7 Top Medical Schools In Philadelphia (Career Paths, FAQs) | 2023

Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and world-renowned educational institutions. 

Among these institutions are several prestigious medical schools that have played a crucial role in shaping the city’s healthcare landscape and producing some of the best doctors in the country.

Whether you are a prospective student or simply interested in learning more about medical education in Philadelphia, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of this dynamic and exciting field.

We will explore the top medical schools in Philadelphia, their unique programs and specialties, and the resources available to students.

Is Medical School Worth It?

Medical school is worth it, but it’s not an easy path. It takes dedication and a significant time and money commitment to study medicine.

There’s a good reason why working in the healthcare industry has never lost its appeal.

Taking care of people’s health and seeing them through their recovery and return to life is a truly rewarding experience.

To enter medical school, prospective students must have completed a four-year pre-med program, earned a bachelor’s degree, and scored well on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

It takes an additional four years to complete medical school. Plus, even after earning your degree, you’ll need to put in some time in a residency program to gain practical experience and hone your skills.

Top 7 Medical Schools In Philadelphia

1. The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

The Perelman School of Medicine is one of the U.S.’s oldest and most prestigious medical schools. 

The school offers various degree programs, including an M.D. program, a joint M.D./Ph.D. program, and several biomedical science master’s and doctoral programs. 

The curriculum provides a strong foundation in basic sciences and clinical training. 

The faculty includes experts in various medical specialties, and the school houses several research centers and institutes, such as the Penn Center for Precision Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center. 

With an acceptance rate of around 3.5%, admission to the Perelman School of Medicine is highly competitive, evaluating applicants based on academic achievement, research experience, and personal characteristics.

2. Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University 

Sidney Kimmel Medical College is a highly respected medical school in Philadelphia, known for its innovative curriculum, clinical training, and interprofessional education. The school is one of the top medical schools in Philadelphia.

The college offers multiple degree programs, including the competitive M.D. program with an acceptance rate of approximately 3.7%, the M.D./Ph.D. program, and the Physician Assistant program. 

The curriculum emphasizes the basic sciences and hands-on clinical experience, starting from the first year of medical school. 

Sidney Kimmel Medical College also has an outstanding research reputation, with research centers such as the Jefferson Vaccine Center, Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, and Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. 

Students receive a comprehensive education and diverse opportunities for growth and development.

3. Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University 

Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia is renowned for its commitment to providing healthcare to underserved communities and its focus on urban health. 

Its curriculum is designed to integrate clinical experiences and basic sciences, emphasizing problem-based learning and small-group discussions. 

The school offers a range of programs, including M.D., MD/Ph.D., and M.D./Masters. It is home to research centers, and institutes focused on neuroscience, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. 

Accredited by the LCME, the school is consistently ranked as one of the top medical schools in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report.

4. Drexel University College of Medicine 

The Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most respected medical schools in the U.S. 

It offers a range of programs, including the M.D. program, a combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and several other graduate programs. 

The MD program combines classroom instruction with clinical experiences, and students also have access to unique programs such as the Early Assurance Program for high school seniors. 

The college is affiliated with several hospitals in the Philadelphia area, offering students ample opportunities for clinical experiences and research opportunities. 

The Drexel University College of Medicine is a top choice for aspiring healthcare professionals.

5. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) 

This well-respected medical school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1899. It is one of the oldest and largest osteopathic Medical Schools in Philadelphia.

PCOM offers a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree and graduate programs in biomedical sciences, physician assistant studies, and forensic medicine.

PCOM’s curriculum provides a well-rounded education emphasizing patient-centered care, primary care, and osteopathic principles and practices. 

The school has partnerships with numerous healthcare organizations in the Philadelphia area, providing students with various clinical training opportunities.

In addition to its academic programs, PCOM is known for its research initiatives. 

The school has several research centers and institutes, and students can engage in research projects under the guidance of faculty members.

6. Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) 

This medical school is located in Camden, New Jersey, a neighboring city of Philadelphia. 

Although CMSRU is not technically located within Philadelphia city limits, it is still considered part of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. It serves as a primary medical education resource for the region.

