U.S. News report is good for one local medical school (guess)

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The University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine was ranked No. 5 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The symbolic transition from students to doctors came earlier this year during the school's White Coat Ceremony.

A new ranking of medical schools contains good news for the University of Pennsylvania, but the other training programs in the Philadelphia region had lackluster ratings.  

The annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report covered 170 medical schools fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, 30 of which were osteopathic. Of the 170, just 118 provided enough data to calculate the rankings. Research rankings (essentially the same as overall) were based on a combination of quality ratings, assessments by peers and residency directors, research activity, and student selectivity.

Penn's Perelman School of Medicine was ranked fifth overall, behind Harvard, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins Universities and the University of California, San Francisco. Penn was also ranked eighth for primary care, another broad category that considers what percentage of a school's students plan to become primary-care doctors.

At the other end of the state, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was ranked 15th overall and 13th for primary care.

Here are the overall/research rankings for other schools in the Philadelphia region:

  • Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College, 53rd.
  • Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine, 55th.
  • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, tied for 73rd.
  • Drexel University College of Medicine, 83rd.

Medical schools at Rowan and Pennsylvania State Universities and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine did not receive ratings in the overall/research category. For primary care, Rowan and Jefferson tied for 51st, the next-best local showing after Penn.

Rankings within individual training programs were based on ratings from medical school deans and senior faculty. Each could list up to 10 schools. The resulting final rankings typically included only a dozen or so schools.

Within individual training programs, Penn was first for pediatrics. (Doctors who work at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia teach pediatrics at Penn.) Penn was also third for women's health, fourth for internal medicine, and sixth for drug and alcohol abuse. Pitt was sixth for women's health, eighth for pediatrics, ninth for geriatrics, and 10th for drug and alcohol abuse. 

No other Pennsylvania or New Jersey medical schools made the top 10 for the specialties that were analyzed.