7 facts about US medical schools

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia is one of the oldest medical school in the U.S., created in 1765.

To match the evolving education physicians receive on the job, medical schools have also adapted their curricula, composition and standards for acceptance to provide students with the most thorough education possible to provide quality care to their patients.

Here are seven facts about U.S. medical schools:

1. Several institutions have been ranked among U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools" for consecutive years. For the 2019 list, Boston-based Harvard Medical School, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore and New York City-based NYU School of Medicine, respectively, snagged the top three spots. Those schools also ranked among the best for certain specialties for the same year.

2. The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., maintained the lowest acceptance rate for students — 2.1 percent — for the 2017-18 academic year, making it the most selective medical school for that year.

3. While Harvard and Johns Hopkins may operate some of the best medical schools in the nation, according to U.S. News, graduates of the Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., have some of the highest starting salaries for physicians nationwide.

4. Baylor College of Medicine in Houston charged the lowest tuition of any private institution in the nation at $32,823 for the 2017-18 school year. Orlando-based University of Central Florida College of Medicine was ranked by the publication as the most affordable medical school for out-of-state students for the same academic year at $31,063 per year.

5. While there continues to be an abundance of MD school applicants each year, the number of students looking for admission at DO schools has also skyrocketed in recent years. DO enrollment has increased 163% since 2002, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

6. U.S. medical schools have also made a number of institutional changes to encourage diversity and adapt to modern times. The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore recently ended a yearslong tradition of distinguishing interns from physicians by the lengths of their white coats. Officials said they opted to change the rule requiring interns to wear short white coats because some interns said the difference in coat length made them feel isolated.

7. Societal changes have also prompted medical schools to change the way they approach teaching medicine. Schools across the nation have begun encouraging students to enroll in culinary courses to learn how to teach patients about good nutrition and preventive lifestyle changes. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently welcomed its inaugural class of "physician-inventors," who challenge the status quo and incorporate technological solutions to reduce costs while improving access to and quality of care. The American Medical Association also introduced a policy in June to encourage medical schools to develop curriculum involving EHR training to help younger physicians become more proficient with the technology.

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