Which is better? MSAR or US NEWS Premium Ranking?

So! I think I am probably going to suck it in and buy the new MSAR 2006-2007 when it comes out in May sometime. It’s not too much money or anything, but I was wondering if anyone thinks it’s a waste of money or not. Is the US News and World Report Ranking Guide (online version) just as good and useful when researching the schools? THANKS

I have the US News book and I found it very helpful. I used it to generate a preliminary list. Then went to each school’s website and read more about them before deciding on my final list.

What is the web-address for the U.S. News list?


These two documents provide very different sets of data. The MSAR literally provides individual programs’ course requirements, course age limitations, student body demographics, mean applied & admitted MCAT scores & GPAs. The USNews ranking, in my opinion, is merely a media/politico generated propaganda piece. The parameters they utilized to rank-order programs may or may not even be applicable or important to you in selecting programs. For example, a major criteria for the USNews ranking is NIH research dollars. Unless that is important to you, it means next to nothing - but figures prominently in the ranking paradigm.
So, ascertain what data you are seeking & purchase accordingly.

Also, please, please, please, for the love of all that is holy, go to your university library and ask a reference librarian to help you locate other sources of information. They have excellent skills in discerning good information from bad and most of the time end up telling people where the bathroom is. You’re paying for those librarians! Use them!

that’s a good idea, Samenewme. I haven’t actually thought of consulting with the librarian… i think i’ll definitely try that.
thanks everyone.

As OMD mentions, these are two very different sets of data. The MSAR information comes directly from the admissions offices at each school. Every autumn during my tenure there, I received the form from AAMC and wrote/updated the information for Stanford. It wasn’t rewritten or re-filtered prior to publication.

Hi there,
The question that begs to be answered is: What are you looking for specifically? As other posters have explained, the MSAR and USN&WR “rankings” are vastly different.
Another source of information about medical schools are the websites of the schools themselves. It depends on what you are interesting in knowing. The Princeton Review also has listings of medical school information. The are plenty of websites that can provide info about individual schools including this one. Among the posts can be found info about many schools because we have had an OPM member or alum who attended there.
The “rank” of a school is pretty meaningless if you do not get an acceptance there. The number one school in the country is going to be the one where you get accepted, do well and graduate from. Your performance in medical school speaks volumes more than the perceived “prestige” of the school. In the end, no matter where you end up, you are the controller of your fate.
Good luck!