You've all heard it: The H-Bomb. It's the name you can drop and gain instant credibility. I read all these posts saying "Yeah, I'd like to stay out West, unless I hear from HMS" or "It's either my state school or Harvard." Why is Harvard in a class of its own? Are the students better? HMS's GPA and MCAT scores are comparable to the other top 10's. Even UMich, a state school, has numbers that can be confused for Harvard's. With all the qualified applicants out there, I highly doubt HMS's students are vastly superior to those at other top schools. With all the qualified applicants out there every year, I don't even know how it's possible to distinguish the cream of the crop students. Even if the faculty at Harvard are better, I can't imagine they're that much better. I doubt they've monopolized all the great instructors and Nobel Laurettes in medicine. So they're P/F. Lots of schools are P/F. So they do PBL. Lots of schools do PBL. So it's Boston. There are two other schools in Boston and plenty of other cities with comparable (and warmer) atmospheres. Is it the doors that open? The match list and the opportunity to work at MGH? However, if you want to go by US News rankings, Johns Hopkins and Mayo hospitals are superior. And I highly doubt Duke and UPenn graduates are crying about opportunities they lack that HMS kids have. I'll be honest. Harvard has a ring to it when I say it. I told myself for a long time I would definitely go to my state school, but something about HMS makes me question that if I'm fortunate enough to get accepted to Harvard. But why? Is it all in the name? To end an excessively long post, what makes Harvard...well...Harvard? Why is it that most of the people in America and most of the medical school applicants (myself included, even after everything I've written above) convinced that HMS is the best medical school in the land?