College for Doctors: List of Medical Schools in the U.S.

To become a physician or surgeon, individuals must complete four years of medical school after earning a bachelor's degree. Find out more about how to choose a medical school.

When choosing a medical school, it is important to find a school that provides the right fit. Admissions are extremely competitive, so it is best to apply to schools that fully meet your educational needs.

Top 10 Medical Schools

The U.S. News & World Report ranked the best medical schools for primary care in 2016. The following schools earned the top ten spots on the list:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, public $33,519 in-state, $63,954 out-of-state
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, public $21,837 in-state, $48,716 out-of-state
University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, public $32,751 in-state, $44,996 out-of-state
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, public $32,428 in-state, $50,854 out-of-state
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE 4-year, public $28,482 in-state, $70,850 out-of-state
Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR 4-year, public $39,196 in-state, $55,740 out-of-state
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, public $31,731 in-state, $43,976 out-of-state
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, private $53,575
Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX 4-year, private $19,650
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 4-year, public $37,872 in-state, $51,510 out-of-state

Source: *U.S. News & World Report

School Selection Criteria

For students who are preparing to apply to medical school, the following considerations may be helpful when choosing between programs:

  • Future job prospects may improve if you attend a well-known, highly ranked school.
  • If you want to do your residency in a certain area, like cardiology, pediatrics or anesthesiology, you try to find the residency placement rate for graduates who want to pursue careers in that subfield.
  • Given that at least 85% of medical students graduate with debt, you may want to consider the financial aid options available at each school.
  • The location of a school can influence your clinical experience. Consider whether the school is in a rural, suburban or urban area, and find out whether the associate hospitals specialize in the treatment of a particular condition, like cancer.

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

After earning a bachelor's degree and finishing premedical course requirements, aspiring doctors can enroll in a four-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at an accredited medical school. In the first two years of an MD program, students take lecture- and lab-based courses in biomedical topics, such as cell and tissue biology, genetics, disease mechanisms, microbiology and body systems. In the third and fourth years of the program, students spend a few weeks getting clinical experience in each area of medicine. That way, upon graduation, they are prepared to choose the specialty area in which they want to complete their residency. For students with multiple academic interests, some medical schools provide dual degree options with PhD, MPH, MBA or other master's-level programs.

Your choice of medical school can have a major impact on your career in the healthcare field. Therefore, it is important to consider school ranking, financial aid options and residency placement rates.

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