Best Medical Schools for Surgery (2023)

April 25, 2024
Contents

”Akhil

Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 4/25/24

Are you thinking about going to medical school for surgery? We’ll be going over the best medical schools for surgery and a detailed overview of each of the schools.

If you're reading this, you're probably thinking about attending medical school and what you'll be specializing in. If you're considering becoming a surgeon, you must find the right school. 

In this article, you'll be given all the facts about the best medical schools for surgery. Making an informed decision about what medical school you should go to isn't easy. However, this informative guide will help you make that scary yet exciting decision.

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Best Medical Schools For Surgery In The US

Below is a list of the best medical schools in the US for surgery.

Johns Hopkins University Medical School

Ranking: #1 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Student-faculty ratio: 5.1:1

Tuition: $62,850

Johns Hopkins University's Department of Surgery offers medical students a core surgery clerkship for eight weeks. Students must participate in this clerkship where they will spend the first four weeks on a general surgery rotation, and the following four weeks will be split into two-week rotations on the subspecialty services. 

This clerkship also has students attending lectures and weekly labs to build the right skills needed in their clerkship and future careers.

The University of California-San Francisco Medical School

Ranking:  #2 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: San Francisco, California

Student-faculty ratio: 4.1:1

Tuition: $11,700.00

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has a General Surgery Residency Program that prepares students to become safe and qualified surgeons, leaders, and teachers in surgery. 

Clinical rotations are a part of the student's training process at the UCSF. During rotations, students take care of patients in various hospitals while learning about general surgical techniques and gathering information about clinical situations. 

Students can also participate in research activities for two to three years. This research opportunity begins after the third clinical year.

Harvard University Medical School

Ranking:  #3 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Boston, Massachusetts 

Student-faculty ratio: 14.6:1

Tuition: $69,300

Harvard Medical School (HMS) was founded in 1782. It is the best medical school for surgery in the US Harvard Medical School offers students pursuing their medical degree early clinical experience, advanced clinical experience, as well as basic/population science experiences

HMS students are given research opportunities where they can carry out hypothesis-based research in fields like the social sciences, arts, and medical humanities. The research opportunities and fellowships help students gain some experience in the medical field. 

Duke University Medical University

Ranking: #4 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Student-faculty ratio: 2.7:1

Tuition: $48,745

Duke University is recognized as one of the top 10 hospitals and medical schools in the US for its excellent clinical training and research programs. The Duke General Surgery Residency Program provides students with a thorough training program. The program also has diverse clinical settings for training available to students.

The school also offers students fellowships in various areas of surgery:

  • Abdominal Transplant Surgery
  • Breast Surgical Oncology
  • Congenital Cardiac Surgery
  • Endocrine Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery

The Surgery Residency Program, and the various fellowships, give students the best resources to learn and develop the skills needed for their future careers. 

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Medical School 

Ranking:  #5 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Student-faculty ratio: 3.9:1

Tuition: $53,278

The University of Michigan Ann Arbor Medical School's General Surgery Residency Program offers students a comprehensive curriculum and fantastic research opportunities. Students will learn operative and surgical skills to help them prepare for their future careers in the field.  

Through clinical rotations, students are offered innovative training experiences where they'll develop technical and clinical skills. Students are also evaluated and given feedback about their performance during those clinical rotations.

Stanford University Medical School

Ranking:  #6 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Stanford, California

Student-faculty ratio: 2.3:1

Tuition: $63,747

Stanford University Medical School has a General Surgery Residency Program that offers students a curriculum focused on didactics, general surgery training, and operative experience. The curriculum teaches students the knowledge of general surgery. The program’s training portion gives students the surgical skills needed for their future careers.

The University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Ranking: #7 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Student-faculty ratio: 4.6:1

Tuition: $65,940

The University of Pennsylvania Medical School has a General Surgery Residency program that teaches students science fundamentals related to clinical surgery and the skills need for patient care in all areas of surgery.

Fellowships are also available to students in various areas of surgery, such as: 

  • Aortic Surgery Fellowship
  • Thoracic Surgery Fellowship
  • Transplant Fellowship
  • Vascular Surgery Fellowship

The University of Pennsylvania Medical School strives for excellence with its students, training them well for their future careers in the field. 

Columbia University Medical School 

Ranking:  #8 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: New York, New York

Student-faculty ratio: 4:1

Tuition: $70,884

Columbia University Medical School has a five-year clinical training program. The program heavily focuses on clinical experience, and students engage in pre-training activities. Columbia University Medical School has an online interactive resource as well as inanimate and animate surgical simulations for students to learn from

New York University Medical School

Ranking:  #9 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: New York, New York 

Student-faculty ratio: 2.5:1

Tuition: $0

New York University Medical School has a unique approach when it comes to tuition. They've offered medical students free tuition to encourage more doctors to choose lower-paying specialties.

Students tend to gravitate towards high-paying specialties to pay off medical school debt; however, NYU offering free tuition can help students pick the right specialty for them.

The General Surgery Residency Program offers students a Surgical Core Clerkship where medical students attend presentations, evaluations, and operative treatment for six weeks.

Northwestern University Medical School

Ranking:  #10 (Tie) in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Student-faculty ratio: 3.1:1

Tuition: $69,850

The General Surgery Residency Program at Northwestern University includes the following training:

  • Three junior clinical years
  • Two professional development and research years
  • Two senior clinical years

The program offers students a comprehensive curriculum, clinical rotations, and mentorships. Students are also later evaluated on their performance.

