Top Medical Schools in the United States

College students hoping to attend the medical school faced a wide range of options. Types of degrees, and philosophical orientations vary among programs. Understanding of the various forms of medical schools helps you make an informed decision about where to apply. Think about your career goals and learning style before applying to a particular type of medical school.

Founded in 1765, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the first school of medicine in the United States.

Allopathic Medicine

The majority of doctors in the United States are trained on allopathic medicine programs, which are the most common form of medical school. At the end of an allopathic veterinary medicine program, students get a doctor-or MD degree. Medical schools with a traditional orientation took students to diagnose and treat medical diseases. Some doctors go on to specialize in other areas of medicine, such as Pediatrics, Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology or Oncology. See glossaries.

Osteopathic Medicine

There are fewer Osteopathic than Allopathic medicine programs in the United States. Students, who implement a four-year-old Osteopathic Medicine program get a doctor of Osteopathy or D.O. degree. An Osteopathy training program takes a more holistic approach to medicine, than a traditional program. Doctors with a D.O. are competent in the traditional medicine and osteopathic manipulative treatment, where the hands are used to diagnose and treat diseases. Most osteopathy programs prepare students to become practitioners, although some DO choose to specialize in other areas of medicine.

Training Philosophies

In addition to offering various degrees, medical school programs vary in their education philosophies. Many programs use traditional educational models, where students spend the first two years in the classroom learning the Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, and Microbiology. In the next two years, students complete clinical rotations in several fields of medicine. Other medical schools avoid the traditional approach and teaching medicine using problem-based learning. This education philosophy makes specific clinical cases to students and teach them to think critically and develop strong problem-solving strategies.


According to abbreviationfinder, some medical schools offer degrees other than MD or DO. Medical Assistant programs are two-or three-year programs that educate students to be doctors. Physician Assistants diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments under the supervision of a doctor. Other schools offer medical podiatric medicine or DPM degree. These doctors specialize in the treatment of the foot, ankle and lower leg.

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