Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School withdraws from U.S. News Medical School rankings

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The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University has announced that it will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report Best Medical Schools rankings, saying that the rankings are not consistent with the school’s values or goals.

In a letter to the medical school community on August 29, Dr. Mukesh K. Jain, the dean of medicine and biological sciences and senior vice president for health affairs, explained the decision. He said the decision was based on “the flawed methodology of the rankings and their negative consequences on medical education.” He also said that the school’s leadership team talked with students, alumni, faculty and the University’s governing body before making the decision.

“Central to Brown’s decision to end participation is our belief that such quantitative rankings do not adequately capture the quality of education nor the level of support provided to students at any medical school,” Jain wrote. “The rankings also do not reflect the unique foci and missions of all medical schools, instead ranking them on factors that are not equally valued by all schools. At their worst, they perpetuate a culture of rewarding the most elite and historically privileged groups.”

The change will take effect in 2024, as the 2023 rankings have already been published. Brown is one of more than a dozen other leading medical schools that have also stopped sending data to U.S. News & World Report. Jain said that one of the main reasons for leaving was the ranking’s focus on undergraduate GPAs and MCAT scores, which he said do not measure holistically the qualities of a Brown-trained physician.

The Warren Alpert Medical School values humanism and compassion, innovation and discovery, and anti-racism, diversity and equity, as well as social responsibility, and community engagement and service, Jain said. He also said that the U.S. News rankings may make schools give financial aid to students who boost their ranking rather than those who need it most.

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