Updated at: 19-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Choosing a medical school is a major life decision that requires careful consideration of many different factors. Some students prioritize access to world-class research facilities, while others prioritize classes taught by experts in their field of study, and still others wish to begin interacting with patients as soon as possible.

Some of the best medical schools in the country can be found in North Carolina, giving prospective doctors a diverse range of options for training in the medical sciences, research, and patient care. Some of the most diverse medical student bodies in the country can be found at North Carolina’s universities, which attracts medical students from all over the world.

What are the best medical schools in North Carolina? Here is a quick reference to the top NC medical schools, based on the ranking as reported by U.S. News & World Report.

Best Medical Schools In North Carolin

Best medical schools in north carolina

Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Lillington, NC)

Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Lillington, NC)

Convocation Center (Campbell University), Gerry Dincher, John W. Pope, Jr., CC BY-SA 2.0.

Campbell University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) in Lillington, North Carolina is the only osteopathic medical school in the state and ranks fifth in U.S. News & World Report’s annual North Carolina rankings. Students who are committed to learning conventional medicine but also interested in learning about osteopathic principles of whole-person health are attracted to the school in large part because of its unique, integrative approach to medical education.

CUSUM is a Christian university that accepts students of all faiths and cultures. The university places equal importance on developing students’ academic and emotional maturity as well as their ability to help others. Providing healthcare to underserved communities, particularly those in rural areas of North Carolina and beyond, is central to the school’s mission. Many medical students are drawn to this program because it provides them with a rare opportunity to help those who need it most while also giving them valuable experience in a real-world setting.

Not only is CUSUM’s osteopathic emphasis and community engagement what sets them apart, but also the school’s impressive track record of educational success. CUSOM has a perfect residency placement rate and its medical students consistently perform well on licensing exams. About 600 undergraduates and 150 residents and fellows from eight clinical sub-disciplines and five clinical programs represent more than 30 different states among the student body. Nearly a thousand doctors and scientists make up the faculty.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, NC)

Wake Forest University School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, NC)

The Wake Forest University School of Medicine is a hub for medical innovation, education, and research in North Carolina, with cutting-edge facilities and a new campus opening soon in the heart of Charlotte. U.S. News & World Report raised Wake Forest University School of Medicine four places to #48 on its list of the best medical research universities in the United States for the 2022 academic year.

Students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine benefit from hands-on experience in real-world clinical settings thanks to the close proximity of the school and the rest of the Wake Forest Baptist Health system (which includes community hospitals, primary care clinics, and specialty clinics) to one another. This includes having direct patient contact as early as the first week of medical school.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine has fostered a culture of academic curiosity and innovation, earning it a reputation as a top biomedical research institution both nationally and internationally. Researchers from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine have recently contributed to the development of data networks that are fueling innovative studies of viruses and their effects on specific populations.

Students pursuing a clinical, patient-centered track at the university will still benefit from interacting with faculty who are well-versed in how research-led insights translate into best-in-class patient care practices thanks to the institution’s strong reputation and practice in research.

The “Wake Ready!” program at Wake Forest University’s medical school is intended to give each student a more customized education as they pursue a future in medicine. This curriculum is designed to help students master the basic sciences in a shorter amount of time than the conventional four-year pre-clinical and clinical program. The next step in the learning process is a period of hands-on experience in the clinical setting, followed by a more individualized training phase that will fully prepare each student for their chosen career path.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill should be on the radar of every would-be medical student. Chapel Hill, North Carolina is home to the sprawling campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC Chapel Hill is a fantastic institution with a Best Colleges ranking of #43 out of 2,241 colleges and universities in the United States.

In the most recent data year, about 194 students studied medicine at UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with this degree. Graduates of the medical program report an average starting salary of $56,165.

East Carolina University

Located in Greenville, North Carolina, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (BSOM) was founded in 1969 as a public institution of higher learning dedicated to the study of medicine. It is one of the best medical schools in North Carolina and among the best in the United States, particularly in the field of family medicine.

The graduate degree programs provided by BSOM include MD, PhD, MPH, MHA, and MPH/MBA double degrees.

This medical school has the highest percentage of its graduates entering careers in family practice of any in North Carolina and is in the top two nationally. Major medical organizations have taken notice of family doctors’ stellar track records, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

In addition to covering family medicine, the curriculum at Brody School of Medicine features in-depth, foundational instruction in the sciences, clinical procedures, and community health care in a variety of settings. As a medical student, you will have the chance to become proficient with EMRs, as well as a wealth of online resources for finding the best available evidence. This education is meant to equip students with the digital and technological skills necessary to keep up with the ever-changing medical industry.

