Pritzker Withdraws from U.S. News Rankings, Citing Methodological Concerns

The Pritzker School of Medicine, ranked number 20 in the 2023 rankings, will no longer submit data to U.S. News and World Report’s annual “Best Medical Schools” ranking.

By Anu Vashist

On January 26, the Pritzker School of Medicine announced it would no longer participate in the U.S News & World Report’s annual “Best Medical Schools” ranking beginning in 2024, citing concerns about the magazine’s methodology and the impact the ratings have on equity in medical education. The school was ranked number 20 out of 192 in the 2023 rankings; of the 192 schools surveyed, 130 schools submitted data.

“We have notified U.S. News editors that we do not plan to submit data for their medical school rankings next year,” Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine and the Biological Sciences Division (BSD) Mark Anderson in UChicago Medicine’s statement announcing the decision said.

U.S. News has indicated that they will still rank medical schools using publicly available data, regardless of their participation in the process, Anderson added.

This trend among graduate institutions began in November 2022, when Yale and Harvard withdrew from the law school rankings. Among medical schools, Harvard Medical School announced on January 17 that it would no longer submit data to U.S. News, leading other top-ranked schools to follow suit.

Dean of the UChicago Law School Thomas Miles announced last November that the school would continue to submit information to U.S. News.

Frustration with the U.S. News rankings for undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools has long been prevalent, with critics accusing them of skewing educational priorities. In their statement, UChicago Medicine addressed this criticism, arguing that the current ranking system raises concerns about improving equity in medical education.

“This decision is based on our judgment that the current methodology raises deep concerns about inequity perpetuated by the misuse of metrics that fail to capture the quality or outcomes of medical education for those who most need these data: applicants to medical school,” Anderson said in the statement.

According to U.S. News, ranking metrics include student selectivity, research activity, and evaluation by peer institutes.

In an email to The Maroon, Dean of Medical Education Vineet Arora expressed similar methodological concerns. “It is no secret the metrics used in the rankings process are flawed and do not actually reflect the quality or outcomes of a medical school education,” she wrote. “Given the announcement by Harvard and several others, we felt it was time to not only state our concerns about the methodology, but also add an important element that was missing to date: a request for a conversation.”

In their letter to U.S. News, Pritzker requested that the publication convene with medical schools, students, and applicants. Anderson said in the statement that the medical school would be open to reconsidering its withdrawal if U.S. News was to reevaluate its current methodology.

“We certainly hope that through discussion, we can see the necessary changes to improve the rankings system enacted,” Arora said.

Arora also told The Maroon that medical school applicants deserve useful data and that the Biological Sciences Division—which oversees biomedical research and education at the undergraduate, graduate, medical, and postgraduate levels—has a responsibility to educate pre-medical students about medical school.

“As the Biological Sciences Division is also responsible for educating many students who do apply to medical school, we are particularly motivated to see meaningful improvements in the methodology,” she said.

Arora explained that in the meantime, Pritzker intends to address concerns about transparency by sharing “relevant metrics of medical school experience and outcomes” on its website.

UChicago Medicine will continue to participate in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals” ranking.