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Stupid question about rankings

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pbehzad, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. pbehzad

    pbehzad Faddayy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    Atl and soon to be OKC
    i know rankings really dont matter all that much unless its a top 10 school, but i was wondering when us news divides the med schools rankings between research schools and primary care schools, are the primary care schools referring to primary care practice (and just general practice medicine) or do they mean more patient oriented learning? i was just wondering what exactly is the primary care rankings?
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  3. Mr. H

    Mr. H 7+ Year Member

    Dec 11, 2001
    actually rank means much in at least the top 20.
  4. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Dec 7, 2001
    I just don't know. My medical school isn't even ranked, but I like it well enough.

    Without flaming anybody, or being sarcastic, I would honestly like to know how medical schools are ranked, who ranks them, and how the ranking will affect a) getting a particular residency and b) post-residency salary.

    I can understand if it is just a "prestige thing," like driving a Lexus instead of an Audi.
  5. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2001
    I think that your medical school alumni status will be important in a couple of scenarios. First if you want to go into academic medicine and do research, going to a ranked school will be important. Academics love the pedigree as a measure of their ego.

    I think that a competitive residency will be enhanced by what school you go to. Just like undergrad, there is a perception, right or wrong, that Harvard students are smarter, even if their stats do not support that.

    Finally, if you wanted to be a chief of medicine, or chief of a medical division, going to a ranked school will help.

    That being said, it really doesn't matter to me, since I do not desire any of the above, except I would like to be able to choose a residency based on what I want to do, rather than who will admit me into their program.

    Finally, your patients won't care where you went to med school. Going to a ranked one will only impress your physician colleagues.
  6. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    The methodology for the U.S. News rankings are posted on their website (link).

    The primary care rankings are assessed in categories including:

    Peer assessment (medical school deans and residency directors assessing quality of the program);
    Percentage of graduates going into primary care residencies (family practice, internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics);
    Student selectivity (MCAT score and GPA of entering students); and
    Faculty to student ratio.

    The main difference between the primary care rankings and the research rankings is that instead of using the amount of research dollars as a factor in the ranking, they use the percentage of graduates going into primary care specialties.

    Interpreting these rankings is difficult, but, they can be helpful if the factors presented are important to you when choosing your medical school.
  7. 8744

    8744 Guest

    Dec 7, 2001

    Those were both clear and well phrased answers, and I appreciate the lack of flaming.
  8. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    The US News rankings should always be taken with a huge grain of salt.

    As bad as the methodology for the "research rankings" is, the primary care rankings are probably even more of an insignificant way to categorize schools. To my knowledge, they do not take into account whether students who go the internal medicine route end up doing a fellowship and subspecializing (i.e. GI, plum, cardio, etc). So a school that graduates many students into "primary care" may in fact have an inflated rating.

    Also, why is psychiatry considered "primary care"?

    Why not use things like:
    amount of early primary care clinical exposure, curriculum time devoted to learning primary care principles, family practice rotations/sub-Is available during 3rd and 4th year, and other measures that more directly assess the primary care education?
  9. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2001
    I disagree that the US News rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. It gives a good prospective on which medical schools are perceived as being elite. They really care about this stuff in academics. What should be taken with a grain of salt is small differences in the rankings. If Hopkins is #1, Harvard #2, and Wash U #3 (I don't really know what the rankings), they are approximately equivalent in academic reputation. I would not go to Hopkins over Wash U solely based on the different rankings. But comparing a #1 school to a #15 school is something different.

    Vader, point well taken about subspecialities. I do not believe those are taken into account. However, if you look at the schools in the list, most of them do focus on primary care as a philsophy. Besides, I think that ranking is essentially useless, since most of the schools listed are state schools and are difficult to get in if you are not a resident. The only school that matters on that list is your own state school.

    Psychiatry is considered primary care, because the federal government body, Heath and Human Services, considers it primary care. I don't know why the feds consider it primary care, though.

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