Duke School of Medicine joins other top schools, drops out of annual US News ranking

HARRY LYNCH/hlynch@newsobserver.com

Duke University’s School of Medicine will no longer participate in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, the school’s leadership announced in a letter to faculty and students Friday.

This announcement comes after several top-tier universities, including medical schools at Harvard, Columbia and Stanford, announced their decision to withdraw from the ranking earlier this month, citing concerns that it is heavily based on the institution’s wealth and prestige.

Duke School of Medicine leadership expressed similar concerns, pointing out that research quality was evaluated by the amount of federal funding the schools received.

“We, however, evaluate research not only by its federal support but by its innovation, its impact, and its effectiveness in training the next generation of physician-scientists,” read the letter, signed by School of Medicine Dean Dr. Mary Klotman.

Millions of prospective students visit the ranking page every year to compare academic institutions, said Eric Gertler, U.S. News & World Report’s executive chairman & CEO.

Duke tied for sixth on the list of best medical schools in 2023.

Duke leadership argued that while the list may have intended to provide useful information to students, the metrics “have little connection to the values or the quality of the school’s educational program.”

“Prospective students deserve a more comprehensive picture than can be captured in a rigid rubric,” the letter read.

Teddy Rosenbluth covers science and healthcare for The News & Observer in a position funded by Duke Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.