To prepare yourself for an exciting and rewarding career in medicine and any of its related fields, you need to choose a good medical school! For those who wish to study in or near the city of Philadelphia, there are several schools with medical degree programs from which to choose, and many other high-quality medical schools within a short distance of the city limits of Philadelphia.
All of these schools vary greatly in terms of tuition costs, academic requirements, course studies and degree programs offered, and reputation. Note a few of the top-rated medical schools in and around Philadelphia so you can then narrow your choices as needed and ensure you opt for the right university for you.
Best Medical Schools in Philadelphia
1. Drexel University College of Medicine
Drexel University College of Medicine is the medical school of Drexel University. Drexel University College of Medicine resulted from the consolidation of two medical schools; the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the first medical school for women in the U.S., and a former college of homeopathy.
Drexel University College of Medicine is one of the most applied-to medical schools and has one of the highest enrollments for private medical schools in the U.S. At Drexel, students typically study at the Queen Lane Campus, formerly part of the Woman’s Medical College, and at Center City Hahnemann Campus, the college’s nearby teaching hospital.
Drexel University College of Medicine, as with many other medical schools in the U.S., grades students on a pass/fail basis. In recent years, the university also transitioned to a new curriculum, called Foundations and Frontiers, designed to train medical students to adapt to today’s ever-changing interdisciplinary healthcare systems. Part of the Foundations and Frontiers curriculum includes studies in population health and healthcare financing, among other similar subjects.
2. Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Commonly known as Penn Med, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania. Penn Med was founded in 1765, making it one of the oldest medical schools in the U.S.
Penn Med is also considered part of the Ivy League, and the school typically ranks as one of the highest-rated in the country. It is also a leading recipient of research awards from the National Institute of Health and various private foundations.
Penn Med is associated with many nearby teaching hospitals, including:
- The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
- Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
- Pennsylvania Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Chester County Hospital
- Lancaster General Hospital
- The Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Penn Med’s curriculum emphasizes multidisciplinary learning as an adjustment to today’s healthcare options and treatment methods. Its coursework also follows three main themes; the Science of Medicine, the Art and Practice of Medicine, and Professionalism and Humanism.
3. Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Thomas Jefferson University is the ninth oldest medical school in America. The university merged with Philadelphia University in 2017 and is consistently regarded as one of the most well-respected medical schools in the country. In 1877, a 125-bed hospital opened as part of the university, becoming one of the first hospitals affiliated with a medical school.
Thomas Jefferson University is not solely a medical school in Philadelphia but consists of four separate colleges:
- College of Architecture and the Built Environment
- Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce
- College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts
- School of Continuing and Professional Studies
The university’s medical department was renamed the Sidney Kimmel Medical College in 2014 after philanthropist Sidney Kimmel donated $110 million to Jefferson Medical College. The school emphasizes medical research and treatment options in healthcare and preventative patient care.
4. Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Temple University in Philadelphia is host to the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM). LKSOM is one of the few schools in the city of Philadelphia to offer an M.D. degree; the university also offers a variety of masters and Ph.D. degree programs.
This medical school is consistently ranked as one of the most reputable and sought-after medical schools in the state and the country overall. With an emphasis on biomedical sciences, LKSOM is consistently one of the top 10 medical schools in the U.S. in terms of hopeful applicants.
Temple University School of Medicine also has a renowned record for research and medical care; in 2014, its scientists became renowned for research in removing HIV from human tissue. The university’s Fox Chase Center is also ranked 19th in terms of the best hospitals for treating adult cancer.
Temple University School of Medicine is very selective in its admissions process. In 2010, there were reportedly over 9600 applicants, with only 540 of those applicants being accepted. That translates into just over a 5% acceptance rate.
5. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
While technically located in the city of Hershey, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is considered one of the most widely respected medical schools in the state and is part of Penn State University. The school was founded in 1963 when the Hershey Foundation offered Penn State some $50 million to establish a medical school in Philadelphia. The university accepted and built a school, teaching hospital, and research center in Hershey, naming it the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Since its founding, the school has grown considerably, and its campus has nearly doubled in size. The university has continuously added its new buildings, including the Medical Science Building, Animal Research Farm, Laundry and Steam Plant, and apartments.
In addition to their graduate programs, the school trains over 500 resident physicians in various medical specialties. They also offer continuing education programs and a number of nursing programs and degree options. The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center also continuously receives awards and grants from federal funding and private agencies, often totaling more than $100 million.
I hope that this list of top medical schools in Philadelphia was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!