The United States is home to some of the world’s oldest and best medical education facilities. Over the years, countless minds have been molded and shaped in their various halls of excellence.
Today we count down ten of these schools.
We’ll pay particular attention to each, look at their history and recap some interesting facts.
If you’re stuck on which med school to apply to – and fancy yourself something of a history buff – this one’s for you.
We’ll be going in order of youngest to oldest…
10 Oldest Medical Schools In The US
- 10. Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine (1824)
- 9. University of Vermont College of Medicine (1822)
- 8. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1819)
- 7. Alpert Medical School at Brown University (1811)
- 6. Yale School of Medicine (1810)
- 5. University of Maryland School of Medicine (1807)
- 4. Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine (1797)
- 3. Harvard Medical School (1782)
- 2. Columbia University Roy and Diana Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (1767)
- 1. Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (1765)
Let’s take a closer look at each…
Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine
The tenth oldest medical school in the country, MUSC is Located in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s the oldest institution of its kind in the Deep South.
The school was founded in 1824 and has since established itself as a beacon of medical training in the south of the US. Six colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions, Graduate Studies, and Dental Medicine) are home to over 3,000 students and 800 residents.
MUSC is the only academic health sciences center in Louisiana that deals with education, patient care, and research.
The school colors are black and gold and the official motto is Auget Largiendo, which is Latin for “She (the university) enriches by giving generously”.
University of Vermont College of Medicine
Next up on the list is the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine. This school is now known as the Robert Larner College of Medicine. It was founded in 1822 in Burlington, Vermont.
The school offers a Certificate in Integrative Healthcare in addition to its staple M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. It’s also one that’s extremely selective, with an acceptance rate lower than 5 percent.
Green and gold are the official school colors.
In 2016 the college was renamed after “Class of 1942” graduate Robert Larner. This followed a sizeable donation from his family.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
UC College of Medicine is a lovely school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Founded in 1819, it is the eighth oldest medical school in America and the oldest school of its kind located west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Today, the school is located in central Cincinnati, a few miles east of the UC uptown campus.
The college has been home to some of the country’s sharpest minds across its 200+ year existence. One notable alum is James B. Preston, whose research laid the groundwork for understanding how human brains control movement.
Related: 10 Famous Med School Dropouts
Nowadays, it is a famed integrated health sciences center that caters to students, physicians, researchers, and patients from all over the U.S. and beyond.
The school colors are red and black, and the motto is Juncta Juvant, which translates to “Strength in Unity”.
Alpert Medical School at Brown University
Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School hardly needs an introduction. A shining light in medical training, this school is highly decorated and notoriously selective.
Founded in Providence, Rhode Island, in the year 1811, the college was one of the first American institutions to offer medical training. Today, it is part of Brown University’s Division of Biology and Medicine.
It was renamed after businessman Warren Alpert following a $100 million donation in 2007.
The college accommodates about 470 students and has one of the country’s lowest acceptance rates at 3%.
Yale School of Medicine
Yale’s graduate medical school is undoubtedly a leading light in western medicine. Founded in 1810, the school has been training some of the world’s best medical practitioners for over 200 years. It is located in New Haven, Connecticut, on the main Yale University campus.
The school accommodates nearly 2,000 students and has over 5,000 members of staff. The jewel in the school’s crown is the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, one of the largest medical libraries in the western world.
University of Maryland School of Medicine
The fifth oldest medical school in this list is the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, which was founded in 1807. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, UMSOM is famous for being the first public medical school in the U.S.
UMSOM is also the first school to adopt a residency training program.
Its main building, the Davidge Hall, is one of UMSOM’s key features and it is famed for being the oldest medical education building in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine
This Ivy League research center is an iconic part of the medical landscape in the U.S. and beyond, and has been so for quite some time. Founded in 1797, it is America’s fourth oldest medical training institution.
The Geisel School of Medicine has witnessed quite a few notable achievements, including the country’s first intensive care unit and X-ray.
Harvard Medical School
No university list is complete without talking about Harvard. Founded in 1782, HMS is the third oldest medical school in the country. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area in Boston, Massachusetts.
HMS is one of the top-rated research institutes in the global medical arena and is consistently rated as being the best in the US. With an acceptance rate of 3.3%, the school is as exclusive as it is prestigious.
Notable alumni include William Bosworth Castle and Karl Lauterbach.
It also features on our list as one of the most fun med schools in America too!
Columbia University Roy and Diana Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
In 2017, Roy and Diana Vagelos donated a cool $250 million to Columbia University’s world-famous medical school. As a reward for such generosity, the university decided to rename it in their honor.
The college itself was founded in 1767, making it one of only two American medical training institutions established before the country itself obtained independence. It is located in Manhattan, New York. The average enrollment number is around 1500 students.
According to US News, the college is ranked in the top ten for research and top 40 for primary care among all US medical schools.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Known affectionately as Penn Med, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is the oldest medical training institution in the country.
The school was founded in 1765 in what is now known as University City in Philadelphia.
Penn Med is a regular recipient of numerous National Institute of Health (NIH) grants and is widely regarded as one of America’s top five medical research facilities. It enrolls over 1,800 M.D. and Ph.D. students, as well as 700 post-doctoral fellows. Perelman also boasts several clinical and research centers.
Interested in learning more about studying medicine and how to pick a great med school? Check out more of my campus guides here.
Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in digital marketing and journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.