Medical doctors are some of the most highly respected professionals globally, and medical schools are some of the most sought-after and challenging institutions anywhere. When people think of top medical schools, they might not immediately think of Ohio, which is often overlooked in favor of coastal states.
But Ohio, sometimes called the “birthplace of aviation” because the Wright brothers were Ohio natives, is home to some of the top-ranked medical schools in the country. These schools prepare college graduates for the important, demanding, high-stakes work of medical professionals.
What makes a medical school highly ranked? What factors does a publication like US News and World Report consider when ranking medical schools?
Some of the most critical metrics are admissions selectivity and MCAT requirements, accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the American Osteopathic Association, peer reputation/assessment, and assessment by residency directors.
This article features the top 7 medical schools in Ohio ranked by the US News Medical School list. If US News deemed any of the schools a tie, the tiebreaker will be placed higher on the US News list of National Research Universities. If US News did not rank the school in medicine, the editorial team at College Gazette will rank its placement.
7. Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine (Rootstown, OH)
Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine (NEOMED), located in the rural town of Rootstown, OH, is unranked by US News but is accredited by the LCME. As a public university, NEOMED has partnerships with four fellow state universities: Akron, Cleveland State, Kent State, and Youngstown State, as well as one private school, Hiram College, which increases the resources available to medical students.
In keeping with the school’s location in rural northeastern Ohio, the curriculum emphasizes community and public health. Its Integrated Steps Curriculum aims to develop five key traits in future doctors: competence, communication, caring, character, and community. NEOMED students gain experience in community-level medical care through training in community hospitals and ambulatory care settings. Furthermore, clinical teaching occurs at 17 community hospitals, of which 8 are major teaching facilities – together, these facilities amount to approximately 6,500 patient beds and 1,800 clinical faculty members.
Competitive applicants to NEOMED have an average GPA of 3.67, an average college BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Math) GPA of 3.6, and an average MCAT score of 508.
6. Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (Dayton, OH)
The Boonshoft School of Medicine is ranked by US News in the #93-123 grouping among medical schools for research and #80 among medical schools for primary care. Located in Dayton, Ohio, the Boonshoft School of Medicine is accredited by the LCME and partners with industry leaders such as the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the American Heart Association, Miami Valley Division.
Rather than conducting clinical training at a university-based hospital, the Boonshoft School of Medicine is affiliated with eight major teaching hospitals in the area and has additional affiliation agreements with dozens of other health care facilities in Miami Valley. As a result, students and resident physicians get to encounter a very diverse range of patients and health care facilities.
Admission to the Boonshoft School of Medicine is highly selective. For the Class of 2023, the acceptance rate was 3.94%: out of 6,182 applicants, 243 were admitted and 119 matriculated. Successful applicants had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.61 and an average MCAT score of 506.5. Those who are lucky enough to be accepted learn from a faculty lineup that includes aerospace engineers, NASA physicians, and the Air Force Surgeon General.
5. University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences (Toledo, OH)
University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences is ranked by US News in the #93-123 grouping of both medical schools for research and medical schools for primary care. As the name suggests, the medical school is affiliated with the University of Toledo, located in Toledo, Ohio.
The medical school is home to 715 medical students and 596 clinical faculty members and emphasizes cutting-edge medical technologies and research developments. In 2015, the medical school announced a new 50-year partnership with Toledo-based health system ProMedica to strengthen the quality of medical education and expand Toledo’s clinical training capacity. Under the banner of “the next generation of medicine,” the medical school and ProMedica aim to create a world-class academic medical center, attract and retain top talent, and expand medical research and economic development.
As is the case with most medical schools, the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine and Life Sciences practices very selective admissions. For the 2020 entering class, the medical school received 6,115 applications for an incoming class of 176 students. Successful applicants had an average total GPA of 3.65, average science GPA of 3.55, and average MCAT score of 508.
4. Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (Athens, OH)
The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) is the medical school of Ohio University and is Ohio’s only osteopathic college. US News ranks OH-HCOM in the #93-123 grouping of both medical schools for research and medical schools for primary care. OH-HCOM’s mission emphasizes primary care practice, especially in underserved regions of Ohio such as the Appalachian and urban areas. Graduates receive a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) and are eligible to practice medicine all across the United States and in 50 countries worldwide.
In terms of curriculum, students can elect to follow one of two tracks during the first two years of their studies: the Clinical Presentation Continuum (CPC) and the Patient-Centered Continuum (PCC). CPC is the more traditional track, which centers on lectures, problem sets, and panel discussions. PCC is more hands-on with extensive patient interaction. During the last two years of medical school, students train at one of 29 teaching hospitals affiliated with the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE), a statewide medical education consortium founded by Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Successful applicants to OH-HCOM have an average GPA of 3.65, an average science GPA of 3.59, and an average MCAT score of 504.84.
3. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (Cincinnati, OH)
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is ranked by US News #42 for Best Medical Schools: Research and #59 for Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. One of the biggest draws of the university is its location in Cincinnati, a vibrant yet often overlooked city with great sports, culture, and places to explore. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, initially known as the Medical College of Ohio, was the first college of medicine to be established in the state of Ohio.
The College of Medicine boasts many significant accomplishments since its founding in 1819. It developed the heart-lung machine, the Fogarty heart catheter, Benadryl, and the Clark oxygen electrode. Moreover, it established the first residency program in emergency medicine in the entire US. One of the College’s most famous specialties is its neurosurgical research into degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Admission to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is highly selective. For the 2020 class profile, successful applicants had an average science GPA of 3.67, an average cumulative GPA of 3.74, and an average MCAT score of 515. Approximately half of the incoming class tends to hail from Ohio, while the other half represents students from all across the country. Interestingly, UC College of Medicine was the first medical school in the US to implement the Canadian multiple mini interview (MMI) system, which aims to better assess which applicants have exceptional interpersonal skills and strong ethical decision-making capacities.
2. Ohio State University College of Medicine (Columbus, OH)
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, located in the state capital, Columbus, is ranked by US News #33 in Best Medical Schools: Research and #28 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. The College of Medicine’s two primary teaching hospitals, Ohio State University Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, are both highly ranked as well: US News gives Ohio State University Hospital a national ranking in 9 adult specialities and assigns Nationwide Children’s Hospital the #8 position nationally on the Best Children’s Honor Roll. This means that Ohio State University College of Medicine students have access to extremely high-quality resources and training in the classroom and in the field.
Ohio State University College of Medicine faculty have made some fantastic research contributions throughout the years, including discovering a revolutionary drug to treat heart failure, inventing the first inferior vena cava filter, defining Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and numerous advances in cancer treatment research. The Ohio State University Hospital is home to some groundbreaking advances in robotic surgery.
Admission to this College of Medicine is extremely selective. For the incoming Class of 2020, the school accepted approximately 6% of applicants, with an average GPA of 3.8, an average science GPA of 3.74, and an average MCAT score of 515.
1. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (Cleveland, OH)
The top-ranked medical school in all of Ohio is Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, located in Cleveland. US News ranks CaseMed #25 in Best Medical Schools: Research and #74 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. Additionally, CaseMed is the largest biomedical research center in all of Ohio.
CaseMed was a pioneer in educating female doctors, and the school has always set very high admissions standards and requirements. Among CaseMed’s faculty, alumni, and affiliates are dozens of Nobel laureates. The CaseMed educational experience is characterized by small group learning and hands-on training through programs such as the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. CaseMed was the first to introduce the organ systems approach to teaching the basic sciences, and its Western Reserve2 Curriculum (WR2), which is learner-centered, self-directed, and based on close-knit interactions, has been widely praised for its innovative nature.
Unsurprisingly, admission to CaseMed is exceptionally selective. For the entering class of 2020, CaseMed received over 8,000 applications for an entering class size of 215. Admitted students had an average GPA of 3.8, an average science GPA of 3.76, and an average MCAT score of 518.