This past year has taught us that highly qualified healthcare professionals play a vital part in our general well-being. Anyone entering the medical field must be ready for a challenging and rewarding career, but they must also be prepared to continue learning and innovating. For that reason, it is vitally important to choose the right medical school.
If you’re in New England, you probably assume that the region’s best medical schools are in New York.
But while it only has three medical schools, Maryland has equally excellent options. In addition to a lower cost of living, Maryland offers proximity to major metropolitan areas and idyllic natural regions.
That said, there are several factors to keep in mind when choosing a medical school. The rankings listed in the magazine U.S. News & World Report can help, but they are just that: listings. You need to consider more than basic numbers when making such an important decision.
This list follows the rankings provided by U.S. News (in the case of a tie, the editorial team at College Gazette decides on the difference), but it also offers more information.
These are schools graduating exceptional doctors who are deeply integrated into their communities. Additionally, these programs offer internships and externship opportunities for doctors to get work with actual patients while pursuing their studies. These three schools are also incredibly selective when it comes to GPA and MCAT cutoffs.
Here are Maryland’s best medical schools.
3. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine (Bethesda, MD)
As part of the U.S. government’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Edward Hébert School of Medicine prepares graduates to join the medical corps as medical professionals, nurses, and physicians. Located on the military installation of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, the USU School of Medicine is part of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Every student attending USU School of Medicine is a member of the armed services. The average first-year class consists of 63 Army students, 51 Air Force students, 51 Navy students, and two-six Public Health Service students.
Because every student has the rank and benefits of a second lieutenant (in the Army or Air Force) or an ensign (in the Navy or Public Health Service), the military expects all graduates to serve at least seven years after residency on active duty and six years in the inactive ready reserve.
That requirement may be daunting, but there are certainly benefits to studying at the USU School of Medicine. Students accepted into the school receive free tuition and reimbursement for all fees. They receive salaries and benefits as junior officers, and even their textbooks are issued to the students at the beginning of each semester.
Students follow the school’s “Molecules to Military Medicine” curriculum, which takes a military-focused approach to the scientific concepts and clinical experience needed to work in the medical field. In addition to these essential elements, USU students receive over 700 hours of supplemental training in issues unique to the armed services, including military medicine, tropical diseases, combat casualty care, humanitarian assistance, ethics, and more.
USU School of Medicine students gain hands-on experience working in a variety of teaching hospitals, including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Malcolm Grow Medical Center, and others across the country. Additionally, the school has affiliations with many civilian hospitals, such as Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, and more.
With that support, the school has achieved remarkable innovations in the field of medicine. In association with the National Institute of Health, researchers from the USU School of Medicine discovered a new form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in a study of 11 medical-mystery patients from around the world. Before that, USU researchers won a $10.7 million grant to develop a vaccine against gonorrhea in the next five years.
These achievements help students follow a long tradition of excellence, as carried out by USU School of Medicine alumni. Graduates include White House doctor Eleanor Mariano and Joint Staff surgeon Joseph Caravalho, Jr., as well as NASA astronauts Andrew R. Morgan and Francisco Rubio.
2. University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD)
Founded in 1807, the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine is the fifth oldest medical school in the United States and the oldest medical school that is not in the Ivy League. Furthermore, UNSOM pioneered residency training programs, now a standard part of medical training.
As a research-focused academic institution, UNSOM enjoys a $537 million research funding endowment. That funding goes to support not only the school’s unique medical scientist training program but also its many research centers and institutes.
The Institute of Human Virology is responsible for some of the most important breakthroughs in medical history, including the discovery of the first human retrovirus and of HIV as the cause of AIDS. The Institute for Genome Sciences is a genomics research center that provides genomic and bioinformatic tools to research genome function in health and diseases.
Established in 2015, the Institute for Global Health develops new methods to diagnose, prevent, treat, control, and eradicate global diseases, such as malaria, Ebola, and measles. Established on the grounds of Spring Grove Hospital, the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center hosts over 20 clinical and basic research faculty to research psychiatric diseases.
For those working toward careers as physicians or allied health professionals, UNSOM features a faculty of top-level experts committed to the educational development of their students. The program operates on a 150-week curriculum designed to be completed in four academic years. During the first of those four years, students take interdisciplinary courses connected to clinical conditions.
Additionally, the first two years of study include the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course, which instructs students in crucial issues of their profession, including the doctor-patient relationship, the psychosocial aspects of patients, organized medicine, and social standards. In the last two years of the program, the curriculum equips students with an experience that prepares them for various medical specialties. With the knowledge they gain during their studies, UNSOM students enter their careers with everything they need to be intelligent and engaged physicians.
Students gain practical experience working in the school’s many clinical care centers and research facilities, including the University of Maryland Medical Center, the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, the Institute of Human Virology, the Institute for Genome Sciences, the Center for Vaccine Development, and the Baltimore VA Medical Center. With these resources, it’s no surprise that UNSOM sits high on major lists, including placing 16th on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best Primary Care Medical Schools and 27th for Best Medical Schools for Research.
1. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD)
In most cases, a school as well-funded and supported as the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine would be the best in the state. But UNSOM must contend with a medical school that isn’t only the best in Maryland but also among the world’s best.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is the 59th best in the country for Primary Care, but #7 for Research, #5 for Obstetrics and Gynecology, #4 for Pediatrics, #2 for Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, and #1 for Anesthesiology, Radiology, and Surgery. In short, it’s hard to do better than JHUSOM.
Founded in 1893 by four of the nation’s most respected physicians, JHUSOM partners with two of the best teaching hospitals in the world, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and many other regional medical centers.
Working together, these institutions form an academic health science center with a long history of innovation. In addition to being the first medical school to admit women and to develop a sterile process for surgical procedures, JHUSOM also published The Harriet Lane Handbook, which was the leading guidebook for physicians.
Today, JHUSOM continues this long history of innovation and excellence with a program that trains students to become committed academics, ground-breaking researchers, and patient-centered medical practitioners. The school prepares students to address fundamental questions in the mechanisms, prevention, and treatment of disease in health care delivery and the basic sciences.
The medical program at JHUSOM gives future doctors the education they need to improve health through patient care, research, and education. The school equips students with an understanding of scientific principles and a thorough body of scientific knowledge to diagnose, manage, and prevent clinical problems. Students learn how to use critical evaluation and biomedical research to recognize varieties of expression of health and disease. In addition to honing their data gathering and interpretation skills, students are taught to identify the social, behavioral, and economic factors that affect medical care.
In addition to training exemplary physicians, JHUSOM remains one of the world’s premier research institutions, thanks to its six primary institutes.
The Brain Science Institute exists to address questions about brain development, function and disease and create effective therapies for brain health and healing.
In the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, faculty across disciplines collaborate to make transformative discoveries in medicine.
Bringing together faculty, fellows, postdocs, students, and staff to engineer cells and improve human health, the Institute for Cell Engineering Institute features four basic research programs that focus on conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, cancer, diabetes, heart failure, stroke, spinal cord injury, and more.
Employing a team-based approach, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research translates basic discoveries into interventions that optimize health promotion.
At the Institute for Computational Medicine, researchers design quantitative computer models of human disease to improve disease diagnosis and treatment. The Institute of Genetic Medicine furthers understanding of human heredity and genetic medicine.
Whether performing research or practicing medicine, graduates of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine do their predecessors proud, guiding the field into the 21st century.