Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) is a private, not-for-profit school in North Chicago, Illinois. It has a mid-size graduate body with an enrollment of 2,086 students in five schools for 2021-2022:
- 1 – Chicago Medical School
- 2 – College of Health Professions
- 3 – College of Pharmacy
- 4 – Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
- 5 – School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
RFU ranks #324 nationally in the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). Their MD Program glows with an incredible 99% 1º year retention rate and a 94% board exam pass rate. But does it point to its quality?
We’ve researched all the key info, and here’s what we found out.
Is Rosalind Franklin A Good Medical School?
Yes, RFU is a good option for students seeking an interprofessional approach in med school. They have high academic standards, top-rank research, excellent facilities, and many extracurricular opportunities. However, possible downsides like its campus location and its climate might not make it for everyone.
Read on to find out more about RFU, learn more about its pros and cons, and see if it’s a good fit for you.
RFU: The Positives
Based on our research, we found the main positives of RFU that make for its reputation as a good school.
1. High academic quality
All clinical programs and the University itself have been granted all the years of accreditation possible, which stands for its high academic quality.
2. High alumni and employee satisfaction
Of all students, 92% report that they would re-enroll at RFU if they had to do it all over again. And 98% of employees feel RFU is an excellent place to work (Source).
3. Top rank research
RFU scientists conduct ground-breaking research in 12 major areas, forging paths toward new ways to diagnose and treat a range of diseases.
4. Significant focus on community service
Members of the 20161 class established the Interprofessional Community Clinic, which is an excellent example of the institution’s dedication to community service. It is a free clinic providing low-income and underserved residents with healthcare services.
5. Telehealth structure
ICC has made more than 180 telehealth patients visits since April 2020. When COVID-19 ceased in-person visits for RFU’s Interprofessional Community Clinic for the uninsured, the ICC’s leaders and faculty clinicians made a quick shift to telehealth meetings for primary care, behavioral health, and physical therapy patients.
6. Cutting-edge tech on a virtual health system
The University counts on 6 Simulation Labs on its campus, creating a virtual health system. Interprofessional teams of students practice more than 35,000 hours of simulation each year, improving their procedural, problem-solving, safety, and communication skills before working with human patients.
7. Clubs and organizations
RFU has more than 90 students’ clubs and organizations registered through the campus life office. Getting involved offers opportunities to have fun, exercise, give back to the community, get hands-on practice, gain leadership experience, and build a professional network.
8. Scientific innovation
The University has excellent numbers in its scientific innovation area. There are 38 US Patents held, 29 US Patents issued in the past 8 years – additional 15 patents pending. And their discovery works are internationally recognized.
9. Scholarship opportunities
In the 2019-20 academic year, $9.5 million in assistance was awarded to 1,072 students.
10. Interprofessional Education (IPE) Approach
RFU focuses on an interprofessional approach, allowing students in different health professions to learn about, from, and with each other to coordinate and improve patient care. It is more prevention-focused and improves time and cost-efficiency.
There’s more on this interprofessional setting in the video below…
11. Services for students with disabilities
At RFU, students with disabilities are supported in reaching their full academic potential.
RFU has a strong tradition of diversity, promoting inclusive excellence for all faculty, student, and staff.
It was one of the first professional schools to admit women and minority applicants long before most professional schools did this.
13. Great campus life
Campus life is a priority at RFU. It offers a costless fitness center, in classes like yoga and Zumba, thousands of student-organized events, like Diwali, a celebration of food, dance, and culture organized by the South Asia Medical Association, and much more.
14. Pathway agreements
The academic programs of RFU work with local colleges and universities to create articulation and pathway agreements to serve undergraduate students interested in careers in the health professions that require a graduate degree.
15. Residency and Fellowships
RFU offers great residency and fellowship programs, including internal medicine and psychiatry.
RFU: The Negatives
And while most of our research points to RFU being reputable and decent, there are some negatives that students and applicants report.
1. Lack of a teaching hospital
RFU has no teaching hospital, and clerkship rotations are done at multiple hospitals throughout Chicago, many of which are community hospitals.
2. Bad location
Many students complain about its campus location, far from great urban cities.
3. Weather and climate
The campus can be a little challenging. Extreme weather conditions are not unusual.
4. Ranking and prestige
RFU is unranked in US News’ Best Medical Schools: Research and Best Medical Schools: Primary Care.
5. High tuition and cost of living
RFU is a high-cost med school, with $64,500 annual tuition for 2021-2022, higher than average.
Rosalind Franklin’s Match Data
One thing that points to RFU’s status as an excellent medical school is its high match rate.
For the Class of 2021, 95% of the 196 participating graduates matched into their chosen specialties.
A high proportion of students went to Internal Medicine and Family Medicine.
The video below, although a little outdated, provides more info on RFU’s matching credentials…
How Many Applicants Does RFU Get?
Only 189 members of the College’s Class of 2020 were chosen from 12,903 applicants. That’s still a very competitive acceptance rate despite RFU’s apparent low ranking.
Does RFU Offer Scholarships?
The RFU Student Financial Service is something else that can help back up its credentials as an excellent medical school. They provide information that allows students to ease the financial burden of their education.
Does RFU Accept AP Credits?
They accept both CLEP and AP credit for prerequisites and elective courses if the course credit is listed on the college transcript. That’s a huge plus!
Conclusion: Is RFU A Good Medical School?
RFU is a good option for students seeking an interprofessional approach in med school. They have high academic standards, top-rank research, excellent facilities, and many extracurricular opportunities, remarking their credentials.
Of course, it’s not perfect (as the above negatives show), but it does provide a good student experience for the most part.
Writer | Lawyer | PhD Student at @DerechoUCA and @UFPel
I spend most of my time washing dishes, changing diapers, playing doll/ball/house/doctor/cooking with my daughter, and making my son sleep. I write and read about education, philosophy, law, religion, finance, and real estate when there is some time left. And I usually don’t sleep!