Stanford, Columbia, Penn Medical Schools Expand the Exodus From U.S. News Ranking

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Stanford Medical School Dean Lloyd Minor said in a message Monday that the school’s leaders held extensive deliberations on the issue. “Ultimately, we believe that the methodology, as it stands, does not capture the full extent of what makes for an exceptional learning environment,” he said.

Columbia notified its medical school students and faculty of its decision on Friday. Dean Katrina Armstrong said the rankings focus too much on standardized test scores, reputation and institutional wealth.

“The USNWR medical school rankings perpetuate a narrow and elitist perspective on medical education,” she said.

J. Larry Jameson, dean of Penn’s medical school, also said the rankings’ approach is too narrow and subjective.

“We reached the decision to end our participation not because of concerns that these rankings are sometimes based on data that can be inaccurate or misleading, but because the rankings measure the wrong things. The USNWR rankings perpetuate a vision for medical education and the future physician and scientist workforce that we do not share,” Dr. Jameson said.
 
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I can see it now; my school will issue a press release reporting that it has climbed 4 places in the rankings, before the rankings even come out. :eyebrow:
 
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I can see it now; my school will issue a press release reporting that it has climbed 4 places in the rankings, before the rankings even come out. :eyebrow:
“Don't reach for the halo too soon. You have plenty of time to enjoy yourself, even a little maliciously sometimes, before you settle down to being a saint.”
― Ellis Peters, Monk's Hood
 
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“Don't reach for the halo too soon. You have plenty of time to enjoy yourself, even a little maliciously sometimes, before you settle down to being a saint.”
― Ellis Peters, Monk's Hood

One of my favorite authors!

And that howl you hear off in the background is the wailing and gnashing of teeth of elitist hyper-achievers who measured their self-worth by acceptance to these schools.
 
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Any thoughts on what changes in the admissions practices of schools who ditch the USNWR?
 
I suppose they will de-emphasize stats.
I missed the mark by applying this cycle then, as someone with mediocre MCAT (relative to the top echelon) but an excellent holistic application. I think it represents a trend with Step 1 going pass/fail to emphasize a more holistic practitioner of medicine—someone dedicated to their community and research—which I appreciate, as someone driven by his passions and not so much by maximizing points on tests. Still, although I deprioritized it myself, I think the MCAT is important. After all, it tests decision making, planning, and critical thinking—and offers an opportunity for students who didn’t have the resources for a holistic application. I had a thousand something volunteer hours in undergrad, which wouldn’t be possible without coming from a relatively affluent family. I worry that de-emphasizing stats would just make the application process more opaque and do the opposite of bring equality. After all, the most impressive holistic applications have access to opportunities and resources. Generally, that’s associated with wealth.

In any case, I think it’s a sham. Prestigious schools pull out of USNews to avoid a third-party policing them. It’s a business decision, not a social justice one. Maybe it will result in a better medical field. Or maybe it’ll entrench the problems of disconnected ivory tower classism.

🤷🏾
 
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I missed the mark by applying this cycle then, as someone with mediocre MCAT (relative to the top echelon) but an excellent holistic application. I think it represents a trend with Step 1 going pass/fail to emphasize a more holistic practitioner of medicine—someone dedicated to their community and research—which I appreciate, as someone driven by his passions and not so much by maximizing points on tests. Still, although I deprioritized it myself, I think the MCAT is important. After all, it tests decision making, planning, and critical thinking—and offers an opportunity for students who didn’t have the resources for a holistic application. I had a thousand something volunteer hours in undergrad, which wouldn’t be possible without coming from a relatively affluent family. I worry that de-emphasizing stats would just make the application process more opaque and do the opposite of bring equality. After all, the most impressive holistic applications have access to opportunities and resources. Generally, that’s associated with wealth.

In any case, I think it’s a sham. Prestigious schools pull out of USNews to avoid a third-party policing them. It’s a business decision, not a social justice one. Maybe it will result in a better medical field. Or maybe it’ll entrench the problems of disconnected ivory tower classism.

