10 Best Medical Schools For Surgeons And Doctors In The U.S. 2021

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The states with the most number of active doctors are California, Florida, Texas, and New York. In 2019, California earned the top spot in this department with approximately 112,906 physicians.

In the same year, however, it was reported that the country would likely experience a shortage of 122,000 doctors by 2032, predominantly because of the soaring population. Although the rural areas would be significantly impacted by this shortage, this projected lack would also be evident in urban and metropolitan areas.

There are several universities for medicine you can choose from to fulfill your dream of becoming a doctor. It doesn’t matter if you feel like your time has passed or you’re too young to be a doctor for that matter—you have the best pre-med schools in the country are at your disposal!

Data provided by Association of American Medical Colleges from 2010-2019 depicts the steady increase in the number of applicants, enrollments, matriculants, and graduates. More and more students are expressing their desire to pursue the profession.

Table of Contents

Qualities of a Doctor

Female doctor wearing protective gloves, hands close up

But what does it take to be one? Here are unquantifiable characteristics that make an excellent future-doctor candidate. Consider this list of qualities to guide in your decision-making:


It is said that artificial intelligence, revolutionary as it is, can never really replace a human doctor; it can only be used to optimize physician performance. The primary reason, of course, is because an AI robot does not have compassion. Doctors ought to feel for their patients. To be a doctor, you should have the ability to empathize with your patients. It goes way beyond delivering treatments and conducting successful surgeries.


In the medical field, being professional means to act appropriately at all times. You must be respectful, maintain the right decorum, and attend to the situation promptly. You must make your patient’s well-being top priority.


In the medical field, the definition of knowledge is not limited to the lessons you learned and the competencies you earned from prestigious med schools. Your employer, as well as your patient, will trust you when they see your track record of successful operations and surgeries.


Despite your hectic schedule, find time to communicate and get in touch with your patients. Be modest enough to acknowledge that your availability matters to them! They will have concerns and questions, which you must answer with sincerity. Never try to rush them into making decisions and always listen to their side before making a diagnosis or deciding on a major treatment.

Medical Specializations

Doctors operating

A 2019 study on American physicians showed that the top three specialties of doctors that had the most number of active physicians were: psychiatry, surgery, and anesthesiologist. The same statistics also provide that specialties such as orthopedic surgeons, urology, and invasive cardiology tend to earn the highest salaries than other specializations. However, there are actually numerous fields of practice and specializations that you can choose from after you finish your pre-med and Doctor of Medicine Degrees.

Here are some of them:


They are the doctors who deal with the immune system, and treat patients that have allergies, which are incurred through harmless substances or some specific food component. Allergy/Immunology is a subspecialty of internal medicine or pediatrics. It takes a total of 9 years to accomplish this specialty.


They are the doctors that prescribe medication, so patients do not have to feel pain during an operation. Anesthesiologists usually spend a total of 12 years in school, including the 4 years in an anesthesiology residency program.  


These doctors deal with the diseases of the cardiovascular system. If you want to be a cardiologist in America, it will take you a total of 10 years, which includes 4 years in medical school, 3 years in internal medicine, and 3 years specializing in Cardiology.

The Challenges of Being A Doctor

Portrait of unhappy tired young doctor having headache near a window

Looking at the recent news may evoke and increase your determination in pursuing the same path as these frontliners!

Indeed, there may be no better time than now to acknowledge the daily sacrifice that our doctors and medical and health workers make! As the U.S. medical industry takes a beating from the CoVid-19 pandemic, doctors are showing a remarkable dedication to their profession.

As we struggle to battle against the pandemic, doctors are the armies that govern our borders against the coronavirus so it doesn’t take more lives than it already does! The unsung heroes that they are, their daily sacrifice to save lives is nothing less than extraordinary.

Being a doctor goes way beyond choosing it as a profession. This is a dream and an advocacy to service the people and your country, and to live by that principle for as long as you are capable.

While it is obvious that being a doctor comes with countless perks, it is not without its challenges. You will unquestionably have lesser time for your personal life. You will need to be highly motivated to keep going and never give up despite the pressures of your medical responsibilities. There will be times that you will feel drained physically and mentally. But with determination and perseverance, there is no doubt that you can overcome all these.


U.S. Colleges That Produce the Most Doctors

Ready to enter the medical field or advance your expertise in this area of study? Consider the top universities for medicine! Here are some of the high ranking and the best pre-med schools with numerous medical programs in the certificate, professional, undergraduate, and graduate levels:

Johns Hopkins Medical School

Medicine student or young doctor with apprenticeship group

Johns Hopkins Medical School was established in 1893 and consistently ranks as one of the best medical schools in America. It is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Hospital, which is also a teaching hospital, along with other medical center partnerships.

One of the notable alumni of Johns Hopkins Medical School is Mark M. Ravitch. He received his MD in 1934. He served as an army major that led a team of surgeons at a hospital in France during the World War II. Finally, in 1946, he became a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Bachelor of Science Degrees (On-campus):

M.D. program (The Genes to Society Curriculum) (On-campus)
Duration: 4 years

Graduate Programs (On-campus):

Certificate or MA Degree in the History of Medicine (online)

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Harvard Medical School

Multi ethnic group of medical students in uniform looking on the x-ray sitting at the desk in the modern classroom

Harvard Medical School was founded in 1782. This Ivy League school is renowned globally for the highest quality education of education it offers. It consistently takes the top spot in numerous academic rankings, including the Best Medical Schools conducted by U.S. News.