Duke University School of Medicine (Durham, NC)

Duke University School of Medicine (Durham, NC)

Duke Med refers to Duke’s medical school, the Duke University School of Medicine. Located in Durham, North Carolina on the Collegiate Gothic–style West Campus of Duke University, it was founded by James Duke in 1925. The Duke University Health System consists of the School of Medicine, Duke University Hospital, Duke University School of Nursing, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Children’s Hospital, and numerous other clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. We rank it as the top medical school in the state of North Carolina.

When it comes to teaching, patient care, medical research, and clinical services, the School of Medicine is unrivaled. The school’s 24 basic science and clinical departments are all committed to research and working together. This one-of-a-kind educational setting will be instrumental in motivating and educating the next generation of medical professionals.

Duke University Health System is a comprehensive academic health care system where medical students complete their clinical rotations. It includes a tertiary-care hospital and specialty clinics on the Medical Center campus, a Veterans Affairs hospital, two community hospitals, home health and hospice services, a network of primary care physicians, and other affiliated partners across the Southeastern United States. Although there are roughly 5,700 hospitals in the United States, Duke University Hospital consistently ranks in the top 20. It is ranked third in the country by U.S. News & World Report for research.

In addition, in 2016, the Duke University School of Medicine attracted nearly $700 million in NIH-sponsored projects, making it a prominent player in the field of biomedical research. In 2020, Duke will be one of only 10 American universities to receive more than $460 million in funding for medical research from the National Institutes of Health. U.S. News & World Report ranks Duke as the third-best medical research university in the United States, and the university is widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of biomedical research. When it comes to clinical research, Duke is ranked second in the United States for surgery and fourth for anesthesiology.

Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2012, and Paul Modrich, Ph.D., winner of the Chemistry Prize in 2015, are both members of the faculty at this institution. Members of the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences are just a few of the major national medical groups that have appointed members of the distinguished faculty at Duke University School of Medicine.

With its partnerships in Singapore and China, Duke Med provides its medical students with access to international experiences and the possibility of cross-regional collaboration in education and research. The Duke Global Health Institute offers specialized programs for medical students interested in international service learning and local student projects that aim to aid vulnerable populations in underserved areas.

Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (Lillington, NC)

Located in Lillington, North Carolina, the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) was founded in 2011. They are one of Campbell University’s seven academic divisions.

CUSOM is #5 in the state of North Carolina according to U.S. News & World Report’s medical school rankings. As the state’s first and only osteopathic medical school, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSUM) is a Christian university that welcomes students of all faiths.

When considering medical schools, students who are interested in both conventional and alternative approaches to health care will find the School of Osteopathic Medicine to be an excellent choice due to its holistic approach to the medical sciences. The curriculum emphasizes not only academic and professional competence but also kindness and empathy.

CUSOM’s mission includes encouraging its graduates to work in underserved communities, such as those in North Carolina’s rural areas or anywhere else in the world.

International and U.S. students seeking a top-tier medical education and hands-on experience addressing real-world healthcare challenges draw to North Carolina for the rewarding opportunity to give back to underserved communities.

CUSOM’s medical students consistently rank among the best in the nation on licensing exams, allowing the school to maintain a 100% residency placement rate. There are 600 students enrolled, representing over 30 different states. Of these, 150 are residents or fellows in one of the eight clinical programs or five different specialties. About a thousand doctors and scientists make up the faculty.


How many medical schools are in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to five reputable medical universities.

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

In North Carolina, obtaining your M.D. after four years of study is a realistic possibility.

Is it hard to get into the Medical schools in North Carolina?

The acceptance rate for students applying to North Carolina’s medical schools is only 5.6%.

Should I go to a well-ranked medical school?

You won’t benefit much from using rankings. It’s best if you find a school that fits you like a glove. Then you’ll have the best chance of becoming a top-notch doctor.

Should I apply to all four medical schools in north carolina?

Make your application based on your own preferences. It’s up to you to decide. I would highly recommend it if you are a North Carolinian and are interested in attending a local university. If location is irrelevant, then choose a school where you have the best chance of succeeding academically. It’s possible that location will play a role, but it certainly won’t be the deciding factor.


It can be difficult to choose a path through medical school when there are so many excellent possibilities, but after reading this article, you’ll be well-equipped to make the transition from high school to medical school.