Why did HMS Withdraw From U.S. News & World Report Rankings? Explained

HMS deny merit
Harvard Medical School


Harvard University Medical School has withdrawn from an annual ranking of the country’s best medical schools. Let’s see, why did HMS deny merit and why HMS withdraw from US news and world report rankings in detail.

HMS’ Withdrawl of Merit:  

Dean George Daley announced the decision in a message to the medical school community on Tuesday, citing “philosophical” problems with US News & World Report’s long-running ranking.

HMS deny merit and the Dean felt compelled to make the move after law-school exodus.

Parents and prospective students frequently consult this ranking of the nation’s top medical schools when choosing which universities to apply to.

The representative from the institution claimed he was influenced by recent decisions made by the deans of the law schools at Yale and Harvard, praising them as “bold and courageous.” 

In November, Yale Legal School Dean Heather Gerken removed her institution from the company’s law school list.

The institution declared its intention to stop submitting data to US Report for tabulation and condemned the ranking methodology as being fundamentally faulty and discouraging aid for low-income students.

The Yale Law School’s dean, Heather Gerken, stated that the system encourages colleges to give financial help to students who perform well academically rather than to low-income applicants who are in greater need.

HMS deny Merit:

The annual compilation is currently being criticized as “flawed” by those who believe it adversely affects students’ chances of getting jobs, admission to graduate school, and enrollment in Ph.D. programs.

Prior to this, the medical school at Harvard was ranked seventh for primary care, but first in the nation for research.

Dean Daley stated that the recent choices by Harvard and Yale law schools to withdraw from its ranking of top law institutions due to issues regarding equity motivated the school’s decision to refrain from giving information to the media business for its tabulations.

“Rankings cannot meaningfully reflect the high aspirations for educational excellence, graduate preparedness, and compassionate and equitable patient care that we strive to foster in our medical education program,” said Daley, a longtime HMS faculty member who was appointed the school’s dean in 2017.

Dean says that HMS no longer submits information to the US news and world reports.

“Rankings are Flawed”, says Gerken:

According to Gerken, the current ranking undervalues initiatives to help low-income students and programs that support low-paying public interest jobs.

Gerken said, “The U.S. News rankings are profoundly flawed”.

They disincentivize programs that promote public-interest careers, advocate for need-based aid and encourage working-class students into the field.

‘Its approach not only fails to advance the legal profession, but stands squarely in the way of progress.’

In the end, the dean concluded that the system undercuts charitable attempts to provide students with opportunities for institutions prioritize rankings for reputation.

Controversies in the US news ranking list:

‘In fact, in recent years, we have invested significant energy and capital in important initiatives that make our law school a better place, but perversely work to lower our scores,’ she added about the University’s work

She also blasted colleges that grant scholarships to students with the highest ranks rather than to those who actually need the money.

‘This heavily weighted metric imposes tremendous pressure on schools to overlook promising students, especially those who cannot afford expensive test preparation courses,’ according to Gerken.

‘At a moment when concerns about economic equity stand at the center of our national dialogue, only two law schools in the country continue to give aid based entirely on need — Harvard and Yale.’

The dean also mentioned that graduates who accepted school-funded fellowships for public interest positions or continued on to enroll in further education appeared to be labeled as unemployed in the US News ranking.

U.S. News & World Report, which began publishing these rankings in the 1980s, has been criticized in recent months, by numerous academic institutions, including Harvard Law, for making connections with the company.

Several additional legal schools have joined Yale and Harvard in withdrawing from the rankings, both of which are among the best in the country.

These withdrawals follow as the result of controversies over US News’ ranking system.

What was student’s reaction?

WolfHowlz commented,

Honestly saw this coming when I remembered hearing that Yale Law dropped out and then Harvard Law the same day shortly after. Harvard knows that they are in the top 10 in nearly everything and don’t need U.S. N&R to say otherwise… honestly not much will change I feel like besides some minor stats being left out or…?

Thecaramelbandit posted,

HMS deny merit and I think it’s a solid move. Takes away any motivation to work the numbers for USNWR. Can be liberating for admissions and teaching if you don’t have to fret about that last 0.01 GPA and whatever for a student you want to admit.

Nanocyborgasm commented,

That report is bullshit anyway, so Harvard loses nothing.

DentateGyros commented,

I dunno how I feel about this. On the one hand, I’m glad to see USNWR being de-emphasized since so much of it is nitpicking and largely meaningless. On the other, it’s really easy for Harvard to take this position because they’re Harvard. You don’t need USNWR to know that they have a strong reputation, but some other institutions might genuinely benefit from it. As someone with no prior ties to medicine, before entering medicine I had no idea about the reputations of Michigan, Sinai, UCSF, etc., and USNWR do help fill in that gap

housemd4life commented,

This is true. Some schools like UCSF are really top tier in medicine, but unknown outside of medicine. I personally didn’t know about UCSF till undergrad.

Throwaway_9494949 posted,

This is most likely because of a possible end to affirmative action in the coming months by the Supreme Court. As with the law schools pulling out of the rankings, it allows you to continue with affirmative action in all but name without hurting yourself in the rankings. The LSAT played a big role in law school rankings, which will eventually be eliminated after 2025. Similarly, the MCAT plays a big role in the rankings as well. As some will remember, NYU jumped up in the rankings after their average MCAT and GPA scores went up when they made tuition free.

housemd4life commented,

I hope med schools don’t go MCAT optional. It’s the only way that those of us in harder majors with low GPAs (CS, engineering, Chem, math) prove to adcoms our scientific literacy.

ducttapetricorn commented,

This is most likely because of a possible end to affirmative action in the coming months by the Supreme Court. As with the law schools pulling out of the rankings, it allows you to continue with affirmative action in all but name without hurting yourself in the rankings.


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