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article in Journal of AAMC discusses school ranking by US News & World Report

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AnthonyNY, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. AnthonyNY

    AnthonyNY "Ant, you're 'that guy'."
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    from the Journal "Academic Medicine"


    "Abstract:
    Rankings of American medical schools published annually by the news magazine U.S. News & World Report are widely used to judge the quality of the schools and their programs. The authors describe and then critique the rankings on methodologic and conceptual grounds, arguing that the annual U.S. News medical school evaluation falls short in both areas. Three categories of program quality indicators different from those used by U.S. News are presented as alternative ways to judge medical schools. The authors conclude that the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of American medical schools are ill-conceived; are unscientific; are conducted poorly; ignore medical school accreditation; judge medical school quality from a narrow, elitist perspective; and do not consider social and professional outcomes in program quality calculations. The medical school rankings have no practical value and fail to meet standards of journalistic ethics."
    full article can be found here: http://academicmedicine.org/pt/re/acmed/abstract.00001888-200110000-00005.htm;jsessionid=G0sTDthqgzX1HyLnKpn0KRHd51MY3hGWp3kpWlr64YvrHLxDYj8L!3145886!-949856145!8091!-1

    just thought this might be of some interest, since we use the US News & WR rankings so often in our comparisons of different medical schools.
     
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  3. Stolenspatulas

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    stating the obvious.

    i think the aamc should come up with some sort of tier system or alternate ranking system to quench the need of ranking by the general public.
     
  4. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master
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    Yah.... In primary care they rank harvard at 12 and U of Minnesota 13... haha! I wish.

    Also, there is a osteo school in the top 5? (It used to be 3rd last year)

    Thats just freaking nuts.
     
  5. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Nobody uses the primary care rankings for allo anyhow, just the research rankings.
     
  6. Dr.Inviz

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    Are you actually surprised to see an osteo school in the top 3 or 5 for PC?
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agreed. Tell us something we didn't already know.
    The rankings are flawed. But until somebody else established regularly starts putting out their own rankings on the news stands, US News will continue to be used. Criticism is worthless. The Journal of AAMC should put up or shut up.
     
  8. Dr.Inviz

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    Agreed.
     
  9. postbacker

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    Can someone wade through the article and summarize these 3 categories?
     
  10. pcguy2

    pcguy2 Minneapolis Master
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    What does research have to do with a good med school? Sigh... they need to relable the 2 sections to ... "This one matters" and "No one use this one"
     
  11. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Not a slave to USNews, but why is it surprising to see a DO school ranked high in primary care?

    When USNews starts ranking DO schools high in research, then you should be incredulous.
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    It's not surprising at all, given the criteria they are using. Especially the percentage of grads entering primary care. But if 90% of your students enter primary care that doesn't really mean they are better trained than the smaller percentage coming from a Harvard or Hopkins.

    Folks use the research rankings because at least on that list there is some correlation to notions of prestige. It is a flawed ranking, in that a school ranked 20 is probably not a better school than one ranked 30, and the difference can be that some PhD who works in a lab miles off campus and never interacts with med students got a decent grant. But until someone puts up a better ranking, the research ranking will be what is used for allo. It should be used as a very rough guideline, not a firm list of ranked best, though.
     
  13. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    i think even if a respectable organization like the aamc comes out with a more accurate tiered ranking system, usnews will still sell plenty of their crap to the cheezeheads who want to know if yale is "better" than columbia.
     
  14. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Probably, but with no competition the US News list gets taken as gospel.
     
  15. moomix906

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    can anyone who has access to the full article post it please?
     
  16. Jack Daniel

    Jack Daniel In Memory of Riley Jane
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    Agreed. Just because 90% of graduates enter primary care doesn't necessarily make one school better than another as a measure to judge PC training programs.

    However, if 90% of a school's graduates enter primary care, then most people would argue that that school's strength is not producing specialists.

    It's completely reasonable that if a school knows that 90% of its graduates enter primary care, it will focus more on the issues unique to training good PC clinicians. It's not a stretch to think that UMASS or U.Wash (both top 10 PC schools on USNEWS) could have a better training program in PC than Harvard or Johns Hopkins. I think, then, it's also not a stretch to through in a DO school.
     
  17. bioteach

    bioteach MSIV
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    Why is it "freaking nuts" to have a DO school ranked in the top five for primary care? Could you please explain yourself on that one, PCguy2? Isn't that usually their focus?????????
     
  18. Falco2525

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    The article was written in 2001...clearly it is out of date...thus USnews must be good now since they would have responded to the article and made appropriate chanages....clearly the article has done a lot of good in the discrediting of the USnews rankings....I like all knowledgable premeds believe the rankings are end all be all...ha
     
  19. Dr Who

    Dr Who Future MD...
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    I agree that certain schools like Johns Hopkins and the Ivies will pretty much always be on top, but as to most other schools I pretty much think they are more or less are at the same level in regards to quality. All US med schools are required to meet a certain level of excellence in order to achieve accreditation by the LCME. This pretty much garantees that there should not be that much difference between school number 21 and school number 125 in regards to the quality of the education you will receive.

    Now REPUTATION is a different story altogether. Certain schools enjoy such good reputations that simply graduating from said school opens up a whole lot of doors, careerwise, more easily. Other med school are not as well known, and so students competing for residencies with exactly the same grades and qualifications as a student from a more well known school might have to "stand out" a bit more. But this really applies to very competitive residencies, such as the lifestyle residencies (derm, optho, rads...) or the traditionally ultracompetitive ones (ortho, plastics...). For most less competitive residencies (IM, OB-GYN, family) it really does not make much of a difference so long as you have excellent LOR's and USMLE scores.

    The US news & world rankings should not influence your decision. Remember that the VAST majority or applicants DO NOT get into med school, not even to lesser known schools. So if you get into med school, ANY med school, be thankfull that you were chosen over many other applicants who were just as qualified as you.

    Good luck

    Dr Who
     
  20. sciencewonk

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    The article was published back in 2001. Not that it lacks relevance, but it is a bit dated.
     

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