weather

During the dead of winter, highs usually reach the 50s. And it gets down to about freezing at night.

Also, there is not much snow. Except when you get close to the Appalachians, in the state’s eastern part.

Cons of being around medical schools in Tennessee

1. Summer heat and humidity are hard to deal with

Pros and cons are not mutually exclusive, especially for you who want to attend the best medical schools in Tennessee. Summers are hot and humid while winters are mild.

So, if you are thinking about moving to Tennessee, think about the pros and cons. Think about how you will stay cool during the summer.

But you should know that it’s not too different from other places in the central and southern U.S. Because Oklahoma and Arkansas, which are states to the west, also have hot summers.

2. A propensity for bad weather

There is often bad weather in some parts of Tennessee. It is in a part of the United States where hot weather from the South can mix with cold weather from the North.

When strong thunderstorms happen, hail, and what’s left of hurricanes could pour all over Tennessee. 

Also, tornadoes are common in the middle of the state. Here’s the bottom line. Make sure you’re covered by good insurance.

3. Some places have a lot of crime

It’s hard to say something about the whole state of Tennessee that applies to both the pros and cons.

There are some very safe places in Tennessee. While crime rates are especially high in some parts of the Memphis metropolitan area.

Overall, statistics show that both violent crime and property crime are more common in Tennessee than in the rest of the country. Like Missouri, which is next to it to the northwest.

But don’t let this stop you from thinking about why you might want to move to Tennessee.

Just be picky about where you live and the neighborhood you live in. 

And be sure to do your due diligence. Since Chattanooga will be safer than a bigger city. Rather than the bigger cities, like Memphis.

Best medical schools in Tennessee

1. East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine

As one of the best medical schools in Tennessee, this school is ranked No. 95-124 in the state. It is a top medical school for training in rural medicine, primary care, and family medicine.

The medical school just started a new curriculum called TRAILS (Team-Based Rural Applied Integrated Learning System). It will be phased in starting in July 2022. 

This program has an 18-month pre-clerkship phase, then six weeks of dedicated USMLE Step 1 study time, 12 months of core clerkship rotations, and 14 months of senior electives and dedicated USMLE Step 2 study time.

The school is especially proud of how easy it is to get in touch with teachers; the ratio of students to teachers is one to one. 

There is also a Rural Primary Care track at the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine. 

This is a four-year community-based program that puts a lot of emphasis on getting a lot of experience with rural and community medicine.

If you are an out-of-state student, you will pay a tuition fee of $44,862 annually. While in-state students will pay $35,012.

The MCAT and GPA required for this school are 509, and 3.79

2. Lincoln Memorial University–DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM)

LMU-DCOM is in the college town of Harrogate, and the Cumberland Gap mountains are close by, giving students the chance to spend a lot of time outside. 

The curriculum at LMU-DCOM focuses on osteopathic and preventive medicine. Students will follow a traditional curriculum that includes two years of preclinical coursework and two years of clinical rotations. 

During their third and fourth years of medical school, students will be sent to rotation sites all over the country, including here in Tennessee and in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, and Ohio, among others.

If they are chosen for the Anatomy/Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) scholars program, they will also have the chance to get paid while gaining teaching and leadership experience. 

When they are seniors in medical school, they will teach anatomy and OPP to younger medical students.

It is ranked as one of the best medical schools in Tennessee at No. 25-194 in the state. The tuition in the school is pegged at $53,200 for both in-state and out-of-state students.

To be admitted into this school, you need a GPA of 3.4, and an MCAT of 501.

3. Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical College is one of the three historically Black colleges and universities in the United States that offer medical degrees. 

It has a long history of training health care workers to address health care disparities and care for people who are on the margins of society in Nashville and the communities around it. 

When choosing people to go to medical school, the institution puts a lot of emphasis on diversity and inclusion. It also wants to train the next generation of Black clinician leaders.

In 2018, Meharry made a new course called Next S.T.E.P. and put it on the market (Successfully Trained Equipped Physicians). The new curriculum for medical school is based on clinical cases and presentations based on diagnoses. 

It also uses active learning and learning in teams. Notably, about 90% of Meharry Medical College students qualify for either financial aid or institution-funded scholarships that help them pay for school.

If you intend to go to this medical school, then you need annual tuition and fee of $57,243 (in-state and out-of-state). Then the MCAT and GPA requirement is 503 and 3.46 respectively.

4. University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine

There are campuses in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville that are part of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine. 

In this school, students will follow a traditional course of study, which includes two years of preclinical classes, two years of clinical rotations, and time set aside to study for the USMLE and work on scholarly projects.

