The Best Medical Schools in California are committed to preparing students to handle life-threatening medical situations. If you want to study any medical course and you are looking for the best state to study, then you should consider studying in California.
Today, some of the best medical schools in the country are found in California. So, imagine how appealing it would be to graduate from institutions like; the University of California, San Francisco, the David Geffen School of Medicine, and the Stanford University School of Medicine, just to mention a few.
Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a 13% increase in overall employment in healthcare occupations from 2021 to 2031. This is faster than the average for all occupations, and it is expected to result in approximately 2 million new jobs over the next decade.
Because the demand for medical practitioners will continue to rise. The employment prospect for medical professionals will continue to experience an uptrend. Therefore, if you are considering studying medicine in California, and want to know about the best Medical schools in California then this piece is for you.
In this post, we cover more reasons why students should consider studying in California, the top medical schools in California, and the general requirements for admission into California medical institutions.
Why Study Medicine in California?
California has some of the best medical schools in the country. Plus its attractive scenery, tourist sites, and the largest economy in the United States. California is, without a doubt, a desirable college destination. Here are some more reasons why you should consider studying in California.
#1. Globally Recognized Medical Degree
The medical program in the United States is one of the most difficult and globally recognized medical degrees in the world. Undergraduate medical programs in the United States will provide an easier path to completing post-graduate studies in the desired field. Naturally, the best medical schools in California will prioritize applicants who have graduated from medical schools in the United States.
#2. Opportunity to Establish a Medical Career
The US government generally retains international students who graduate from medical schools in the United States as valuable professionals. Also, a lot of nations welcome and facilitate the practice of American medical graduates in their nations since they place a high value on them. Therefore you can choose to start a profession in the United States or any other traditional nation with ease.
#3. Outdoor Recreation Activities
The state of California is home to breathtaking landscapes and a wide range of outdoor recreation possibilities, including mountains, deserts, woods, and beaches. Moreover, two of the nation’s most stunning national parks; Yosemite National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, are accessible to students in California.
#4. Advanced Research
The top medical schools in California frequently concentrate on cutting-edge research in many areas of medicine. This means that if you have a talent for research, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy your time studying in California.
#5. Quality Returns Over Money Spent
Studying medicine is more like an investment that comes with an appealing return on investment (ROI). During the residency program, the residents are paid an average annual stipend of up to $59,000. This ensures that the student can recoup the cost of education while also meeting living expenses in the United States during the residency program. That is nothing compared to when you begin practicing.
Top 15 Best Medical Schools in California 2023
The following are our top picks of the best Medical Schools in California
#1. UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine (Los Angeles, CA)
The David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, is the first on our list of the best medical schools in California. UCLA School of Medicine was the region’s first medical school. It was renamed after DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen gave the institution $200 million in 2002.
Geffen is ranked 19th for Best Medical Schools in Research and 13th for Best Medical Schools in Primary Care, according to U.S. News. Additionally, their curriculum is divided into three phases including Human Biology and Disease, Core Clinical Clerkship, and 4th Year Colleges. The school is affiliated with Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center.
Furthermore, the tuition for medical students in Geffen is about $38,900 for full-time, in-state students and $51,175 for full-time, out-of-state students. The acceptance rate is 2.2%, which is not as high as Stanford’s but still quite competitive.
#2. University of California, San Francisco
The University of California School of Medicine is the oldest medical institution in California and the Western United States. UCSF is connected to the UCSF Medical Center, which was named the third-best hospital in the state of California. Since 1973, UCSF faculty have been treating patients and training residents at San Francisco General Hospital.
In addition, UCSF is ranked second for best medical schools in primary care and third for best medical schools in research by U.S. News.
Given the school’s standing, the full-time tuition at UCSF School of Medicine is roughly $37,050 for in-state students and $49,30 for out-of-state students. The faculty-student ratio is 4.1:1, meaning communication between students and tutors is easier.