CMSRU was founded in 2012 and is one of the relatively medical schools in Philadelphia.

However, it has quickly gained recognition for its innovative curriculum, commitment to community outreach, and dedication to producing socially responsible physicians. 

CMSRU strongly emphasizes team-based learning, clinical experience, and research opportunities for its students.

If you are interested in attending a medical school near Philadelphia but not necessarily within the city limits, CMSRU is undoubtedly worth considering.

7. Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM), Scranton, Pennsylvania.

GCSOM is a private medical school that was established in 2008. 

It offers a four-year Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program, as well as a Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) program, a Master of Health Administration (MHA) program, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. 

GCSOM is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

While GCSOM is not located in Philadelphia, it is still a reputable medical school in Pennsylvania worth considering. 

The school strongly emphasizes community service and clinical experience, and its curriculum is designed to prepare students for careers as competent and compassionate physicians.

10 Career Opportunities For Medical Students in Philadelphia

1. Physician

Medical school graduates’ most common career choice is to become a physician. Physicians can work in various settings, including hospitals, private clinics, and government agencies. 

They diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, prescribe medications, and provide preventative care.

2. Surgeon

Surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in performing surgeries. 

They work in hospitals and outpatient centers and perform operations to treat injuries, diseases, and deformities.

3. Medical researcher

Medical researchers conduct research to understand diseases, develop new treatments, and improve patient outcomes. 

They are employed in universities, research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies.

4. Medical educator

Medical educators at any of the medical schools in Philadelphia, teach and train future physicians and other medical professionals. 

They are employed in medical schools, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations.

5. Medical writer

Medical writers create written content for medical publications and educational and marketing materials.  They must be knowledgeable about medical topics and have excellent writing skills.

6. Medical consultant

Medical consultants advise and guide healthcare organizations, government agencies, and other institutions on healthcare policies, procedures, and practices.

7. Medical technology specialist

Medical technology specialists develop, implement, and manage medical technology and software systems used in healthcare settings.

8. Medical sales representative

Medical sales representatives sell medical devices, equipment, and pharmaceuticals to healthcare providers, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations.

9. Public health professional

Public health professionals work to promote and protect the health of communities. 

They develop and implement public health policies and programs, research, and provide health education.

10. Healthcare administrator

Healthcare administrators manage healthcare facilities and organizations. 

They oversee budgets, personnel, and operations and ensure that the organization provides high-quality care to patients.

Frequently Asked Questions on Medical Schools In Philadelphia

What makes Philadelphia an attractive destination for medical school?

Philadelphia is a hub for healthcare, with a vibrant medical community and access to world-renowned hospitals and research facilities. The city boasts top-tier medical schools with experienced faculty, comprehensive curriculums, and diverse clinical opportunities.

What is the minimum GPA requirement for medical school acceptance?

Medical schools typically require a minimum GPA of 3.0, although some schools may consider applicants with lower GPAs on a case-by-case basis. However, having a lower GPA may make gaining acceptance to a medical program more challenging, and applicants should aim to have a competitive GPA to increase their chances of acceptance. Strong MCAT scores, extracurricular activities, and relevant healthcare experience can bolster an applicant’s profile.

What is the highest-ranked medical school in the U.S.?

According to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report, Harvard Medical School is currently the highest-ranked medical school in the U.S. However, other institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania also rank highly and offer exceptional medical education and training.

How many physicians come from Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia region has trained many doctors, with approximately one in every six physicians in the U.S. having received their training there.


Philadelphia is home to some of the finest medical schools in the country, offering a range of programs and opportunities for aspiring healthcare professionals. 

From traditional M.D. programs to innovative dual-degree programs, students can find the perfect fit to achieve their goals.

If you’re considering pursuing a medical career, Philadelphia is an excellent choice for education and training. 

With top-tier institutions, experienced faculty, and access to world-class medical facilities, you’ll have the tools you need to succeed.

Don’t wait any longer; start your journey to becoming a healthcare professional today.

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Righteous Godwin
Righteous Godwin

Righteous Godwin, a graduate of Mass Communication, is a content and creative writer. Her passion for writing compels her to give her all to every project she undertakes.

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