Planning for medical school can begin even before undergraduate work; some students follow a pre-health studies path and take a gap year to study for MCATS.
Some students come to the medical school decision after studying the sciences. Some come from humanities backgrounds and find medicine as their call to public service.
Even after deciding to apply, it’s a long way to White Coat day. There are MCATs to take, and many medical programs to consider. An M.D. might be the right answer, or maybe an M.D./Ph.D. for greater career versatility.
But what about a student interested in global medicine? What if a student decides research serves his career goals best? How can doctors use an M.D/M.B.A. degree?
Every medical program offers its own educational approach. Patient-centered, team-based, research-focused, and other traits characterize some of the following medical schools.
These New England medical schools offer a host of different degrees, different kinds of financing, and diverse campus experiences.
For students planning to attend medical school in the New England area, these schools all provide excellent health career training.
They’re ranked according to their standing in the US News Medical School Ranking. If any two schools are tied on the US News list, College Gazette determines the tiebreaker for this particular list.
10. Quinnipiac University Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine (North Haven, CT)
Quinnipiac’s Frank H. Netter School of Medicine educates patient-centered physicians with a combination of small classes, close mentorship, and partnering programs to get medical students into clinical settings for experience.
Successful applicants to Quinnipiac for entry in the 2020-2021 school year had an average GPA of 3.66 and an MCAT score average of 512. The school has an average acceptance rate of 4%, and about a quarter of the last three accepted graduating classes have backgrounds classified as “underrepresented in medicine.”
Students planning to apply to Quinnipiac can choose to participate in the school’s own MCAT Immersion Program to prepare for the best possible MCAT outcome.
Scholarships and loans will be essential for most Quinnipiac applicants. For students interested in becoming primary care doctors, the school offers tuition and fee remission for four full years through the Primary Care Fellowship Program.
Quinnipiac is located just north of New Haven, Connecticut, a coastal city on Long Island Sound, proximate to the New York City Metropolitan area and home to Yale University.
The school’s namesake Frank H. Netter created medical illustrations and authored the Atlas of Human Anatomy, which became the standard for medical education.
9. University of Vermont Robert Larner College of Medicine (Burlington, VT)
The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont cultivates a diverse group of physicians and researchers in multiple medical fields with the hope of advancing medical technology and patient care.
Acceptance rates for Vermont’s Larner College come in around 5%; the median GPA for enrolled students is 3.62, and the MCAT average is 510.
Vermont’s medical school ranks as one of the most diverse programs in the nation, and it graduates a high number of rural practitioners compared to other medical schools.
An active learning-based program, the school maintains a team of instructional designers to support faculty as they find ways to make the classroom itself more experiential.
The school’s Clinical Simulation Lab gives students hands-on experience with trauma situations, patient interaction, and surgery settings.
As Vermont’s only public research institution, the University of Vermont fulfills its mission to serve the community with clinical sites that also give medical students places to build their skills during the 18-month Clinical Clerkship and Advanced Integration phases of their training.
The Larner College of Medicine is the seventh oldest medical school in the United States, established in 1822.
8. University of Connecticut School of Medicine (Farmington, CT)
The School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut approaches medical training as scientific training, focusing on problem-based learning within the scope of scientific knowledge.
UConn offers many more degree options than an M.D., including dual M.D./Ph. D. and M.D./M.P.H. programs, an Urban Service track, and an M.D./M.B.A. program.
UConn’s acceptance rate stays around 6%; the average college GPA for accepted students is 3.82.
The average MCAT score is 511. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services offers guidance on planning and paying for medical school at UConn.
UConn School of Medicine believes patient care improves with physician training; medical students at UConn learn clinical skills, critical reasoning, collaborative team methods, and a broad base of scientific knowledge. The medical school ranks highly for research, primary care, and diversity.
Beginning in 2020, the M.D. program began a new curriculum plan. Stage 1 uses a team-based learning model and case-based studies, including virtual and physical lab work. Stages 2 and 3 involve clinical immersion and transition to residency programs.
UConn’s campus in Storrs, Connecticut lies about a half an hour from Hartford, and around ninety minutes from either Boston or New York City.
