2020 Best MD Programs in America
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Doctors do more than prescribe medication and perform surgeries. This highly-trained group works to understand the human body and the conditions that affect it while providing compassion-based treatment. If you have a strong desire to help people, you might choose to pursue a general medical degree. Others might prefer to specialize in more specific areas of medicine such as forensics, anesthesiology, or medical research.
Career options available to those who hold a medical degree are plentiful. You can consider searching for jobs in any of these fields:
- Medical/ Pharmaceutical Researcher
- Medical Researcher
- Medical Legal Advisor
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals who earn a medical degree are estimated to earn a median annual salary of $208,000. The need for highly-qualified physicians and surgeons is expected to increase according to the same data.
Best MD Programs in America
Harvard Medical School (HMS) has a specific program designed to help medical students earn a prestigious degree and gain valuable residency experience through a comprehensive, community-focused program. Available in two tracks, Pathways and Health Sciences Technology (HST), the latter of which focuses on students with a desire to pursue a medical career concentrated on biomedical research. The comprehensive Pathways track was launched in 2015 as a Harvard Medical School Initiative that places greater emphasis on the clinical experience. Harvard Medical School does not accept transfer students.
The curriculum at HMS covers a range of topics based on its two tracks including advanced clinical and basic/population science experiences in the Pathways track and quantitative understanding of modern biomedical sciences and pathophysiologic processes in the HST track. Harvard Medical School is accredited the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the national accrediting body for MD degree programs.
Located in Palo Alto, California, Stanford Medical School is at the forefront of National MD programs with a philosophy that centers on improving health through leadership, collaboration, and innovations in education, healthcare, and all-inclusive research. Stanford Medical School employs world-class educators who focus on the intellectual substance of the medical profession.
The flexible curriculum emphasizes clinical practice and biomedical research that gives students the opportunity to customize their medical education experience based on their unique interests. In addition to its traditional medical program, Stanford Medical School also offers several advanced degrees in tandem with its MD program. Stanford Medical School holds accreditation from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), as well as Accreditation with Commendation status from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®).
Founded in 1893, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has a rich history of educating the best and brightest students in the medical field. Affiliated with top-ranked John Hopkins hospital, students who are admitted to Johns Hopkins Medicine have the unique opportunity to engage with world-class physicians through specialized instruction. The curriculum at Johns Hopkins School Medicine is rigorous and is designed to prepare medical students with the tools necessary to make a genuine impact in a rapidly changing medical landscape. The John Hopkins Medicine curriculum emphasizes core medical disciplines while ensuring that students understand the connection between medicine and research. In addition to its traditional medical degree program, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine offers a distinctive Medical Scientist Training program that reinforces its commitment to educating the world’s most skilled physician-scientists.
General admissions prerequisites and requirements for an MD include a Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) taken in the four years before the student’s intended matriculation date and a bachelor’s degree from a US Department of Education accredited institution. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine holds its accreditation through the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
UC San Francisco School of Medicine’s traditional MD programs focuses on engaging students in ways that enhance their breadth of knowledge, gives them real-world medical experience, all while providing direction on choosing a path in the medical profession. The curriculum centers on medical problem-solving, case-based courses delivered in both a classroom environment and a clinical skills center. All courses offered in the MD program are based on a pass/fail grading system.
Admissions requirements for the MD program at UC San Francisco include the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree, a qualifying MCAT score, as well as the ability of the applicant to meet health and technical criteria as outlined on the admissions website. The University of California – San Francisco School of Medicine holds LCME accreditation.
Students can earn their MD from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine located in Philadelphia. Providing students with a module-based curriculum, graduates of the program will have gained extensive medical knowledge preparing them for a rewarding medical career. The MD program at Perelman School of Medicine begins with core medical principles and goes through a series of in-depth modules that culminate in individualized medial electives chosen by the medical student and course that focus on professionalism in the field.
Throughout the MD program, students are assessed using a variety of methods such as traditional exams, clinical skills assessments, oral presentations, simulated exercises, individual and group projects, as well as academic papers. Graduates of the program are required to uphold the standards set forth by the Perelman School of Medicine as defined in the required and elective courses information.
How to Choose the Right Program
You can choose the perfect MD program based on your future career aspirations and each school’s academic course load. Some medical schools will focus more specifically on traditional medicine, while others give you a greater opportunity to explore opportunities outside of the medical field. After this, you can rank schools in order of convenience, price, and accrditation.
Who accredits medical degree programs?
Understanding the accreditation medical schools possess is the key to ensuring that you receive a top-notch education that will prepare you for a future medicine and related fields. Every medical school in the United States, even those with an online component, is required to maintain some type of accreditation with a state, regional, or national accrediting agency. The main accrediting body for U.S. medical schools is the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC).
Beyond AAMC accreditation, many medical schools opt to maintain accreditation status with Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), a national accrediting body for MD degree programs. This optional accreditation serves to hold the schools accountable for offering a well-rounded curriculum that adequately prepares medical students for their future profession. Not all of the top schools hold this accreditation, but it is one more factor to consider before making a choice.
How long does it typically take to get a degree in medicine?
Most medical schools allow you obtain your MD in eight years, which includes the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree before admission. Also, medical students are required to complete a residency program which can range from an additional three to eight years. More extensive training may be required depending on the timing of the courses offered and your enrollment date.
What does the curriculum typically include?
The modern medical school curriculum should include a history of medicine, including a look at medical origins and how they evolved into what is now known as modern medicine. Today’s medical school courses focus on the future with curriculums dedicated to incorporating modern medical technology to advance the profession, working with diverse populations and a patient-centered approach to healthcare.
In addition to medical-specific competencies, students will also learn how to communicate more effectively both orally and in writing. You should be prepared to take a variety of courses designed to enhance your communication skills, which will be imperative in the medical profession.
A well-rounded medical education is based on undergraduate prerequisite courts that provide the student with a solid academic foundation to build upon. Common coursework required before medical school admission includes biology, chemistry, and several other science-related courses.
How can I finance my education?
Obtaining your medical degree can be quite expensive. You can finance this dream by applying for financial aid and grants through the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Grants offered by the federal government do not need to be repaid upon graduation.
Some of these top medical schools also have scholarships available to eligible students on a first-come-first-served basis. These scholarships do not need to be repaid but might be based on your grades, test scores, and other criteria. Similar to a scholarship, some colleges offer work-study programs that allow you to work off your debt in various positions both on and off campus.
For the remaining amount, it may be necessary to take out a student loan, which can be paid back following graduation. Look for loans that have low-interest rates and don’t impose a penalty for prepayment. The federal government tends to offer more advantageous loan programs compared to private lenders.
What are the employment prospects for a medical school graduate?
Understanding the employment prospects for those who receive their MD can vary based on the career path you decide to take. To give you an idea of what is expected for this field in the coming years, we will take a look at the most popular careers that many people with this degree choose to pursue. All data is based on the figures available from the United State Department of Labor based on projects made from 2016 to 2026.
Anesthesiologists: This medical specialty area is expected to see a 15 percent increase in the number of jobs available over the coming decade. The profession is growing slightly ahead of the average employment rates throughout the country. There are currently 33,000 positions with this title, and the annual salary is about $453,687.
Surgeons: This medical specialty represents an estimated 14 percent increase in the number of available jobs. Approximately 45,000 jobs were available in 2016 with another 6,500 set to become available by the year 2026. for those who secure a general surgery position, the annual salary is approximately $409,665.
Psychiatrists: This position is expected to continue to grow by about 11 percent in the coming years. There are currently 27,500 positions available in this field, making it somewhat difficult to break into. The expected annual salary for a psychiatrist is $255,543.