Can US News regain medical schools' favor?

Following law schools' leads, top medical schools have withdrawn from U.S. News & World Report's ranking system. Their current plans do not include a rekindling, even if the publication changes its ways — for the most part. 

The medical schools took issue with several of U.S. News' key ranking indicators — from peer assessments they say encourage elitism, to test scores they say favor wealth. However, many expressed discontent with the idea of rankings in general, saying each school is too nuanced to be reduced to a single number. 

Becker's reached out to medical schools that have pulled out of the rankings to ask if they would ever reconsider submitting data. Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, based in New York City, said it had nothing to add to its original statement — which called for "productive discussions and innovative thinking" across the medical community to find new means of sharing information. Harvard Medical School in Boston also referred to its original statement, and both institutions committed to publicly sharing data on their websites. 

Additionally, the University of Washington School of Medicine, based in Seattle, shared plans to report its own data going forward. 

"We plan on working with other medical schools no longer participating in the U.S. News rankings to identify meaningful comparative data to publish on our websites," a spokesperson for the medical school told Becker's. "We will also continue to share information on our medical school website that reflects our values to help prospective enrollees make decisions about the best medical school for their education, research and training."

However, the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine — the only school to request a stakeholder meeting with U.S. News editors — has a different outlook. 

"The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine would consider participating in U.S. News' medical school rankings in the future if we see meaningful change from the publication," Vineet Arora, MD, dean for medical education at the Pritzker School, told Becker's. "We believe in transparency and think applicants deserve better, relevant and accurate data. If U.S. News can deliver that, we would absolutely consider returning." 

"In the meantime, we are going to provide metrics on our admissions website that let us communicate directly to applicants so they can fully understand what to expect from an education at UChicago," Dr. Arora continued. "As a research-intensive program, we also plan to publish metrics on things like how many students perform and publish research, what percentage are satisfied with their mentors and how many go on to pursue academic careers."

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