7. Tufts University School of Medicine (Boston, MA)
Tufts University Medical School offers M.D. and Ph.D. medical degrees, along with dual degree programs, a physician’s assistant track, public health programs, physical therapy degrees, and an M.D/M.A. in international relations.
Tufts reports the average GPA for admitted students at 3.67 and the average MCAT score at 513.9. Acceptance rate is about 6%.
Once admitted, student support includes academic counseling, as well as mental and physical wellness advising.
In an effort to recruit doctors for rural areas, Tufts offers the Maine Track M.D. program.
Students intending to practice rural medicine can complete their clinical work participating in the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, a program designed to replicate a primary care experience as students continue caring for the same group of patients rather than seeing them only once.
Students interested in global medical outreach can participate in Tufts’ Global Health Programs, collaborating in research and care with health care professionals in places like India, Panama, Ghana, and Nicaragua.
Tufts University Medical School ranks highly in research and primary care categories.
6. University of Massachusetts Medical School (Worcester, MA)
The University of Massachusetts’ Chan Medical School in Worcester ranks among the top ten medical schools in the nation for primary care training.
Primary care training focuses on patient diagnosis and treatment; preventative medicine, public health, and doctor-patient relationship skills factor into primary care programs.
UMass Chan Medical School serves as a research facility as well, with departments and centers for the study of topics from rare diseases to tobacco treatment. UMass Chan is one of the only medical school authorized to make vaccines.
Students applying to the Chan School of Medicine may elect to apply as well to the PURCH track, the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health program that places UMass Chan students in clinical settings where they can learn how to address disparities in health care access in both urban and rural communities.
For the class of 2025, UMass enrolled 162 students after reviewing over 3,500 completed applications. Average MCAT scores for enrolled students was 514, and their average undergraduate GPA was 3.77.
Within an hour of Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Worcester has undergone significant renovations in the 21st century. It’s a mid-sized city—the second most-populated city in New England— with multiple colleges and universities, a lively arts and cultural scene, and many recreational ponds and lakes.
5. Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine (Hanover, NH)
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth addresses a complete medical education, seeking to train doctors with vast scientific knowledge and excellent patient care skills who also take an interest in research and in improving the way our medical system works.
Its Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice focuses on improvement and reform in medical systems.
Dartmouth conducts research to improve life for all through medical research. Its C. Everett Koop Center focuses on societal problems like alcohol and nicotine addiction, as well as the connection of corporate interests to addictive products and processed foods.
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center offers advanced technology treatments and clinical trials while conducting groundbreaking research at the only NCI-designated research center in New England.
Successful admissions candidates had an average GPA of 3.65 and an MCAT average of 512. The acceptance rate is 4.22%.
As with most programs, students in Dartmouth’s Geisel School take a rigorous slate of courses in biological sciences and in various medical fields and skills before embarking on clinical immersions.
By year three, students explore career options through a variety of clerkships, finally returning to campus for capstone coursework.
Once Dartmouth students begin their clinicals, they may be placed in Dartmouth-affiliated teaching hospitals in Alaska, California, Arizona, Maine, or Connecticut. These not-for-profit teaching hospitals serve a variety of communities, allowing Dartmouth students to learn in active settings.
Dartmouth’s parklike setting in Hanover, New Hampshire, a small town situated on the Connecticut River with a history dating back to the American revolution. The Appalachian Trail runs through town and connects to many of its hiking trails.
4. Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School (Providence, RI)
Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School follows Brown’s institutional standards of excellence, offering a program to educate doctors of high expertise and social responsibility.
With nine large and specialized affiliated hospitals, Brown medical students can acquire extensive experience in a range of clinical contexts.
Brown offers M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees, along with an M.D/ScM in Population Medicine and ScM degrees in Medical Science and Medical Physics.
Centers for the study of child health, vision, cardiovascular health, sleep, computational molecular biology, and others carry on groundbreaking research and draw doctors and medical scholars worldwide to conduct clinical trials.
While Brown’s curriculum adopts the same pre-clerkship first two years and two years of clinical clerkships as the main structure of its four-year M.D. program, its Scholarly Concentrations Program spans a medical student’s four years.