#3. Loma Linda University (LLU) School of Medicine
Loma Linda University (LLU) is another renowned institution on our list of the best medical schools in California. LLU is a private Seventh-day Adventist health sciences university in Loma Linda, California.
Since its inception, the School of Medicine at Loma Linda University has been committed to educating qualified medical professionals who share a dedication to Christian service. Therefore, the institution has always made an effort to bring together the best medical knowledge with kindness and Christian compassion.
Furthermore, the majority of Loma Linda medical students are involved in two highly regarded University programs: Social Action Community Health System and Students for International Mission Service. In each, they assist in the delivery of medical care to low-income people and others who do not have access to basic medical care.
#4. Stanford University School of Medicine
One of the primary reasons why Stanford University stands out among the best medical schools in California is that it is regarded as one of the best universities in the world.
Stanford University School of Medicine is a private research university. Its faculty-to-student ratio is an impressive 2.3:1, ensuring the type of personalized attention comparable to private tutoring. However, the University’s acceptance rate is 1.4, indicating that it is a highly competitive school.
#5. University of Southern California (Keck)
The University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine was founded in 1885. It is California’s second oldest medical school, following the UCSF School of Medicine. The university is dedicated to educating and training doctors, biomedical researchers, and other healthcare specialists to provide patient care.
Furthermore, the Keck School of Medicine, Southern California is ranked 28th for Best Medical Schools in Research and 52nd for Best Medical Schools in Primary Care, according to U.S. News.
Aside from a medical degree (MD), the school offers a variety of combined degrees, including MD/MPH, MD/Ph.D., and MD/MBA. The school provides masters and doctoral degree programs in a variety of biomedical fields. It also offers programs in physician assistantship and nurse anesthesia, placing it among the best medical schools in California.
#6. University California School of Medicine, San Diego
The School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) was the third medical school in the University of California system, following those at UCSF and UCLA. It is also the only medical school in the San Diego metropolitan area.
The school operates and contributes to several organized clinical research units, including the Moores Cancer Center, the Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute, the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, the AntiViral Research Center, the Center of AIDS Research, etc.
Additionally, there are more than 35 student organizations that you can join at the school. You can also participate in the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project, which offers medical care to underserved areas of San Diego.
#7. University of California, Davis
The University of California, Davis is a public land-grant research university in California. The School was ranked eighth among the Best Medical Schools in Primary Care. Also, the University’s curriculum is broad, allowing students to pursue any specialty they are interested in.
Consequently, students at UC Davis can also gain additional experience by volunteering at one of the university’s seven student-run clinics in inner-city neighborhoods.
#8. University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is a public land-grant research university located in Irvine, California. UCI offers 87 undergraduate degrees and 129 graduate and professional degrees. Also, about 30,000 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students were enrolled at UCI as of Fall 2019.
Furthermore, the university is ranked among the top Doctoral Universities with Very High Research Activity and has received over $436.6 million in R&D funding over the years.
The sports teams at UC Irvine are known as the Anteaters, and the student body is known as Antourage. They are currently members of the Big West Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in the NCAA Division I. So, studying at UCI will be all shades of fun and transformation.
#9. Touro University California
The College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California is another outstanding school among the best medical schools in California. Touro University is a private graduate school in Vallejo, California, located on Mare Island.
They provide seven degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, nursing, public health, education, and medical health sciences, preparing graduates to serve, lead, and teach in the world.
Hence, TUC also sponsors the Touro Student-Run Free Clinic, an interprofessional free clinic organized and staffed by student volunteers. The student-run free clinic was created to increase access to healthcare for low-income Vallejo residents while also improving the clinical skills of Touro University California students.
#10. University of California, Riverside
The University of California, Riverside is a public land-grant research university in Riverside, California. The University is committed to developing future healthcare professionals who will improve the health of Californians and the world at large.
