4 Best Medical Schools in Houston

The best medical schools in Houston are the best study destination for traditional M.D degree programs and clinical hands-on experience training. 

In this article, you’ll get to know the quality of each of these medical schools, their respective M.D programs, affiliated hospitals, and admissions.

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Best Medical Schools in Houston

4 Best Medical Schools in Houston

  1. Baylor College of Medicine 
  2. University of Houston College of Medicine
  3. McGovern Medical School
  4. Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

1. Baylor College of Medicine

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is a private, independent health sciences center founded in 1900 and located in Houston, Texas. BCM is made up of four schools: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; the School of Health Professions, and the National School of Tropical Medicine.

BCM has a reputation for excellence that extends beyond research and community service. It is also a well-respected institution. Baylor Medical students will have the opportunity to experience the largest medical college on the planet.

Baylor College of Medicine’s academic programs is consistently ranked among the top-tier in their respective fields. National School of Tropical Medicine also has the distinction of being the only school in the country dedicated solely to the treatment, education, and policy of neglected tropical diseases.

Baylor University offers many opportunities to earn an MD. There are two options: you can choose to complete the traditional four-year MD degree program, or you may combine your MD with a second master’s degree via one of four dual-degree opportunities. These dual-degree programs will be described further below.

  • The MD/Ph.D. program is available to those who want to train as physician-scientists, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
  • Through a partnership with Rice University, the MD/MBA Program is designed for individuals who wish to train as leaders in healthcare and entrepreneurs. If you are interested in the dual degree program, please apply once your application has been accepted or admitted to Baylor College of Medicine.
  • The MD/MPH program is for students who wish to make a positive impact on public health. It is a partnership with the University of Texas School of Public Health. This 5-year program will allow students to take both medical and health classes during their first three years of graduate school. They will then focus exclusively on public health in their fourth year and only medical school classes in the final year.
  • The MD-JD is for people who are interested both in legal and clinical aspects of the health system. This program is in partnership with the University of Houston Law Center. Students who are interested can apply for this program during each institution’s regular admissions cycle. They can expect to complete both degrees in six-year.

BCM is affiliated with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center – the flagship hospital in the CHI St. Luke’s Health System. Harris Health System’s Ben Taub Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are some of the other affiliated teaching hospitals. Baylor College of Medicine formally announced an affiliation with Baylor Scott & White Health, on November 18, 2020. This will create a new Temple regional medical school campus that will accept 40 students every year, starting in Fall 2023.

Baylor College of Medicine admissions

The Baylor College of Medicine is highly selective with an acceptance rate of 5.3 percent. The average median GPA was 3.93 and the median MCAT score was 518 for the Baylor College of Medicine Class of 2024 

Baylor College of Medicine does not require you to have a minimum GPA or to pass the MCAT. To help you decide if Baylor is a school that you should apply to, you can use your average GPA as well as your MCAT score. 

Admissions requirements

Baylor is a highly competitive school for medical students. There are several prerequisites to make sure that they are ready for the rigorous preclinical and clinical courses at the renowned university.

You will need to complete the following coursework in Mathematics, preferably biostatistics (at least 3-4 semester hrs), writing for expository purposes e.g English, history, or public policy (3-4 semesters), Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (at least 12 semester hours), Organic chemistry: (6-8 semester hours), Biochemistry, and Biology (3-4 semesters).

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Baylor Medical School recommends that applicants also take Spanish. There is a large Spanish-speaking patient population at Texas Medical Center. Baylor does not require applicants have a science degree; the admissions site states that they accept all applicants.

Baylor also seeks applicants with the following qualities: Ability to think critically, Intellectual ability to support Baylor institution, Student body, Diversity, Demonstrated Interest in Medicine, Integrity, Exposure to many opportunities and experiences, and Leadership.

All Baylor Medical School applicants must pass the Casper test.

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2. University of Houston College of Medicine

The University of Houston College of Medicine (UHCOM), is the graduate medical school of the University of Houston founded in 2017 and located in Houston. It has since remained one of the best medical schools in Houston. The college received LCME-Preliminary Accreditation in February 2020 and will be among the fully accredited medical schools in Texas in January 2024.

UH College of Medicine’s primary focus is on primary care because of the small number of primary care doctors practicing medicine in Texas. It is the major reason why the school was established. The College of Medicine only offers one program: Doctor of Medicine (MD) which is ideal for students who want to study Medicine and earn an MD degree as a primary care physician in Houston.

