University of Michigan Medical School boycotts U.S. News & World Report rankings

University of Michigan campus aerial shot on Homecoming weekend in Oct. 2016 during the Illinois game: Burton Tower, Alumni Center, Michigan League, Chemistry Building, SNRE, Randall Lab, Hatcher Graduate Library, Kraus Natural Science. (Scott C.Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Medical School announced on Monday it will no longer take part in the annual ranking of medical schools by U.S. News & World Report.

School officials said the way USNWR ranks medical schools has been a concern for some time.

“The fundamental problem is that an aggregated score, based on many different dimensions, cannot possibly help students or others evaluate institutions with respect to their individual priorities,” Marschall S. Runge, dean of the U-M Medical School, CEO of Michigan Medicine and executive vice president of medical affairs for the University of Michigan said in a statement.

“Creating an overall ranking blurs each school’s individual attributes into a single score or rank that only reflects priorities set by USNWR itself.”

In November 2022, Michigan Law announced its decision to no longer participate in the USNWR rankings for similar reasons.

By withdrawing its participation, the U-M Medical School will no longer provide USNWR with data. According to a release, the decision was made following discussions with school leaders, faculty and students.

Runge said deans from medical schools across the country have encouraged the ranking site to change its process for some time.

“We made multiple suggestions to USNWR leadership urging change in their methodologies,” Runge said in a statement. “Ultimately, these discussions yielded only minor revisions to the methodology used to rank medical schools.”

“U-M Medical School remains committed to sharing data that might assist potential students in their decision making,” executive vice dean for academic affairs at the U-M Medical School and chief academic officer for Michigan Medicine Debra F. Weinstein said in a statement. “We understand that some students have used rankings to inform their choices.

“Sharing specific data points on our public website will help prospective students and others evaluate aspects of our school that are most important to them.”

According to a release, U-M Medical School’s withdrawal from the rankings does not relate to U-M Health’s participation in rankings that could provide patients and families with helpful information.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.