🤷🏾
A good clinician needs to have a good fund of knowledge and strong willingness to help others. I don't think we should de-emphasize either of them. The problem here is that a good fund of knowledge can be quantified but strong willingness to help others can't. So you basically are left with a classic conundrum of not being able to combine two sets of variables due to incongruity of measurement. I guess at the of the day, they decide to choose the latter at the expense of the former. Very soon, you will end up with doctors who are so compassionate but so lacking in their fundamental knowledge of what medicine really is really about.
 
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A good clinician needs to have a good fund of knowledge and strong willingness to help others. I don't think we should de-emphasize either of them. The problem here is that a good fund of knowledge can be quantified but strong willingness to help others can't. So you basically are left with a classic conundrum of not being able to combine two sets of variables due to incongruity of measurement. I guess at the of the day, they decide to choose the latter at the expense of the former. Very soon, you will end up with doctors who are so compassionate but so lacking in their fundamental knowledge of what medicine really is really about.
Isn’t compassion what medicine is really about? I doubt that someone with a 526 is necessarily going to know so much more and improve the outcomes of their patients so much more than someone with a 515. But I bet someone with a 515 with years of serving their underfunded community with empathy will make a better doctor. After all, a doctor can know everything but if he can’t communicate his knowledge effectively to his or her patients, it’s going to mean jack. I think, additionally, with the emergence of general artificial intelligence in the coming decades, the less quantifiable measures of what makes a good doctor takes precedence. When a machine can diagnose as effectively as a doctor can, the purpose of the role will change. Maybe for the better. The thing that drew me to medicine, after all, is that it’s more than just cold science.
 
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Isn’t compassion what medicine is really about? I doubt that someone with a 526 is necessarily going to know so much more and improve the outcomes of their patients so much more than someone with a 515. But I bet someone with a 515 with years of serving their underfunded community with empathy will make a better doctor. After all, a doctor can know everything but if he can’t communicate his knowledge effectively to his or her patients, it’s going to mean jack. I think, additionally, with the emergence of general artificial intelligence in the coming decades, the less quantifiable measures of what makes a good doctor takes precedence. When a machine can diagnose as effectively as a doctor can, the purpose of the role will change. Maybe for the better. The thing that drew me to medicine, after all, is that it’s more than just cold science.
It's really about the ability to retain information (MCAT is basically a test of memory retention and retrieval). As I said, I think both are indispensable qualities, compassion and knowledge.
 
Any thoughts on what changes in the admissions practices of schools who ditch the USNWR?
Can't imagine that it will have any effect. These are the Top Schools in the US, after all, and there's not a shortage of top students, either.

There may be some driven by prestige who will turn them down because they view going to a "Top 5" school as a measure of their humanity.

Would they seriously jettison stats? Doubt it, but let's say that they did, and they fill Classes with volunteer-rich altruistic students with 505 MCATs and 3.35 GPAs. Those students will be fine, although they may have to work at med schools harder. Big deal with a increasingly common P/F grading environment for the pre-clinical years, right? :)

We in medical education know that one doesn't need a 3.9/520+ to be a great doctor. All it means is that their recall, or "firepower" is faster.
 
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Any thoughts on what changes in the admissions practices of schools who ditch the USNWR?
There will be no significant changes unless they adopt PREview or Casper, but that is unrelated to USNWR.

A reminder to everyone: the EAM holistic review model still puts metrics at the center. We look at the metrics in the context of experiences and attributes to inform us on one's competencies. But metrics are still something to focus on.
 
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There will be no significant changes unless they adopt PREview or Casper, but that is unrelated to USNWR.

A reminder to everyone: the EAM holistic review model still puts metrics at the center. We look at the metrics in the context of experiences and attributes to inform us on one's competencies. But metrics are still something to focus on.
@Mr.Smile12 This makes sense to me. I find it interesting that there seems to be a prevailing “wisdom” that the 526ers aren’t compassionate or altruistic. Is it really that binary? Really smart= bad people skills?? I suspect that the bad people skills are distributed rather evenly…. But just my opinion - what happens in real life admissions??
 
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@Mr.Smile12 This makes sense to me. I find it interesting that there seems to be a prevailing “wisdom” that the 526ers aren’t compassionate or altruistic. Is it really that binary? Really smart= bad people skills?? I suspect that the bad people skills are distributed rather evenly…. But just my opinion - what happens in real life admissions??
I suspect that this faulty association is a remnant of bad faculty experiences with their peers when they were students. Or as faculty teaching students. Very bad sampling bias. (Noting that in "our day" they were just 36ers.)

