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Maryland universities improve in U.S. News’ medical school rankings

(File photo)

(File photo)

The University of Maryland took some big steps forward and Johns Hopkins remained near the top of the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of medical schools.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine improved to 31st in the publication’s rankings of medical schools for research, nine spots up from its 40th place tie on the same list last year.

The school also improved 23 spots to rank tied for 21st on the list of medical schools for primary care, moving ahead of crosstown rival, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, on the list.

“The School of Medicine has had tremendous momentum, reaching record levels across our key mission areas, including research funding and excellence in clinical care,” said Dr. E. Albert Reece, dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We are pleased that this success is being reflected in many of these external reports and rankings, including U.S. News.”

While the University of Maryland moved past Johns Hopkins on the ranking of medical schools for primary care, Hopkins held down its usual top tier ranking among medical schools for research. Hopkins moved up to second place on the list this year, behind Harvard University.

Hopkins finished one spot behind the University of Maryland on the primary care list, in a tie for 26th.

Hopkins also continued to excel in specialty rankings. It finished in the top five of every specialty U.S. News ranks (internal medicine, pediatrics, anesthesiology, radiology, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychology).

“We are always happy when we are rated highly and when Johns Hopkins receives recognition for our great faculty, staff, students, and trainees,” said Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, vice dean of education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Rankings are important because people pay attention to them. There’s no doubt about that. So in that regard, I think they are important for admissions and for the school in general. And yet I think that at Johns Hopkins we are, and will always be, driven to improve what we do no matter what our rankings are.”

U.S. News ranked 124 schools in each list that provided the data required for the survey. Both lists look at admissions statistics, including Medical College Admission Test scores, undergraduate GPA and acceptance rate, along with faculty-student ratio.

The medical school research ranking includes research activity statistics, and the medical school primary care ranking looks at the proportion of graduates entering primary care specialties.

Maryland’s improvement on the research ranking this year came because of some tweaks to the U.S. News formula that included de-emphasizing a school’s reputation and including more information about non-federal research funding.

“U.S. News added four new factors to measure nonfederal research grants and non-National Institutes of Health federal research grants,” said Robert Morse, U.S. News’s chief data strategist. “This was done to better account for all the research activity conducted at medical schools.”

Maryland’s primary care ranking increased because there was an increase in the proportion of medical and osteopathic graduates going into primary care compared to the previous year.

Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland also boast some of the top nursing graduate programs.

Hopkins had the highest-ranked master’s program for nursing and ranked second for its doctor of nursing practice program. Maryland ranked 13th for its master’s program and eighth for its doctoral program.

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