Consequently, students are prepared to serve a diverse workforce of physicians and to create innovative research and healthcare delivery programs that will improve the health of the region’s medically underserved.
Furthermore, UCR is ranked among the top Doctoral Universities in terms of research activity. In addition, UCR is ranked 83rd overall and tied for 33rd among public universities in the 2022 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings.
#11. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private institution that was established by the local community. The University is dedicated to developing diverse leaders in the health professions who are committed to social justice and health equity for underprivileged people through top-notch instruction, clinical support, and community involvement.
CDU offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in a variety of health and medical professions. Since its founding, CDU has assisted about ten thousand students in launching or advancing their careers in the medical and health fields. All of these elements help CDU place among the top medical schools in California.
#12. Western University of Health Sciences
Western University of Health Sciences is a private medical school and health sciences university based in Pomona, California, with an osteopathic medical school in Lebanon, Oregon.
The University is dedicated to preparing students to be technically competent, culturally sensitive, professional, and compassionate physicians who are lifelong learners while serving society.
This is achieved by enhancing osteopathic graduate medical education and fostering excellence in curricula, translational research, service, and osteopathic clinical practice.
#13. California Northstate University College of Medicine (CNUCOM)
California Northstate University College of Medicine (CNUCOM) received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in June 2015 and provisional accreditation in June 2019. The College of Medicine (COM) is dedicated to meeting the nation’s need for physicians, with a focus on primary care training and social accountability.
Hence, CNUCOM is committed to educating students to become competent, patient-centered healthcare professionals, placing it among the best medical schools in California. In addition, education is delivered through an innovative, integrated, clinical presentation-based curriculum.
#14. Kaiser Permanente Tyson School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine is a medical school in Pasadena, California, affiliated with the Kaiser Permanente health system. In July 2020, the school welcomed its first class of 50 students. The school was renamed in November 2019 in honor of the late Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson.
The school was established by Kaiser Permanente to train “future physicians in 21st-century medicine.” As a result, it employs cutting-edge educational methods and integrates the three disciplines of clinical, biomedical, and health system science. Similarly, the school emphasizes inclusion, and diversity; student well-being; advocacy and leadership; interprofessional collaboration; and global health.
#15. California University of Science and Medicine, School of Medicine
The last on the list of best medical schools in California is the California University of Science and Medicine (CUSM). The CUSM School of Medicine is a newly accredited medical school in Colton, California/San Bernardino, California, USA. Furthermore, CUSM received preliminary LCME accreditation in February 2018 and began enrolling students for M.D. degree classes in July 2018.
Its mission is to improve the art and science of medicine through cutting-edge medical education, research, and compassionate healthcare delivery in a welcoming atmosphere that values critical thinking, creativity, integrity, and professionalism.
Similarly, over 2,400 students applied to CUSTOM’s inaugural class, with 64 students enrolling in the class of 2022. The average GPA requirement is 3.6, with an average MCAT score of 513.
What are the Requirements for Studying Medicine in California?
The features of the course and the requirements vary depending on the school. However, students must also perform well in their exams. Because the higher your grades, the more likely you are to be admitted. Below are the general admission requirements for any of the best medical schools in California:
FAQs About the Best Medical Schools in California
Do doctors get paid during residency?
Yes, doctors are paid during residency.
What is the required GPA for med school?
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) announced that the overall average GPA for medical school candidates is 3.60.
What California schools have the best medical programs?
The following are the top medical schools in California with the best programs:
- The University of California, Los Angeles (Geffen)
- University of California, San Diego
- University of California, Irvine.
- University of Southern California (Keck)
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Riverside
- Touro University California
California has some of the outstanding medical schools in the United States. One of the most significant benefits of studying in California is that a medical degree is internationally recognized, which will improve your job prospects. Whether you enjoy hiking or tourism, California has some of the most fascinating locations for both.
Therefore, if you want to start a career in medicine, studying in California is a no-brainer. We hope this article has helped you find the top medical schools in California.
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