Granted I don't remember any scientific study about this.
 
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After all, the most impressive holistic applications have access to opportunities and resources. Generally, that’s associated with wealth.


🤷🏾
Not so in my experience. One of the most impressive applicants I can recall was born to a teen mom, joined the military out of HS, had nearly a 4.0 in engineering from a service academy, successful completion of the years of service required after graduation and a respectable but not overly impressive MCAT. Got admitted to every school that interviewed him including some of the most coveted in the country.

It doesn't cost anything (but the opportunity cost) to join Vista Volunteers, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, City Year, Peace Corps, US military.

Most of the "holistic applications" come from people who have worked and struggled to make a living and who are non-trad career changers or people who started far behind the starting line that the rest of us were born on.
 
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I think this is kinda goofy, yes reducing medical schools to a simple number is reductionist. us news changes it’s methodology constantly and maybe sitting down with them and agreeing to a useful metric to compete on would be a more productive use of everyone’s time. Maybe student surveys of overall satisfaction with the education? This is just the schools that can afford it not wanting to compete. Not good for applicants, now they have to suck up to schools more like they’re the ✨only✨school✨for✨them when we all know that’s BS. Successful students will succeed anywhere.

Although the legal argument to not make all this info public is compelling.
 
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@Mr.Smile12 This makes sense to me. I find it interesting that there seems to be a prevailing “wisdom” that the 526ers aren’t compassionate or altruistic. Is it really that binary? Really smart= bad people skills?? I suspect that the bad people skills are distributed rather evenly…. But just my opinion - what happens in real life admissions??
What happens in real life admissions is that people with the highest metrics get admitted at the highest rate. Just look at Table A-23. Applicants with MCAT scores >517 and GPAs >3.79 have an admission rate of 83.2%, more than twice the overall rate of 41.2%.
 
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I can see it now; my school will issue a press release reporting that it has climbed 4 places in the rankings, before the rankings even come out.
NYU, JHU, and UCSF be like:
1674620654801.png
 
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Not so in my experience. One of the most impressive applicants I can recall was born to a teen mom, joined the military out of HS, had nearly a 4.0 in engineering from a service academy, successful completion of the years of service required after graduation and a respectable but not overly impressive MCAT. Got admitted to every school that interviewed him including some of the most coveted in the country.

It doesn't cost anything (but the opportunity cost) to join Vista Volunteers, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, City Year, Peace Corps, US military.

Most of the "holistic applications" come from people who have worked and struggled to make a living and who are non-trad career changers or people who started far behind the starting line that the rest of us were born on.
I see. It seems like the people that win in this are nontraditionals versus traditional students who have more amazing stories to tell, which honestly sounds like a win. Best doctors I ever had were ex-military or had a career beforehand (one was even a folk poet for ten years in Europe).
 
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These schools are soooo good…they’re even above the ranking.

SGU… waiting to be T20.
 
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Michigan recently sent out a survey to students and faculty asking if the medical school should withdraw from rankings as well.
 
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These schools are soooo good…they’re even above the ranking.
To your point, if the rankings do fully collapse, it's not going to change Harvard, Penn, Stanford, Columbia, etc. Those places can coast on their existing status and achievements in perpetuity.

It will probably be the mid-tier schools who are actively fighting to climb the ladder, and the low-tier schools who are trying to get a foothold, that will be most impacted (read liberated).
 
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To your point, if the rankings do fully collapse, it's not going to change Harvard, Penn, Stanford, Columbia, etc. Those places can coast on their existing status and achievements in perpetuity.

It will probably be the mid-tier schools who are actively fighting to climb the ladder, and the low-tier schools who are trying to get a foothold, that will be most impacted (read liberated).
Oh, I know :) HMS will always have a good rep.
 
