8th medical school backs out of US News rankings, requests stakeholder meeting

Three more institutions have withdrawn from U.S. News' medical school rankings in the past three days, bringing the grand total up to eight. 

Boston-based Harvard Medical School, Stanford (Calif.) School of Medicine, New York City-based Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and New York City-based Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai backed out of the rankings between Jan. 17 and Jan. 24. Now, three more universities have joined their ranks, and one is calling for a broader conversation.

The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle will no longer participate in the rankings beginning in 2024, according to a Jan. 26 news release shared with Becker's. It plans to work with other medical schools to develop "new and better measures," according to Timothy Dellit, MD, interim CEO of UW Medicine, interim dean at the University of Washington School of Medicine and interim executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Washington. 

"We have determined that the current U.S. News ranking process does not align with our goals of creating an inclusive learning environment and developing a diverse and culturally humble workforce," Dr. Dellit wrote. 

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis also withdrew, Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs David Perlmutter, MD, announced in a Jan. 26 letter to the community. The decision was "a long time coming" as "medical education has undergone transformative changes" over the past four decades of U.S. News rankings, according to Dr. Perlmutter. 

"We have historically been proud of our high placement in these rankings because it served as shorthand for the educational excellence to which we continually aspire," Dr. Perlmutter wrote. "But there comes a point at which participating in such a system can stand in the way of achieving our most important goals."

"It is flimsy scaffolding upon which to base our pride and satisfaction, and we have much firmer ground to stand on when it comes to evaluating our own success," he continued. 

The University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine became the eighth school to pull out of the rankings on the evening of Jan. 26, according to the Chicago Tribune

"Our overriding concern is to held address and reduce inequities in medical school education," a memo to the medical school community read. 

Officials from the university also sent a letter to U.S. News on Jan. 26, requesting that school-ranking editors host a meeting with representatives to develop a more comprehensive, equitable ranking system. 

"We have notified U.S. News editors that we do not plan to submit data for their medical school rankings next year," Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, executive vice president for medical affairs and dean of the medical school  and biological sciences division at UChicago, said in a Jan. 27 news release shared with Becker's. "In addition, we have asked them to convene stakeholders — including medical school applicants, current medical students, and other medical schools — to discuss how best to measure and report what matters most to those applying to become tomorrow’s physicians."

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