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Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Remains Top-Tier Among Nation's Best Medical Schools - 04/15/2010

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Remains Top-Tier Among Nation's Best Medical Schools

Release Date: April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010-The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has retained a top-tier ranking among the nation’s best medical schools, as reported in the U.S. News& World Report’s 2011 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

The overall School of Medicine ranking this year was #3, while the School’s biomedical engineering specialty retained its long-standing #1 ranking. Its overall ranking in the biological sciences rose along with ratings in cell biology, genetics and genomics, microbiology and molecular biology.

In the health specialties rankings, the School retained its #1 ranking in geriatrics, and rated higher than last year in drug/alcohol abuse, and women's health. In most others specialties and sciences, the rankings remained the same as last year.

According to Edward D. Miller, M.D., Dean/CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Medical School “is once again in very good company with peer institutions across the nation.” He also thanked the School’s faculty and staff, praising their “collegiality” and “pursuit of outstanding scientific discoveries and commitment to the superb training of the next generation of physicians, scientists and leaders in medicine.”

Miller noted that Johns Hopkins Medicine has had a “banner” year, with the awarding of a Nobel Prize to faculty scientist Carol Greider; its continued status as the #1 recipient of National Institutes of Health research grants and USN&WR’s recognition of The Johns Hopkins Hospital as again the top ranked hospital.

During the past year, he added,  JHM has also moved toward completion of  the redevelopment of the East Baltimore campus, including two new clinical towers; implemented a new medical school curriculum aligned with a new education facility – the Armstrong Building --  for medical students;  and opened a new Wilmer  Institute building for eye care.

School of Medicine leadership has also taken note once again that there appear to be continuing problems with USN&WR’s ranking methodology and its numbers, particularly in its reporting of National Institutes of Health research funding to medical schools. The USN&WR data do not align with NIH and other public database figures.

USN&WR does not require a standardized approach for institutions, which all self-report their information. Nor does the magazine cross-check self reported information with official databases. The differences could be significant, because the grant dollars account for a substantial part of the weight in the magazine’s calculation of overall rankings, Hopkins officials point out.

As one example, officials at Johns Hopkins noted, it may be that some institutions calculated into their totals stimulus grant (ARRA) funding awarded in the last several days of September, 2009. Johns Hopkins did not do so because we only use the official public NIH awards data.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has raised the issue with the magazine and the magazine has expressed interest in continuous improvement and standardization in it data gathering.
“We would hope the magazine will establish standard ways to support rankings using official public agencies such as NIH and other recognized data bases,” Miller said.

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