The world's best medical training schools
Choosing to study medicine at any educational institute in the world is a huge commitment – it is one of the hardest and most intense courses around. It is also a course with some of the highest tuition fees; rates for 2010 entry to the Harvard Medical School tipped $42,500. However, the demand and interest in studying medicine is incredibly high and thousands of prospective medical students fight for a space on post-graduate medical courses every year.
With that in mind, Healthcare Global has looked at the five best medical schools in the world – according to the 2011/2012 QS World University Rankings – and explored the outstanding features of each institution.
Stanford University, US
Stanford’s School of Medicine has made it to the fifth position in the QS rankings. It was credited as being “one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions, with one of the most renowned faculties in the nation.”
In total, some 11,000 students study at Stanford each year – 7,000 undergraduates and 4,000 post-graduates. QS describes its medical students as being “distinguished by their love of learning and desire to contribute to the greater community.”
Its Medical Center consists of three different facilities; the Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
Stanford is reportedly one of the most selective universities in America, outdone only by Harvard, inviting just seven percent of its applicants to study there. It is also the third wealthiest university in the world.
Oxford University, UK
World famous Oxford University has been honoured as having the fourth best medical school on the planet. The Medical Sciences Division at Oxford is also the school’s largest division, offering courses in medicine, clinical pharmacology and neuroscience among others.
The Division is recognised on an international level as being a centre of excellence for biomedical and clinical research and teaching. State-of-the-art facilities and world-leading courses and programmes are on offer to students lucky enough to secure a place to study there. QS described Oxford as one of Europe's most innovative and entrepreneurial universities.
In terms of the university itself, it is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the third oldest in the world generally. Oxford caters well for international students and almost 25 percent of its students travel to the UK from overseas.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US
In third place is MIT’s medical school, one of America’s oldest and largest biomedical and physician-scientist training courses. MIT holds a unique partnership with Harvard University and together the institutes form the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). It integrates the three disciplines of medicine, science and engineering to find solutions to problems in human health.
Some of the biggest innovations in healthcare have come from MIT and the 350 undergraduate students it caters for, most notably the drug regime that turned HIV/AIDS into a treatable illness. HST tackles its mission of advancing human health through three core focuses; biomedical imaging, biomedical informatics and biomedical technologies.
As a whole, MIT counts 70 Nobel laureates as members of its alumni and eight are still active faculty members.
University of Cambridge, UK
The School of Clinical Medicine at Cambridge University has been ranked as second in the QS list. Located within the world famous Addenbrookes Hospital, like Stanford, it is notoriously hard for students to be invited to study at the School. Hopefuls reportedly require a degree in pre-clinical medicine from either Cambridge itself, Oxford or St Andrews and applicants from outside of these institutions are rarely accepted.
Some of the biggest discoveries in medical history have come out of Cambridge’s med school, including the first direct measure of blood pressure and the discovery of monoclonal antibodies. Cambridge University is also home to James Watson and Francis Crick, who together discovered the structure of DNA.
In addition to being world-famous for its levels of academic achievement, Cambridge is also credited with having unbeaten research programs. The Clinical School of Medicine has a number of research focuses, including cancer, cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, genetics and neurosciences, to name just a few.
Harvard University, US
Being one of the most famous medical schools in the world, it comes as no surprise to find out the Harvard Medical School (HMS) at Harvard University came as number one in the QS rankings.
HMS is affiliated with 17 hospitals and research institutes across Boston and has a relationship with three flagship teaching hospitals; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
HMS has a reported annual budget of $600 million to spend across its various departments, which include Global Health and Social Medicine, Neurobiology, Genetics, Microbiology and Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, to name just a few.
Such a huge financial injection provides top-of-the-range facilities to students and enhances the quality of the globally renowned research programs, allowing HMS to achieve high scores in both clinical care and research.
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Bachem turns 50 - a timeline
Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.
1971 - beginnings
Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
1977 - 1981 - early growth
Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150.
1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion
The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988.
Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance.
1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public
Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.
In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day.
2007 - 2013 - acquisitions
Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services.
In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion.
In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas.
2016 - 2019 - a global leader
In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K.
By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future.
2020 - COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and 272 new employees are hired.
2021 - a milestone anniversary
Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are plans to continue expanding.
Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."