The message below from Theodore DeWeese, M.D., interim dean of the medical faculty and CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine, was shared with Johns Hopkins faculty and staff earlier today.
To Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty and staff
I want to share with you that, after much thought and discussion, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has decided to no longer participate in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Medical Schools rankings. While we have already submitted data for the magazine’s current evaluation cycle, we will not do so in the future. We are pleased to see many of our peer institutions announcing the same, and hope this will lead to changes in the evaluation process so that meaningful and relevant information can be provided to future students and the public they will serve.
We are proud to be annually considered one of the very best medical schools in the United States and the world, but we also know that rankings do not fully account for the many factors that distinguish one medical school from another. The mission of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is to enroll diverse, academically outstanding students with a demonstrated interest in becoming healers and leaders in medicine and biomedical science. This goal reflects our commitment to the public trust, and it is not adequately assessed by the current measures used to rank medical schools.
Our concerns about the publication’s methodology are not new. Like many other medical schools, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has questioned the value of the U.S. News medical school rankings. In a 2017 article published in The New England Journal of Medicine, authors from our medical school joined authors from Stanford and Harvard medical schools in stating a commitment to using financial resources to benefit students with the greatest need, and in expressing concern about the misplaced incentive of the U.S. News rankings toward use of merit-based aid to attract students based solely on standardized test scores and college grade point average.
It is important to note that our decision applies only to U.S. News medical school rankings. Hospital rankings are conducted using different data. Although we will continue to assess the effectiveness of these rankings, and to raise concerns and questions to U.S. News as needed, at this time, we intend to maintain participation in the hospital rankings.
We recognize that U.S. News & World Report may continue to rank medical schools based on publicly available data, and we hope for the opportunity to join a discussion to define metrics more relevant to a school’s quality and mission and to the needs of prospective students and the public.
In the meantime, we commit to continuing to publicly share information that we and our peers consider to be true measures of value in medical education.
Theodore L. DeWeese, M.D.
Interim Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine