April 24, 2009

VUSM climbs in U.S. News’ annual ranking

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VUSM climbs in U.S. News’ annual ranking

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine now ranks among the top 15 U.S. medical schools, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of graduate education programs and health disciplines released today.

The new edition of America's Best Graduate Schools placed VUSM 15th out of 126 accredited medical schools, in a tie with the University of California, San Diego. Last year, VUSM placed 16th.

Among the 48 research schools listed, VUSM's overall score increased from 67 to 68 points (out of a possible 100). That score is one point below the schools in 13th place — the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh.

“This ranking verifies the sterling quality and reputation of our School of Medicine,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “Thanks to the guidance of Dean Jeff Balser and the hard work of our faculty, staff, students and residents, we have once again shown that Vanderbilt School of Medicine is a national leader in education, research and patient care.”

“Vanderbilt has developed a sustainable and highly innovative environment for biomedical research and training,” said Balser, M.D., Ph.D., also associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “Our students and faculty are extraordinary and we have an unparalleled reputation for collegiality. I believe our steady rise in the U.S. News rankings will continue, and will further confirm what we've known for some time — Vanderbilt has become one of the country's extraordinary medical schools and will play a major leadership role moving forward.”

VUSM was most recently ranked 10th in total National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding. Balser said these figures are doubly impressive in the current economic downturn, and are a testament to the growing strength of VUSM's research enterprise.

“I can't think of a more difficult time than the last five years for national research funding,” Balser added. “Competition has been tougher than ever, and the fact that Vanderbilt has continued to move up is a clear indicator of the quality of our faculty.”

U.S. News ranks schools with an overall score as determined by marks in 10 individual categories: peer assessment, assessment score by residency directors, undergraduate GPA and MCAT scores, acceptance rate, NIH research grants, research grants per faculty member, faculty/student ratio, out-of-state tuition and fees and total enrollment.
In addition to ranking individual schools, the magazine looked at fields of specialty for each school.

Harvard University once again ranked first among research medical schools, with Johns Hopkins University second.

U.S. News and World Report ranks nursing schools on a two- to three-year basis. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is ranked 19th by the magazine, according to 2007 data. At that time, the school jumped from 29th to 19th.