BY KIM BELLARD
I’ve been thinking a lot about medical education lately, for two unrelated reasons. The first is the kerfuffle between US News and World Report and some of the nation’s top – or, at least, best known – medical schools over the USN&WR medical school rankings. The second is an announcement by the University of Texas at Austin that it is planning to offer an online Masters program in Artificial Intelligence.
As the old mathematician joke goes, the connection is obvious, right? OK, it may need a little explaining.
USN&WR has made an industry out of its rankings, including for colleges, hospitals, business schools, and, of course, medical schools. The rankings have never been without controversy, as the organizations being ranked don’t always agree with the methodology, and some worry that their competitors may fudge the data. Last year it was law schools protesting; this year it is medical schools.
Harvard Medical School started the most recent push against the medical school rankings, based on:
…the principled belief that 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 programs…Ultimately, the suitability of any particular medical school for any given student is too complex, nuanced, and individualized to be served by a rigid ranked list, no matter the methodology.
Several other leading medical schools have now also announced their withdrawals, including Columbia, Mt. Sinai, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania.Continue reading…