Harvard maintains excellent curricula and sophisticated facilities. It takes pride in its alumni support wherein community doctors collaborate to serve patients in the country. Unlike all the other universities, Harvard does not have an exclusive training relationship with a single hospital. They have several affiliated hospitals all around the Boston area.

A significant alumnus from the Harvard Medical School is Louis Tompkins Wright. He was the very first African-American surgeon that worked in a hospital in New York City. He was a famous medical researcher and had put a lot of his efforts for establishing racial equality in the medical sector in America.

MD Program (On Campus)

Principal Clinical Experience
Post-PCE phase
Duration: 2 years

Master’s programs (On-campus):

Ph.D. Programs

HMX Fundamentals (Online):

  • Study of Immunology, Physiology, Genetics, Pharmacology, and Biochemistry
    Duration: One course – 10 weeks long

HMX Pro (Online):

  • Study of Immuno-oncology and Cancer Genomics and Precision Oncology
    Duration: One HMX pro course – 10 to 20 hours to complete
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Stanford University School of Medicine

Medical students walking through corridor at the university

Stanford University is in Stanford, California, and was founded in 1885. Stanford earned the 1st place ranking on the Best Colleges for Veterans research conducted in 2020, and it placed at number five in Best Value Schools. Admission to the MD program is quite competitive but if you are the type of person who seeks to contribute in transforming the fields of medicine and biomedical sciences, then Stanford would welcome you to be part of their growing family of doctors.

Lori Arviso Alvord is a graduate of Stanford University. She was most famous for being the first Diné woman who passed the board as a certified surgeon. She also wrote her autobiography entitled The Scalpel and The Silver Bear. In 2013, she was nominated for U.S. surgeon general.

MD Program (The Discovery Curriculum) (On-campus)
Duration: fulltime (2 years) Part-time (3 years)

Master’s Programs (On-campus):

PhD Programs (On-campus):

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Perelman School of Medicine – University of Pennsylvania

A multiracial group of young medical interns listening to a elder doctor in a hospital corridor

Ranked third in the Best Medical Schools and fourth in the World’s Innovative Universities lists in 2019, the University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin. It is the nation’s oldest medical school, and a highly reputable authority in medical education.

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania. She is best known for being the founder of Emily’s Entourage, a nonprofit organization that raises money to develop a cure for rare mutations of Cystic Fibrosis. Kramer-Golinkoff was acknowledged by the White House as a Champion of Change. The government honored her efforts in harnessing patient data to improving their health.

MD Program (On-campus)
Duration: 4 years

Master Programs (On-campus):

PhD Programs (On Campus):

Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (On Campus)
Duration: 1-2 years of research experience
Preparation for pursuing a doctorate program in Biomedical Sciences

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Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

Medical students smiling at the camera at the university

Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine was formerly called Mayo Medical School. It is based in Rochester, Minnesota, with campuses and facilities in Arizona and Florida. It has the lowest acceptance rate at 2.1% during the 2017-2018 application calendars!

MD Program
Duration: 4 years

Bachelor’s Programs

Master’s Program:

PhD Programs:

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Baylor College of Medicine

Medical students in classroom

Baylor College of Medicine, located in Houston, Texas, is hailed as the world’s largest medical center.  It was established in 1900 and has since been known for its excellence in research and education. Aside from consistently dominating college and graduate rankings, Baylor is known for its tuition rate that lowest among all private medical schools in America.

MD Program (On-campus)
Duration: 4 years

PhD Programs (On-campus):

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Michigan State University

Medical students examining the results of the x-ray procedure

If you are looking for value for your money in med school, Michigan State University should be on your list! Known as your fairly priced college option, this university is best known for providing high-quality education at reasonable tuition rates. Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is considered one of the world’s best research universities.

Alfred Day Hershey is an alumnus of Michigan State University. He was a Nobel Prize winner bacteriologist and geneticist. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1930 in MSU.

Bachelor’s Degree:

Master’s Program:

PhD Program:

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Yale School of Medicine

Team of scientists discussing over sample in medical laboratory

Yale School of Medicine was formally opened in 1813. Located in New Haven, this medical school in Connecticut is famous for its rather unique methods of instruction and student assessment. Med students are typically not graded in their first two years of study. This is to motivate them to be more responsible and dedicated as they move forward academically.

One of Yale’s former students is James Edward Rothman. He was a biochemist, who was also the Chairman of the Cell Biology at Yale School of Medicine.

MD Program (On-campus)
Duration: 2 years completion

MD-PhD Program (On-campus)
Duration: 4 years

PhD Programs:

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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

A young medical student working in hospital

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is ranked as one of the top 20 medical schools by U.S. News and World Report. It is a private graduate medical school that is conveniently located in Manhattan, New York City. Classes started way back in 1958, and since then, Icahn School of Medicine has been widely acknowledged for their exemplary academic and practice standards in the areas of research, patient care, and disease study.

MD Program (On-campus)
Duration: 4 years

Graduate Programs (On-campus):

Master’s Programs (On-campus):

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New York University – Grossman School of Medicine

Medical students taking a break on the steps at the university

The New York University – Grossman School of Medicine was founded in 1841. It is ranked as a leading medical school and particularly known for conducting in-depth studies and research on drugs and alcohol abuse, and AIDS.

Jane Cooke Wright was an alumnus of the New York University School of Medicine. She was known to be the first African American woman who became an associate dean for a highly ranked medical institution. It was in 1945 when she finished her medical degree in New York Medical College with honors.

MD Degree
Duration: 4 years

Dual Degrees: