Top Ten Medical Schools

These are the top ten medical schools that are consistently rated as leaders in medical education and health care. Specifically there are the top 10 medical schools for research. 

Before diving into the top ranked medical schools let's briefly consider what factors were used in deciding which institutions made the cut.

Research institutions as the name implies are research powerhouses, where they lead innovation across all areas of medicine. But simply having research doesn't automatically put your medical school at the forefront because the selectivity of students is a key factor. 

Selection criteria for medical school applicants is mainly measured by:

MCAT score


Other factors to consider in the rankings would include the acceptance rate along with the faculty to student ratio. However, in all my time working with premed students and even when I was applying to medical school I never once considered the faculty to student ration in making my medical school application decision. 

Medical students are mainly concerned with getting into a prestigious medical school and from there excelling in their courses so they can land a top residency. 

Crazy Story About Top Ten Medical Schools

When I was a fourth year medical student I was doing an elective rotation at Mount Sinai and one of the attendings was really nice, down to earth and obviously smart.

He had gone to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for medical school.

However what he said about preparing for residency blew my mind.

He said that students at Johns Hopkins were actually discouraged from doing away rotations/electives.


Because Hopkins is a powerhouse in the medical community and anyone who sees a residency application from Johns Hopkins is automatically going to assume you are very bright. Therefore, doing an audition rotation at another hospital system could actually hurt your chances of getting into the residency program.

It was better to let the name and reputation of the medical school you attend carry weight and help you get in the door for residency.

I was shocked when I heard this.

The attending doctor said that they just did their electives at Hopkins for the most part or places they really did not intend on applying for so there would be less chance of hurting their chances of landing their preferred residency.

This is what the Ivy League medical schools do to protect their reputations and give their medical students every advantage possible.

If you are lucky enough to get into a top ten medical school then keep this in mind when planning your fourth year schedule.

And I guess now I can see why some premed students are so adamant that they make it into a top twenty medical school, although I don't think they are making their decision from the perspective of how to game the residency selection process. 

Rankings of Research Medical Schools

The top research medical schools represent the best of the best in all of medicine. You'll find these are the institutions receiving the most National Institutes of Health grants per faculty member along with net dollar amount of funding for both the medical school and their affiliated hospitals.

If you're familiar with medicine you'll realize that most schools do not fluctuate in their medical school rankings...each year is typically consistent and predictable.

Without further delay here are the top ten medical schools for research:

Rank Medical School Name Location
1 Harvard Medical School (HMS) Boston, MA
2 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Baltimore, MD
3 Stanford University Stanford, CA
3 University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) Philadelphia, PA
5 University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA
6 Columbia University New York, NY
6 University of California - Los Angeles (Geffen) Los Angeles, CA
8 Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO
9 Cornell University (Weill) New York, NY
9 Mayo School of Medicine (Alix) Rochester, MN
9 New York University (Langone) New York, NY

At the end of the day do not make these numbers your sole or deciding factor for choosing a particular medical school. The top ranked medical schools are not always the best for every medical student.

You need to seriously consider your learning style, grading system used and other factors such as location, study time allotment for United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) preparation, etc. Let these be the prevailing motivators for selecting a medical school.

For your information it should be pointed out that there are actually eleven top ten medical schools listed and all the medical school rankings come from 2019.