Every institute feels that it deserves to be counted among the best. A single factor cannot be the sole judge. Considering two factors, namely research and primary care makes it fairer.

Courses with stress on primary care have more patient contact and programs. Students are encouraged to provide voluntary health cover to destitute populations. This prepares the medical student to be a good doctor. However, if the medical student wants to further a vocation in academics or research, he should look into courses that specialize in the relevant field.

Taking part in special courses can augment the doctor’s medical education and give him an extra edge when applying for residencies. Overseas study, volunteer programs and coursework in public health or health care management are few of the special programs. Some schools, especially those associated with larger universities, allow students to enroll in classes of the other departments. They also offer joint degree programs. This makes it important for the student to know the various options available to him and make his choice wisely.

Top 5 medical schools (research) as per the US News’ ranking are Harvard University followed by the Johns Hopkins University. Washington University in St. Louis is at third position, followed by Duke University of Pennsylvania. University of California San Francisco is ranked fifth.

Top 5 medical schools as per primary care are University of Washington, Oregon Health & Science University, University of California San Francisco and Mich. State U. Coll. of Osteopathic Medicine. University of Minnesota Duluth is ranked the fifth.

A doctor’s career is built upon his medical school experience. Any accredited program will give a medical education but it is better to pursue a course at a school where the mission and method of teaching is similar to the student’s goals and vocation in life.