The UH College of Medicine’s Doctor of Medicine degree is divided into three sections:  Pre-Clerkship, Core Clerkship, and Graduate education. Each phase will be explained.

Pre-Clerkship Phase

This first phase lasts 18 months. Courses in Biomedical Sciences and Patients, Physicians, and Populations are taught. Biomedical science courses include Clinical Anatomy and Human Development (for 9 weeks), Scientific Foundations of Medicine (9 Weeks), 9 courses in Integrated Organ-System Training (9 courses, 3-6 weeks each course), Integumentary Systems, Hematologic and lymphatic systems, Nervous System, Musculoskeletal System, Nutrition and Gastrointestinal System, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems, Renal and Urinary Systems, Reproductive and Endocrine Systems, Behavioral Medicine.

Continuity Clinic

Students are placed in ambulatory care settings to learn communication skills and patient management. They are taught the fundamental functions of teamwork in primary care.

Household-centered Care

The clinic is for families with “complex health problems.” A total of 10 families will be visited by students. Each family will face unique challenges every day. Students will gain valuable experience in complex health issues. They will also be able to better understand the realities of life at home when patients are admitted to a clinic for treatment.

Clinical Focus Settings

Six weeks of clinical classes will be taken by students during their time in the pre-clerkship curriculum. In the end, students will be required to pass the National Board of Medical Examiners’ (NBME), Comprehensive Basic Science Examination, and Transitions to Clerkship course.

Core Clerkship Phase

The core clerkship phase is 11 months long and includes four immersion rotations in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and OB/GYN. Each lasts 4 weeks.

Students will be able to view case-based conferences in order to “reaffirm and manage common clinical problems, simulations of patients, and core biomedical content”. They will also experience a primary care clinic in a simulation. Interacting with patients, diagnosing and treating. The USMLE Step 1 Examination must be passed in order to progress to Advanced Clerkship Courses which takes 15 months and includes rotations in ICU (4 Weeks), Medical, Surgical, Neurological, Pediatric, Newborn ICU, and Sub-internship (4 weeks). 

Graduate Medical Education

The University of Houston College of Medicine recognizes how crucial residency is to students. It bridges your advanced clerkship courses with your fellowship. You can put all your knowledge, hard work, and experience to use in a clinic setting. HCA Houston Healthcare is a partner of the University of Houston College of Medicine. They offer family medicine, OB/GYN, as well as surgical residency programs.

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3. McGovern Medical School

The John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School is the graduate medical school of the University of Texas Health Science Center established in 1969 and located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, (UTHealth Houston). It is the seventh-largest medical school in the United States and one of the best medical schools in Houston.

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In 1970, the Medical School at Houston enrolled its first class of 19 students and currently enrolls a class size of 240 students. It is also affiliated with Rice University, meaning that Rice undergraduates can get the necessary support they need to pursue a medical degree. 

McGovern Medical School offers the Doctor of Medicine Program (MD), Doctor of Medicine + Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Medicine + Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Medicine + Master of Public Health, Doctor of Medicine + Master of Bioethics, and the Doctor of Medicine + Dentistry

Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program

This is a traditional, four-year program for McGovern Medical School students who want to become medical doctors and physicians. 

Core Competencies

To get into this program, you must first make sure you have the core competencies expected from McGovern students. This includes Medical Knowledge, Patient Care, Clinical Skills, Interpretation of Medical Data / Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Professionalism, interpersonal and Communication Skills, and Systems-Based Practice. 

These core competencies help students achieve success as medical doctors in any medical field.

The program Curriculum focuses on Foundations of Medical Science,  Internal Medicine, Doctoring I: History and Physical, Hematology + Introduction to Pathology, Cardiovascular, Renal, Pulmonary, Doctoring II: Longitudinal Clinical Experience, Gastrointestinal, Nervous System + Behavior, Endocrine, Doctoring III: Longitudinal Clinical Experience, Reproductive Systems, Musculoskeletal System + Dermatology, Step 1 Prep, and Scholarly Concentration

Longitudinal themes include Professionalism/Ethics; Population Health; Evidence-Based Medicine; Systems of Care; and Clinical Skills. 

Students must complete Required Clerkships in Surgery, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, Geriatrics, Psychiatry, and Obstetrics/Gynecology. Other career focus tracks focus on Advanced Patient Care, Critical Care, Ambulatory, and 5 Elective Courses. 

Doctor of Philosophy + Doctor in Medicine Dual Degree

You might be interested in the MD/Ph.D. dual degree program if you are passionately involved in medicine, and research. dual degree. All courses will be offered to students in the MD curriculum. Furthermore, you will be working on your dissertation in order to earn your Ph.D.

During your program, you’ll be able to work with patients at UT Health, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. McGovern Medical School will keep your learning in-house. This will help you save on moving and travel costs.

Doctor of Medicine + Master Of Public Health

This dual degree option is for students who want to be involved in healthcare on an even larger scale. While it is vital to treat patients in a clinical setting, it is equally important that we consider public health. Public health encompasses the entire community as well as how healthcare in your local area affects residents.

This program typically takes five years, which saves a lot of time for students.

Doctor of Medicine + Master’s in Business Administration

This dual-degree option is unique in that it is not kept in the house. McGovern Medical School partnered with the University of Houston Clear Lake in order to make this degree possible.

Healthcare changes rapidly, so an MBA is a great way for you to keep up. These degrees equip you to both help patients and their families financially. You’ll be well-prepared to take on leadership roles in a wide range of medical settings.

Your student advisor should be contacted. Make sure to tell your advisor that you wish to be a dual-degree student and not just an MD student. They’ll make sure you are in good health and can apply for dual-degree status at both universities.

Doctor of Medicine + Dentistry

This dual-degree option works well for students who desire to pursue a career in dentistry and especially facial surgery.

Doctor of Medicine + Biomedical Informatics School

McGovern Medical School does not necessarily accept dual degrees. You can choose to study at the Rio Grande Valley Campus for your MD training.

The School of Biomedical Informatics has a focus on electronic health record systems and clinical decision support systems. The curriculum examines how these tools might be improved. Data interpretation and managing data will be covered. There are many ways you can use the data to improve your healthcare and biomedical data.

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To get your master’s level, you must complete 39 credit hours at the School of Biomedical Informatics. Twelve credits may be earned from your medical classes. You’ll also have to do a practicum on biomedical informatics.

Doctor of Medicine + Master Biomedical Engg

This dual-degree option will only add one more year to your training. You will need to dedicate all your time to the Master of Biomedical Engineering degree. A thesis is not required, but you will need to take a lot of classes that require concentration.

McGovern Medical School Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for admission into McGovern Medical school, you must be a U.S. citizen. A permanent resident can be in Pending status. You will not be allowed to interview at McGovern if this criterion isn’t met.

You will need to have completed at least 90 hours of undergraduate courses at an American or Canadian university. This is the most important component of a bachelor’s since you must have at least 120 credits in order to obtain a degree anywhere.

The MCAT exam must be taken. McGovern Medical School will accept scores within five years of the MCAT exam.

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4. Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM) is the medical school of Sam Houston State University founded in 2019 and located in Conroe, Texas. The college grants the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree and is one of the top medical schools in Houston. 

SHSU-COM is pre-accreditated by the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). The college has 17 full-time biomedical science faculty, 20 full-time clinical faculty, and 37 staff members. 

Sam Houston State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is a college that prepares students for doctor of osteopathy (COM) degrees. It focuses on rural practice and primary care. Graduate physicians from the College of Osteopathic Medicine will follow osteopathic principles and provide patient-centered and professional care to the Texas people. 

SHSU-COM offers the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree. The curriculum is an integrated, systems-based approach that focuses on rural medicine and epidemiology. There are five major affiliated regions for clinical rotations which include over 20 hospitals and/or health care facilities: Southeast Texas, Nacogdoches/Lufkin, North Region, Montgomery County, and Fort Bend County. 

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Conclusion

That’s everything about the 4 best medical schools in Houston. 

There are quite a number of M.D programs and joint degree programs offered by these schools, backed by a rigorous M.D curriculum. Medical students experience clinical hands-on experience training and clinical training at affiliated hospitals and medical centers in Houston and Texas. 

FAQs on Best Medical Schools in Houston

What is the number 1 medical school in Houston?

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) is a private, independent health sciences center made up of four schools: the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; the School of Health Professions, and the National School of Tropical Medicine.
Baylor University offers a traditional four-year MD degree program or a combined MD program with a second master’s degree via one of four dual-degree opportunities offered by the school of medicine. BCM is affiliated with Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center – the flagship hospital in the CHI St. Luke’s Health System, Harris Health System’s Ben Taub Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

How long does it take to graduate from a medical school in Houston?

The Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in Houston program requires 4 years to complete.

What is the cheapest medical school in Houston?

The cheapest medical school in Houston for 2022 is McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ($26,125 a year). 

How many Medical schools are in Houston?

There are four accredited medical schools in Houston.

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