In this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings of research-oriented medical schools, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has moved up one place from last year, from 21st to 20th, tying with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The criteria for ranking research-oriented schools are research funding (30 percent), student selectivity (20 percent), faculty resources (10 percent), and reputation (40 percent). Reputation is weighted equally between reputation among senior faculty members and residency program directors. Research funding is based on the average total of National Institutes of Health grants awarded to the school and its hospital affiliates in 2002 and 2003. NIH funding for the top 30 medical schools ranged from $123.9 million to $977.3 million, with Northwestern’s totaling $171.3 million.
In the U.S. News rankings of programs in eight specialties, Northwestern ranked 16th in pediatrics, 17th in AIDS and women’s health, and 23rd in internal medicine.
Dean Lewis Landsberg, MD, says, “The U.S. News rankings are flawed, since they do not measure the quality of the educational experience, the caliber of the faculty, or the skills and talent of graduates of different schools. However, the rankings are widely reported and used, especially by prospective students.”