After Delay, U.S. News Sets Tentative Timing for Med School Rankings Release

— This year's rankings were delayed for a second year in a row

 A night shot of Harvard ľֱ School in Boston, Massachusetts.

After being delayed for the second year in a row, a new -- yet tentative -- timeline was announced for this year's "Best ľֱ Schools" rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

First due out in April, the ratings are now "tentatively scheduled for late July," U.S. News revealed in a . Along with the new release date, schools are being re-surveyed, and more changes are underway.

As part of the release, there will be "specialty rankings based on data from the American Academy of Family Physicians on practicing in primary care fields, comparing schools on their student diversity, and producing graduates who practice in rural and medically underserved areas," U.S. News stated. "However, after significant evaluation of submitted and publicly available data, the new research rankings will not make use of any bibliometric data or award transparency credits as previously announced and will not include rankings of specialty areas in medical research."

"While U.S. News continues to believe that bibliometrics are a strong indicator of how impactful a medical school's faculty has been in the field of medical research, U.S. News was unable to verify all entities and affiliates where faculty from the medical schools may practice or conduct medical research due to the complexity of reporting and legal structures," the outlet continued.

U.S. News said of the delayed release for this year's rankings in April that it had received and was reviewing queries from some graduate schools, including those regarding bibliometric data.

Late last week, medical schools that submitted a statistical survey to U.S. News last fall and earlier this year were sent new emails, the outlet stated. The emails asked recipients to "verify and possibly correct any values on their admissions data, medical student and faculty counts, and NIH and federal research funding amounts," they previously reported.

Recipients will have between June 7 and June 21 to update their data, U.S. News stated. The outlet plans to ultimately rank schools following a similar methodology used in last year's rankings, "but with reputational factors excluded and remaining ranking factors proportionally upweighted to compensate."

An exception is that admissions factors "may be upweighted a bit more and faculty resources a bit less in the primary care ranking," U.S. News noted.

As usual, medical schools will be given an embargoed look at their rankings before they are published, the outlet added.

In response to an inquiry from ľֱ regarding whether most schools are expected to respond to the new survey and what happens if there are any that do not, a spokesperson for U.S. News declined to comment further on the matter beyond what the outlet detailed in its blog post.

This year's delay and further changes come amid ongoing tumult for the annual "Best ľֱ Schools" rankings.

Last year, a number of top medical schools announced their decisions to no longer submit data to or participate in the rankings. Harvard ľֱ School led the way in doing so, and a number of other institutions followed suit.

Before the release of last year's rankings, U.S. News removed a preview of the year's top ranked medical schools from its site, with the outlet stating at the time that it was "dealing with an unprecedented number of inquiries" during its embargo period.

Ultimately, when last year's final rankings were released, there were measurable changes from the preview. However, the rankings still included a number of schools that had publicly withdrawn, due in part to data that U.S. News sourced itself.

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    Jennifer Henderson joined ľֱ as an enterprise and investigative writer in Jan. 2021. She has covered the healthcare industry in NYC, life sciences and the business of law, among other areas.