The Schools of Medicine at Columbia and Stanford Universities, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have announced that they will no longer participate in the US news and world report rankings They were followed by the medical schools of Cornell University, Duke University, and the universities of Chicago and Washington.
The announcements followed one from Harvard University Medical School earlier this month. While other medical schools have dropped out of the rankings in the past, Harvard ranks first in the 2023 ranking of research medical schools, with Columbia, Mount Sinai, Penn, and Stanford also ranked highly.
Some had speculated that time would prevent many medical schools from joining Harvard this year. The deadline to submit information for the medical school rankings was Friday, January 26. But Harvard is clearly not alone in its criticism. There may be a protest equivalent to the law school riot, spearheaded by the Yale University Law School.
“The USNWR medical school rankings perpetuate a narrow and elitist view of medical education,” Katrina Armstrong, dean of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, wrote in a letter to students and faculty at the medical school. “His emphasis is on self-reinforcing criteria such as reputation and institutional wealth, rather than measuring a school’s success in educating a diverse and well-trained cohort of physicians capable of improving medicine and meeting the society needs. His focus on standardized test scores comes at a time when it is widely understood that prioritizing these scores rewards well-resourced applicants without regard to selecting the people who can best meet the future needs of a diverse world and changing”.
That was a big change from his statement last March, when the most recent rankings were released.
“The rankings reflect the hard work that goes into every day to prevent and treat disease, train the next generation of healthcare professionals and scientists, and ensure our excellence reaches those who need us in our neighborhood and around the world. ”, he said then.
Lloyd Minor, dean of Stanford Medical School, issued a statement saying: “We believe that the methodology [of U.S. News]As it stands, it does not capture the full scope of what constitutes an exceptional learning environment.”
Stanford plans to produce new metrics on March 1 to help, among other things, people evaluating where to apply to medical school.
“Our metrics will reflect and evaluate the efforts and achievements of our faculty in education, research, and patient care, as well as the innovation and impact of faculty and trainees in biomedicine and their roles in developing tomorrow’s leaders.” Minor said in the statement. “Our report will also represent our tripartite mission and the key priorities that our students have identified as important to their educational experience, including access to extensive patient care and research opportunities. Additionally, our process will reflect our core values, emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will ensure our metrics are measurable, verifiable, and transparent. We welcome opportunities to discuss our metrics with key stakeholders as they are finalized.”
And J. Larry Jameson, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, wrote that “USNWR measures encourage student acceptance based on higher grades and test scores. However, we strive to identify and attract students with a wide range of characteristics that predict promise. Careers as transformational doctors, scientists, and leaders reveal the importance of other personal qualities, such as creativity, passion, resilience, and empathy.”
Dennis S. Charney, dean of Mount Sinai, and David Muller, chair of medical education there, released a statement saying: “The integrity of the research is an important factor in our decision. The rankings boil down our scientific innovation, discoveries, entrepreneurship, and clinical impact to one number: our total federal funding. This does not adequately represent the hard work, dedication, creativity and benefit to humanity of our research company and the many novel diagnostics and treatments it has produced.”
US News responded to the remarks by saying that he still stood by the statement by Eric Gertler, its CEO and CEO, from when Harvard withdrew.
“Our mission is to help future students make the best decisions for their educational future,” he said. “Where students go to school and how they use their education are among the most critical decisions of their lives, and with more competitive and less transparent admissions and increasingly expensive tuition, we believe students deserve access to all the data and information needed to make the decision. right decision.”
Some higher education observers have speculated that the moves by medical schools, following the moves by major law schools, signal a death knell for rankings overall. But undergraduate (and other) rankings are different from those in law and medical schools.
US News it also posted its ranking of programs online on January 24. And the universities that ranked first responded with the usual boast about their performance. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte boasted in a press release of being number 4 in the ranking of online bachelor’s degrees. Purdue University touted its rank #2 in engineering online for graduates. And Lees-McRae College posted that it ranked 42nd in the US News list of best online bachelor programs for 2023, 80 places higher than the 2022 ranking of the 122nd-ranked university.
Meanwhile, the law schools of Gonzaga University, Seattle University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison announced that they will not participate in the law school rankings.
Wisconsin Dean Dan Tokaji said, “Classification runs counter to UW Law’s mission to provide outstanding legal education at an affordable price so our graduates can pursue any career path they choose” and “Classification undermines the core value of UW Law of Equal Access to the Legal Profession by penalizing schools in states that allow licensure without the bar exam.”
Jacob H. Rooksby, Gonzaga’s dean, said, “Gonzaga’s law school is just one of many that have reached conclusions similar to ours. As fewer schools choose to participate in the USNWR competition, the usefulness of the ranking system is further undermined and pressure is mounting for the system to change, as it should be.”
Also last week, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh gave a talk at the University of Notre Dame Law School in which he joined the critics, CNN reported.
“I think those ratings are very problematic. I think they’re based on things, from what I understand, that are very amorphous, very subjective, very word of mouth. Factors that don’t correlate well with the education you’re actually getting,” Kavanaugh said.
“And I find them very troublesome. The reputation score, that’s kind of a joke, isn’t it? I mean, who has the knowledge of all the different scores being judged to give anything even close to a good analysis of that? Kavanaugh added.