The Perelman School of Medicine announced that it will no longer participate in the annual U.S. News and World Report “Best Medical Schools” rankings.
J. Larry Jameson, dean of the Medical School and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System, publicized the decision in a memo sent to the faculty, staff, and students on Jan. 24. He emphasized the “focus on innovation and impact and shaping the future of medicine as more important cornerstones for measuring the school’s reputation,” according to Penn Medicine's press release.
The Medical School — ranked No. 6 in 2023 — follows withdrawals from the U.S. News rankings by other graduate schools, such as the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and Harvard Medical School, within the past year.
“The USNWR measures encourage the acceptance of students based upon the highest grades and test scores,” Jameson wrote to the Penn Medicine community, according to the press release. “Yet, we strive to identify and attract students with a wide array of characteristics that predict promise. The careers of transformative physicians, scientists, and leaders reveal the importance of other personal qualities, including creativity, passion, resilience, and empathy.”
Harvard Medical School — ranked No. 1 in 2023 — announced the decision on Jan. 17, which prompted questions about which other schools, such as Penn, would also take action. The deadline set by U.S. News to submit data for the next year is Jan. 27.
Penn Carey Law also disclosed their decision to withdraw in early December. The school joined other Ivy Leagues in boycotting the annual rankings and have remain opposed to them despite efforts by U.S. News to reform their process. The wave of withdrawals comes after criticism from educational leaders about the methodology of the rankings.
In the 2022-23 U.S. News "Best National University Rankings", Penn was ranked No. 7, with the Wharton School and School of Nursing ranked at the top for their undergraduate programs.
Jameson presented concerns in the memo that the “rankings perpetuate a vision for medical education and the future physician and scientist workforce that we do not share,” according to the press release.