March 16, 2016

U-M Medical School again ranks among the best in the nation for graduate training programs

U.S. News & World Report ranks UMMS fourth for primary care, 11th among research schools, and in the top tier in five specialties

UM Medical Campus Aerials

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — For more than 160 years, aspiring doctors have applied to the University of Michigan Medical School, hoping to win a spot in one of the nation’s top training programs for physicians.

Today, the school once again ranked among the best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. This includes:

  • A rank of 4th in the country for training primary care physicians
  • A tie for 11th in the country among research-driven medical schools
  • Top-tier rankings for training in geriatrics (4th) internal medicine (6th), women’s health (tied for 6th), family medicine (8th) and pediatrics (tied for 12); and
  • A tie for 9th for graduate training in biomedical engineering, in a department jointly run by the Medical School and U-M College of Engineering.

These high ranks, based on data and reputational surveys, come at the same time that other U-M graduate programs in health fields earned similar recognition from U.S. News for training advance-practice nurses, pharmacists, social workers and clinical psychologists.

U-M also ranks high in other biomedical graduate disciplines that U.S. Newsdoesn’t rate every year, including public health and biological sciences.

U-M medical students have increasing opportunities to train with U-M students who are studying toward graduate degrees in these other disciplines. These programs aim to prepare them to work together in today’s health care environments.

New interprofessional education classes, for instance, ask students from different health profession programs to work together to plan care for simulated patients, using the different skills they’re learning in their graduate programs.

At the same time, the Medical School continues to phase in an innovative new curriculum, with many new features designed to enhance medical students’ preparation as health care leaders. U-M was among the first schools chosen for the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative. 

The school also recently opened an all-new learning environment for medical students in the Taubman Health Sciences Library building, after a $55 million renovation.

The school also offers many combined-degree programs for medical students seeking to earn a master’s or doctorate degree in another field, including one of only 46 Medical Scientist Training Programs in the country offering a path to a combined M.D. and Ph.D. in biomedical science.

Last summer, the first students arrived at U-M for a new post-college program called MEDPREP that aims to prepare non-science majors for application to medical school. The school also offers summer experiences for high school and college students considering biomedical careers.

From medical school to residency

According to the U.S. News data, U-M medical graduates continue to earn high esteem from the directors of residency programs around the country – the programs where new physicians continue to train after receiving their medical degrees.

U-M medical graduates received the fourth-highest score in the country from all residency directors, and the third-highest score from primary care residency directors.

This Friday, U-M’s next graduating class of medical students — and all their peers nationwide — will learn simultaneously where they’ve “matched” for residency training. It’s an annual tradition called Match Day, and formally launches students into the phase of their training in a specific medical or surgical discipline.

The match process involves both students ranking their preferred residency disciplines and locations, and directors of residency programs selecting their preferred trainees.

Another ranking, by, continues to show that the U-M Health System’s own residency programs are highly regarded by the physicians who have completed them. The full list of U-M programs tracked by Doximity, with information on their performance, is at

Research rankings

Although there’s no formal national ranking for medical schools according to the grants and other funding they receive to fuel their research, U-M tracks its performance against other medical schools based on published award data from the National Institutes of Health.

For federal fiscal year 2015, U-M had the 10th largest amount of NIH research dollars, based on grants awarded to faculty at 134 medical schools. Grants to U-M medical researchers from NIH in that time periods totaled nearly $288 million. In all, 13 of the school’s departments ranked in the top 10 in the country for their discipline, and all of the school’s departments ranked in the top 30 in the nation.

For more about the U-M Medical School’s programs for aspiring physicians, medical students and residents, visit