In order to develop the skills outlined in the Nine Abilities, students forge a path of cross-disciplinary scholarship through projects, independent study, seminars, field trips, and research, directed by faculty advisors.
The admissions process for Brown’s Alpert Medical School is selective. Acceptance rate is around 3.2%, and enrolled candidates had GPAs around 3.83.
The average MCAT score for enrolled candidates was 516.
Located in Providence, Rhode Island, the Alpert Medical School at Brown is ranked #20 in the nation by Business Insider.
3. Boston University School of Medicine (Boston, MA)
Boston University’s highly-ranked School of Medicine begins clinical experience for students as soon as they begin the program.
As they continue on to their clinical assignments, numerous kinds of affiliate facilities in Massachusetts, Maine, California, and Rhode Island provide the settings for diverse clinical experience.
Boston’s approach to curriculum emphasizes practical skills preparation and teamwork, especially during the first two years of seminars and lab work.
Patient contact starts during the first week of the first-year curriculum, allowing students to gain ease and confidence by their clinicals.
Research centers study Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders, Hearing, Addiction, Women’s Health, Immunobiology, and many other topics. Faculty and students within the Graduate Medical Sciences program conduct laboratory studies and clinical trials.
Boston offers several Early Assurance programs in which motivated and accomplished students can secure admission as early as the senior year of high school.
For the incoming first-year class in 2020, Boston enrolled 160 new medical students after reviewing over 9,000 applications. The average MCAT score was 516 for enrolled students, and the average undergraduate GPA was 3.72.
Boston University’s medical school campus was once the New England Female Medical College, the first school in the world to provide medical education for women.
2. Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, CT)
Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale School of Medicine educates physician-scientists while conducting crucial medical research and furthering scientific inquiry.
Its medical education programs offer comprehensive joint degree programs in collaboration with other professional schools like law and divinity, while its research division nurtures and develops the professionals working on global health issues of all kinds.
The Yale School of Medicine follows an unusual system of small-group learning sessions in the pre-clerkship years of medical school.
Exams are taken anonymously, and evaluations come from faculty observation of small-group participation. No grades or class rank distract students during those first two years, and students are encouraged to pursue elective interests in other schools at Yale.
Faculty coaches guide students through their clinical experience in the Yale program. Students farther into the program can become a coach or preceptor, mentor newer students as they navigate the curriculum and clinical work, and develop their own critical reasoning and clinical skills.
Mentorship, flexibility, time for joint degrees and electives: the program’s design contributes to student success and mental health. The goal at Yale is to graduate doctors who maintain a deep curiosity for science and inquiry. At the same time, they apply empathy and critical reasoning in order to diagnose and treat patients thoroughly.
The Global Health Certificate at Yale is awarded to students whose Global Health portfolio, compiled during their four or five years in the program, meets the criteria of the administering review board.
All students are eligible and can pursue a variety of global health coursework and projects during their studies.
The program is selective: Yale’s admission rate is 6.2%; the median GPA for enrolled students is 3.85, and the median MCAT is 519.
1. Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, MA)
Harvard University’s Medical School envisions doctors as humanists dedicated to easing human suffering. The program is the top-ranked medical school in the country, with most of its specialty areas ranking in the top five.
Harvard Medical School ranks at the top of global lists as well. Acceptance rates are low at 3.5%; enrolled students beginning in 2020 had an average GPA of 3.9 and an MCAT of 519.
The M.D. program structure takes the form of the two-year Preclerkship phase, focused on foundations in biology and medicine, along with clinical skills.
The third year’s clinical rotations occur at one of the five affiliated hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General.
Harvard offers combined M.D. degrees in collaboration with other departments and provides an M.D. in Medical Technology in partnership with MIT.
Mentorship and advising give every Harvard medical student the chance to make their own path through the program.
Harvard Medical students are all assigned to one of five societies within the school, where program coordinators and faculty organize small group learning sessions and enrichment programs.
Students remain in their societies for the entire four years of medical school, creating an ongoing, consistent intellectual community for inquiry, investigation, and support.
The program’s cost is considerable, but accepted students can apply for financial aid with help and advice from the program.
In fact, Harvard Medical graduates, on average, have less than the average medical school student debt in the United States.