US News and World Report declares us among the top 25 medical schools in the United States. We are pleased to be in such company and delighted to be acknowledged for our achievements as an outstanding institution of biomedical learning and discovery.
Of course, rankings such as these can’t capture the spirit and essence of our School (or indeed of any school). We are proud to be innovators, both in teaching and research. Our instructional programs have been at the forefront of medical education, from the Western Reserve2 curriculum to our growing number of Pathways; from our exploration of inter-professional preclinical education to our pilot version in the clinical arena. Also in pilot form and on tap for a major rollout are longitudinal clerkship experiences.
Our dedication to biomedical scholarship is legendary, and the recent addition of a T32 grant led by Fabio Cominelli for NIDDK-related topics, as well as multiple Howard Hughes fellowships, Sarnoff fellowships, Fulbrights, NIH Medical Research Fellowships, and AMA Minority Awards offer compelling evidence of the distinction of our education model.
Yet, to be considered a true Case doctor requires something more, perhaps best described as a tight connection to the patient – empathy, compassion, humanity. Our students bring much of this to the table, and we tease out and augment what is already pre-formed in them. At the same time, we stress the importance of self-care and resilience, devoting time and energy to these topics in the curriculum. But since they are hard to measure, they don’t register in the rankings.
With all we have to offer, and all are faculty members accomplish and represent, it’s no wonder that we attract such outstanding students. Strong as they are when they arrive, after four years they leave us immeasurably deepened. They go on to superlative residencies and we proudly track their successes as physicians and human beings.
Over the past decade we have worked hard on our research mission—and these efforts are bearing substantial fruit. We are proud that our Blue Ridge NIH ranking for the SOM, UH, and Metro jumped four slots in the last year, with awards increasing by nearly $14M. Funding to CCLCM grew by about $2M. Combined, we would place 17th in the US in NIH grants. The US News rankings certainly take funding success into account. But they don’t show how our discoveries are coming forward to patients, that we are focused on the truly critical areas of biomedical science such as cancer, vision research, and infection/inflammation. They also don’t acknowledge that all of our medical students must produce original research themselves.
So we are pleased to take a bow for our strong ranking but regret that so much is left out of the tally. Incorporating the intangibles and hard-to-measures with the calculable gives a truer picture of our merit. On the variables that matter, we are a great school: the quality of our faculty, the abilities of our students, and the caliber of education we offer.