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Harvard Medical School latest to exit U.S. News rankings

Rankings create ‘perverse incentives,’ dean wrote

A top medical school pulled out of a prominent national ranking system, joining prestigious law schools in a group exit that began last November.

Harvard will no longer submit data to U.S. News & World Report for use in its “best medical schools” rankings, George Daley, dean of the faculty of medicine, wrote in a news release on Tuesday.

The publication lists Harvard Medical School as No. 1 in “Best Medical Schools: Research” and No. 9 in “Best Medical Schools: Primary Care” for 2023.

The decision rests “on the principled belief that rankings cannot meaningfully reflect the high aspirations for educational excellence, graduate preparedness, and compassionate and equitable patient care that we strive to foster,” the dean wrote.

Rankings also create “perverse incentives” to misreport data, tailor policies primarily to boost ratings, or redistribute financial aid to higher-scoring students with greater means, Daley stated.

MORE: Harvard med class focuses on LGBTQIA+ ‘infants’ and older

He cited as inspiration the “courageous and bold” decisions of the deans of Harvard Law and similarly prestigious law schools to exit the rankings system two months ago.

The law schools of first Yale and then Harvard, rated No. 1 and No. 4, respectively, pulled out of the annual U.S. News rankings last November, The College Fix reported.

“The U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed — they disincentivize programs that support public interest careers, champion need-based aid, and welcome working-class students into the profession,” Yale Law School dean Heather Gerken wrote Nov. 16.

Soon after the move by law schools, two doctors and former deans of the University of Chicago’s School of Medicine published an op-ed encouraging the country’s medical schools “to follow their lead,” The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Tuesday.

Harvard Medical School will continue to publish important information on its admissions page, and relevant data is available in raw form on the Medical School Admission Requirements™ Reports for Applicants and Advisors website, Dean Dailey wrote.

MORE: Texas A&M med school removes photos of white male alumni to show commitment to diversity

IMAGE: Harvard Medical School

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About the Author
assistant editor
Maggie has previously worked as an associate editor of Columbia magazine, an editorial assistant at DNAinfo.com, and an elementary school teacher at a charter school in Phoenix. She holds a B.A. from New York University and lives in New Haven, Connecticut.