Way to go, Harvard, Penn, Columbia etc. This is the best way to prepare for the pending Supreme Court verdict on Harvard, UNC cases. To continue with what they are doing, either they have to get rid off the MCAT scores completely or withhold the admissions statistics , especially mcat from the public. These schools seem to take the later approach. That’s exactly why they attack USNEWS for giving weight for THE ONLY OBJECTIVE STANDARDIZED CRITERIA and cite it as the reason. I expect a lot more top schools to follow. If Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, these schools will stop publishing the average gpa and mcat scores of the accepted students. They will force aamc to remove that information from MSAR as well.

Edit: US News is giving only 20% (research model) and 15% (primary care model) weight for the mcat, gpa and selectivity. Still these top schools cry in unison that it is too high and they have to leave immediately. Definitely they are gearing up for the Supreme Court verdict
 
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Way to go, Harvard, Penn, Columbia etc. This is the best way to prepare for the pending Supreme Court verdict on Harvard, UNC cases. To continue with what they are doing, either they have to get rid off the MCAT scores completely or withhold the admissions statistics , especially mcat from the public. These schools seem to take the later approach. That’s exactly why they attack USNEWS for giving weight for THE ONLY OBJECTIVE STANDARDIZED CRITERIA and cite it as the reason. I expect a lot more top schools to follow. If Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, these schools will stop publishing the average gpa and mcat scores of the accepted students. They will force aamc to remove that information from MSAR as well,

I could see schools advertising a laughably low minimum score for admission (3.0/500) and furthermore saying that holistic review will be made.

If MCAT scores were the only driver then 100% of the >520s would be admitted and we know that is not the case.
 
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I actually think this decision has very little to do with stats and more to do with the other silly things that go into the rankings, like NIH funding. While the HMS/JHU/Penn/etc of the world is always going to have an overwhelming war chest of NIH funding, the gaming of the system that low and mid tier schools do to enhance their apparent research prowess to artificially affect the rankings has absolutely no impact in general on the quality of student education (or research opportunity, for that matter). More than anything, I think this is correcting a misconception that schools can be ranked. Nobody needs to tell you that HMS and Hopkins and those ivory tower schools are elite, but we live in a world where a student will choose to go to one school over another because one is ranked 18 and the other is, say, 29... and there realistically is no legitimate reason to say that difference in ranking has anything to do with how good the schools are or how well they would fit for that specific student.

Stats still correlate well (or at least better than anything else) with a student being able to handle the academic rigor of medical school, and will undoubtedly remain an important metric for admission. Plus the data will still presumably remain available through MSAR to show which schools are attracting the students with the highest stats.
 
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I have a serious question: Is it possible that these schools could possibly change their mind in the future. Could they try to get back into the rankings in the future? Has that even happened before. Or is this a permanent decision.
 
I have a serious question: Is it possible that these schools could possibly change their mind in the future. Could they try to get back into the rankings in the future? Has that even happened before. Or is this a permanent decision.
I have no doubt that the USNWR would happily start including HMS/JHU/etc in their rankings again. Right now this is a dumpster fire for USNWR that shines a very harsh light on the questions underlying the legitimacy of the rankings that have existed for a long time. The real question is what would incentivize these schools to return to the rankings. These top schools finally realized that the rankings need them more than they need the rankings; if your rankings don't have any of HMS, Stanford, Penn or Columbia in the top 10, well, your rankings are wrong.
 
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I have a serious question: Is it possible that these schools could possibly change their mind in the future. Could they try to get back into the rankings in the future? Has that even happened before. Or is this a permanent decision.
Jim Carrey Chance GIF


Just noting the rankings will be totally revamped or different. Alternatively, they could follow the college football model and generate their own "ranking". (See super-conferences in football.) It's all up to the advertising dollars that benefit USNWR and the PR departments of the respective universities.

I've wondered why the prof school rankings don't follow some of the university categories, like "best value". Maybe that's where we're headed with then.

As I mentioned, the dental schools have not participated in these rankings, ever.
 
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I think USN will continue to rank schools using publicly available information. That's what USN is doing in the law school world where even more programs have withdrawn and this "trend" started in November.

It will continue to sell its "rankings," and schools and applicants will continue to discuss rankings. Schools that like them will brag about them. Applicants will talk about "top-X" programs.

I'm not advocating this outcome, but that's what I think is going to happen going forward. IOW, this is not the heavenly beginning of a ranking-less world.
 
