US News is indeed releasing their 2023-2024 medical school rankings even with the ongoing ‘rankings boycott’ from many of the ranked schools. While the rankings will not be officially released until April 18, a preview has been published.
With the increased emphasis on NIH grant awards, Johns Hopkins was able to climb into the top spot. Rounding out the top five were Penn Pereleman (second), Harvard (third), and UCSF and WUSTL tied at fourth.
US News dropped some of the weight previously given to GPA and MCAT scores. Since all the top schools have similar GPAs and MCAT scores, this shouldn’t have had much of an effect on the rankings. If it helps encourage more diversity in the applicant pool, then the purpose behind the change clearly succeeded.
The addition of NIH grant awards as a “measure of research quality” is significant as NIH grant awards vacillate significantly from year to year. This could produce some rankings changes from year to year that, hopefully, won’t unduly impact applicants’ medical school selection decisions. Additionally, the schools already place great importance on NIH grant awards so this rankings methodology change should not significantly impact any school’s behavior.
As always, we hope it goes without saying to take any and all rankings with a proverbial ‘grain of salt.’ Instead, stay focused on finding your best-fit school. That is where you are going to learn the most and perform your best and that is what is ultimately going to best help you achieve your particular medical career goals!