Washington University in St. Louis Medical School

Ranking:  #10 (Tie) in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Student-faculty ratio: 5.5:1

Tuition: $69,250

Washington University in St. Louis' General Surgery Residency Program offers flexible surgical training to students so that they can learn at their own pace. The medical school offers this flexibility by introducing skills and a simulation lab that allows students to learn technical skills.

A wide array of research opportunities are also available to students with the supervision of mentors. Students have the chance to research various topics such as surgery, immunology, genetics, and public health. 

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Ranking:  #12 (Tie) in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Rochester, Minnesota 

Student-faculty ratio: 2.1:1

Tuition: $64,000

Mayo Clinic School of Medicine's General Surgery Residency Program teaches students about performing standard and complex surgical procedures one-on-one with a Mayo Clinic Surgeon. 

The curriculum consists of clinical training where students will be able to observe and participate in various surgeries. Clinical research is also available to students, where they can conduct at least one clinical research project.

The University of California-Los Angeles Medical School

Ranking:  #12 (Tie) in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Los Angeles, California

Student-faculty ratio: 3.9:1

Tuition: $43,843

The University of California-Los Angeles' (UCLA) General Surgery Residency Program offers students formal education and clinical rotations. The curriculum consists of weekly didactics, teaching sessions, and surgical anatomy labs. 

Students also take two to three years off from clinical training to pursue research projects. These research projects range from basic science to health services. 

Vanderbilt University

Ranking:  #12 (Tie) in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Nashville, TN

Student-faculty ratio: 6.9:1

Tuition: $66,828

Vanderbilt’s General Surgery Residency Program allows students to work closely with specialty surgeons and researchers, working together as a cohesive team to not only deliver exceptional care to their patients, but also to discover the latest in surgical innovations.

Located in Nashville, the surrounding community also gives students a chance to explore and unwind in the vibrant city. 

Yale University

Ranking:  #12 (Tie) in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: New Haven, CT

Student-faculty ratio: 4.1:1

Tuition: $67,484

Yale, part of the Ivy League, have been known for it’s excellence in education from it’s inception. Their General Surgery Residency program is no exception to this. What sets Yale’s teaching style apart is new surgeons are not graded for the first two years of their residency. Rather, they are encouraged to take responsibility for their own education by attending small group seminars and learning in a state of the art and hands on approach. It is common that new residents reach over 300 surgery cases in these first two years. 

The University of Pittsburgh Medical School

Ranking:  #10 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Student-faculty ratio: 3.9:1

Tuition: $63,334

If you're looking for a flexible General Surgery Residency Program, the University of Pittsburgh Medical School offers just that. It provides students with both basic and advanced surgical experience. The program has various educational and training tools, clinical rotations, and research opportunities. 

Emory University Medical School

Ranking:  #12 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Atlanta, Georgia 

Student-faculty ratio: 4:1

Tuition: $54,000

The General Surgery Residency Program at Emory University Medical School is five years long, with the option of adding an extra one or two years for a research sabbatical. With their six training facilities, students are given exposure to surgical cases. 

In recent years, Emory University has extended its rotations to include plastic surgery, cardiac surgery, pediatric surgery, and minimally invasive surgery to increase student exposure to the field. 

Baylor College of Medicine

Ranking:  #13 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: Houston, Texas

Student-faculty ratio: 3.7:1

Tuition: $19,425

The General Surgery Residency Program at Baylor College of Medicine offers students a broad range of clinical rotations. Students are also given training in all areas of general surgery such as abdomen, breast, head and neck, vascular system, endocrine, trauma, and critical care. 

The school's Simulation Core is a crucial tool for training students. It provides students with the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques and continuous education for practicing surgeons.

Cornell University Medical School

Ranking:  #14 in Best Medical School for Surgery

Location: New York, New York

Student-faculty ratio: 4.1:1

Tuition: $67,400

The General Surgery Residency Program at Cornell University Medical School has a comprehensive curriculum and offers students research opportunities and simulation training. 

While working on their research projects, students work closely with an established investigator. Students are encouraged to pursue these research opportunities that fit their interests. 

How to Find More Great Medical Schools for Surgery

If you’re still hoping to find more medical schools that specialize in surgery, you’re in luck! Our selection tool down below can help you find tons of high-ranking medical schools. You can even specify that you’re interested in surgery to get more accurate and specific results!

Medical Schools for Surgery: FAQs

If you still have questions about what are the best medical schools for surgery, check out these frequently asked questions. 

1. Which Medical School Is Best for Surgery?

The best medical school for surgery is John Hopkins University, followed by The University of California-San Francisco and Harvard University.

2. How Hard Is It To Become a Surgeon?

Becoming a surgeon is challenging because of the number of years you’ll spend in school. Getting into and staying in  medical school is also difficult because of the amount of studying that’s done.

When it comes to how many years you'll spend in school, you must first complete a four-year undergraduate program, attend medical school for four years, and complete your residency in three to seven years. In total, it takes between 10 to 14 years to become a surgeon. 

3. What Is the Best Medical School for Surgery in the US?

The best medical schools for surgery in the US are Harvard University, followed by:

  • John Hopkins University
  • Duke University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of California-San Francisco
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Columbia University

Final Thoughts

It's no secret that studying in medical school is quite difficult. Not only that but studying to become a surgeon requires a lot of hard work, dedication and ambition.  

Finding the best medical schools for surgery is essential if you're in that boat where you want to become a surgeon. This guide would’ve helped you find the best school for you and helped you make the right decision.

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