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Add WashU and UW

Also heard that Michigan community advocated strongly for leaving the rankings

^Add UChicago and Duke
 
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This is all just to look trendy and cool. And here’s how I am going to prove it:

1) USWNR rankings have ALWAYS been elitist and flawed. This isn’t a new, recent thing.

2) Many top schools proudly bragged about their rankings in the past years on their websites. I forgot which school it was, but several years ago I read “our medical institution was ranked #7 in the United States” on a school’s admission page

3) It’s not a coincidence that Harvard does it and then a handful of other schools do it within the same month

This is just like most men at feminist rallies. They don’t actually care about women’s issues. They just think it’s a cool trend to be a man who is a feminist.
 
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Weill Cornell. Curious why Brown and Dartmouth haven’t dropped out yet.
 
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This is all just to look trendy and cool. And here’s how I am going to prove it:

1) USWNR rankings have ALWAYS been elitist and flawed. This isn’t a new, recent thing.

2) Many top schools proudly bragged about their rankings in the past years on their websites. I forgot which school it was, but several years ago I read “our medical institution was ranked #7 in the United States” on a school’s admission page

3) It’s not a coincidence that Harvard does it and then a handful of other schools do it within the same month

This is just like most men at feminist rallies. They don’t actually care about women’s issues. They just think it’s a cool trend to be a man who is a feminist.
Exactly. It has zero impact on the medical world. People will still try to get into the top schools and top schools will still send people to top residencies and top residencies will still send graduates to top academic centers. It's this fake wokism. But at the end of the day, they just pay lip service to DEI and what they want really is attract donors to give them more money and DEI is a good marketing strategy now.
 
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Looking over the methodologies, it is interesting to note that MCAT, GPA, full time Faculty number, acceptance rate, federal research dollars and Peer Assessment can all be obtained one way or another without school's cooperation. However two metrics absolutely require schools' cooperation. and they are....

Medical school graduates practicing in primary care specialties (0.30): This indicator measures the proportion of a medical school's 2013-2015 graduates who are practicing in a primary care specialty as of 2021. It's a fuller measure of a schools' imprint in primary care than exclusively assessing the proportion of graduates in primary care residencies. U.S. News worked with the Robert Graham Center – a division of the American Academy of Family Physicians – as the data provider for this indicator.

Medical school graduates into primary care residencies (0.10): The percentages of a school's M.D. or D.O. graduates entering primary care residencies in the fields of family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine were averaged over 2019, 2020 and 2021.

And they are only used to rank schools for primary care rankings. So basically all those elite schools are balking at their low primary care rankings and by withdrawing from US News, they are essentially unranked for primary care. Lol. It's really funny.

In other words, by withdrawing from the rankings, they will still be ranked high on research but unranked in primary care. This makes their arguments that the rankings demote DEI very spurious.
 
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This is just like most men at feminist rallies. They don’t actually care about women’s issues. They just think it’s a cool trend to be a man who is a feminist.
True. Real men are incapable of expressing support for other humans.

Real men also spend A LOT of time on 4chan, if you know what I mean.
 
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True. Real men are incapable of expressing support for other humans.

Real men also spend A LOT of time on 4chan, if you know what I mean.
This makes me so furious now. I know it's a joke, but still... I'm so sick of this "Good ol' boy" club thing.
 
Let's see if this movement will extend to the hospital and specialty rankings. 🎯
Unfortunately no. While school rankings depend greatly on institution reporting/participation, USNWR hospital rankings are largely derived from CMS data and require very little active consent/engagement from the hospitals themselves.

I will also add that just because they are from CMS data doesn't actually make them any more valid. Hospital ranking composite scores are 30% structure (what stuff/staff does your hospital have?), 37.5% survival/discharge home, 27.5% reputation score (doximity survey for those in your specialty), and 5% patient experience. That's for the "data driven" specialties, where there is actually outcome metrics from CMS. Some specialtie are reputation only (100% of score). All the specialty rankings give you a certain number of honor points, which get added together to form the overall honor roll rankings. As someone who has some familiarity, their actual models are just as terrible as you'd imagine and everyone is forced to "play the game" since the "rank list" mentality of where to go applies to both patients and faculty/trainee recruitment as it's just human nature.
 
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