The medical school puts a lot of effort into training the next generation of doctors to work in Tennessee. 

More than 90% of the first-year class are from Tennessee. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine’s extracurricular activities show how much they want to help the people of Tennessee. 

For example, students will have the chance to volunteer with CHEER, which stands for the Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment, and Research. 

CHEER is a community-based research group that looks into ways to improve the health of people in Memphis and the Mississippi Delta.

As one of the best medical schools in Tennessee, it is ranked N0. 68 in the state. The tuition and annual fee at this school is $36,095 for in-state students and $53,379 for out-of-state students.

To be admitted into this medical school, you need an MCAT of 513, and a GPA of 3.9.

5. Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is a medical school that is known all over the world. 

It is in the middle of Nashville. Here, students will go through a 13-month accelerated pre-clinical program before starting their clinical rotations early in the second year of medical school. 

This gives Vanderbilt medical students the chance to explore their clinical and broader client’s integrity during their third and fourth years of school, which is called the Immersion Phase. 

During this time, students design their own schedules to include a mix of clinical electives, research opportunities, and extra classes in medical ethics, healthcare systems, and global health.

Medical students at Vanderbilt will also be put in Colleges and Learning Communities to get to know their peers and mentors better. 

Students are split into four groups called “Colleges.” These groups get together for events that focus on health, social life, and careers. 

Students are also put into groups of 24 medical students and two faculty mentors called “Learning Communities,” where they can talk about hard personal and professional experiences, professionalism, and empathy.

Being one of the best medical schools in Tennessee, it is ranked No. 13 in the state. Also, when admitted you will pay annual tuition of $65,166.

To be accepted into this school, you also need an MCAT of 521, and a GPA of 3.95.

Selection factors for medical schools in Tennessee

Each school year, which starts in August, the medical schools in Tennessee choose one class. There are no more than 170 new students in each class. 

In order to get into the College of Medicine, applicants must also be citizens or permanent residents of the United States at the time they apply. 

Since qualified Tennesseans are given priority over qualified people from other states, out-of-state applicants must have better qualifications to be considered for admission. Non-Tennesseans, including the non-resident children of alumni, can make up no more than ten (10) percent of the incoming class. 

Each applicant is judged based on their undergraduate and/or graduate academic record and the courses they took before applying.

Interviews, the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), pre-professional tests, and other recommendations

The student’s overall academic performance is given a critical review, and the course load, performance trends, and general commitment to scholarship are all taken into account. With very few exceptions, most educational expectations must be met by getting a bachelor’s degree. 

Acceptances will be given based on all of the criteria, and none of them is more important than the others (e.g., performance at interview; results of the MCAT and academic performance, etc.).

Admissions counseling is given to prospective students after the cycle. So, only the prospective student will be able to talk about their credentials or the status of their application. Follow this link to find out more about advising.

1. Personal traits and motivation

The applicant’s interest in and drive to become a doctor are important parts of the decision to let them in. 

Members of the Committee on Admissions invite some applicants to interviews to find out how motivated they are and what kind of person they are. 

The Committee looks at both academic performance and MCAT scores to decide who will be asked to interview. 

The personal statement on the application and the recommendations sent on the candidates’ behalf show more about their values and what drives them. 

Either a recommendation from the official pre-professional Advisory Committee (if there is one) or three letters of recommendation from faculty are needed. You should send no more than three (3) more letters of recommendation.

2. Medical Experience

The Committee of Admissions thinks it’s important for prospective students to learn more about medicine by getting direct, patient-focused clinical experience. 

This is often done by shadowing a doctor, doing volunteer medical work, or taking advantage of other medical/clinical opportunities.


The medical schools in Tennessee are a great option for anyone who is desirous of being a good medical doctor.

Now that you know about them, what they offer, and their requirements, you can start making your plans, so that you will be admitted to the next class.

Frequently asked questions about the best medical schools in Tennessee

What is the number 1 medical school in Tennessee?

The number 1 medical school in Tennessee is the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt (Nashville, TN)

What GPA do you need for med school?

The GPA you need for med school is a GPA of at least 3.5.

How long does it take to become a doctor in Tennessee?

The MD program takes four years, and the first two years are mostly spent on pre-clinical science classes. The third and fourth years are mostly spent doing clinical work.

Is Meharry Medical College hard to get into?

With only 1.61 percent of applicants getting in, it is hard to get into this medical school. 

What GPA do you need to get into UTC?

You need a GPA of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 in high school and a 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT to get into UTC.

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