On May 10, 2022, Research.com released the 1st edition of the annual ranking for top scientists in the area of medicine. This list of leading scholars is designed to offer the academic community more visibility and exposure to the influential research contributions made by those at the forefront of medicine.
What is more, we hope it will inspire researchers, decision-makers, and entrepreneurs around the world to find out where leading experts are heading. It is a great opportunity for all of us to learn who are the leading experts in different research areas, in different countries, as well as within different universities and research institutions.
For the 2022 edition of the ranking, more than 65,700 scientist profiles on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph have been examined with several indicators and metrics reviewed in order to consider each scientist’s inclusion in the ranking.
The h-index threshold for approving a scholar to be considered was set to 70 if most of their publications were in the field of medicine. The inclusion criteria for scholars to be considered into the ranking of top scientists are based on the discipline h-index, the proportion of contributions made within the given discipline in addition to the awards and achievements of the scientists.
The full ranking for the 2022 list of top medicine scientists can be found here:
Scientists from the United States dominate the list with 599 scholars included in 2022 which represents 59.9% of the whole ranking. What is more, 8 out of 10 scientists in the top 1% are from the United States.
The United Kingdom ranks second with 106 scientists.
The third spot was taken by Australia, which currently has 40 ranking scientists.
The other leading countries are Canada with 32 scientists, Germany with 32 scientists, the Netherlands with 31 scientists, Italy with 20 scientists, and Sweden with 19 scholars.
Please note that the country associated with a scientist is based on their affiliated research institution according to MAG, not on their actual nationality.
In the 2022 edition of our ranking, Harvard University is the leader, with 64 scientists affiliated with that institution included in the ranking. Ranking second is the US National Institutes of Health with 36 scientists, and the third place is occupied by Mayo Clinic with 25 scholars.
American universities and institutions constitute 80% of the top 10 leading institutions with the other two representing the UK (University College London, and University of Oxford).
Only 2 out of 10 institutions affiliated with the top 1% of leading scientists are based outside the USA. These two spots are occupied by two scientists from McMaster University, Canada (spots 8 and 10 respectively).
At its heart, medical research seeks to improve the quality of life. As such, those in the medical profession are highly-regarded members of their communities. This is not limited to medical practitioners per se but also extends to other professions essential to healthcare provision, such as professionals holding a healthcare administration degree. The value placed on healthcare professionals is reflected by the premium placed on salaries. Physicians and surgeons have a median pay of equal to or greater than $208,000 every year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022). Physician assistants earn a median annual pay of $121,530, while medical and health services managers earn $101,340. As such, those interested in medicine and healthcare have many incentives to actually contribute to the field in any capacity. Thanks to the advent of online degree programs, more people can gain access to education and training to do so.
Of course, the most straightforward path is to become a practicing physician. While there are quality yet relatively easy medical schools to get into, training is—as it should be—largely hands-on that only on-campus educational programs can provide. Advanced medical degrees and healthcare specializations, however, are more flexible, courtesy of online education. This is especially so for research-focus tracks such as infectious diseases, drug discovery and development, and clinical research management. Many of these degrees are offered exclusively via distance learning—opening doors for enriching research endeavors in the medical field.
The same way goes for healthcare tracks where graduates find work in research. Many online degree programs go beyond biomedicine proper. They extend their investigations and practice to other more social aspects of healthcare delivery. They usually have intersections with other disciplines such as data science, economics, and public policy analysis. Indeed, they can be interdisciplinary, drawing from various fields of study to produce useful knowledge for improving the delivery of medical services—ranging from working on diagnoses and cures to fashioning technologies to create awareness and enforce disease preventive measures. With online education and its acceptance going strong, we can expect more active research participation in the future; not only from traditional healthcare professions but also from researchers in adjunct disciplines that can put other scientific viewpoints to bear on how medicine is viewed and practiced.
For North America, Professor Walter C. Willett from Harvard University is on top of the list with a world ranking of no. 1 as well. His h-index is 347.
For Asia, Professor Shizuo Akira from Osaka University, Japan is ranked first in the region, with an H-index of 248. He’s also listed as no. 14 in the world ranking.
For Oceania, Professor David J. Hunter from the University of Sydney, Australia ranks 1st on our list of leading scientists in that region. He’s also listed as no. 19 in the world ranking with an h-index of 234.
Professor Douglas G. Altman from the University of Oxford, UK leads the top list in Europe with a world ranking of 23 as well.
Professor Dan J. Stein from the University of Cape Town, South Africa ranks as the first scientist in Africa, with a world ranking of 212.
Professor Facundo Manes from Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil is the highest-ranking scientist from South America with a world ranking of 600.
The average H-index for the top 1% of scientists is 290 against an average of 154 for all 1000 scientists included in the ranking.
The scholar with the lowest index value who made it to the ranking in 2022 has an H-index of 130.
The average number of published articles for the top 1% of scientists in the ranking is 1714 against an average of 761 for all 1000 scholars.
The average number of citations for the top 1% of scientists is 387,616 against an average of 112,433 for all 1000 scholars. The highest cited scientist is Douglas G. Altman from the University of Oxford with 920,349 citations.
You can learn more about the methodology used to create the ranking here.
All research was coordinated by Imed Bouchrika, PhD, a computer scientist with a well-established record of collaboration on a number of international research projects with different partners from the academic community. His role was to make sure all data remained unbiased, accurate, and up-to-date.
Research.com is the number one research portal for science rankings. Our mission is to make it easier for professors, research fellows, and those studying for a PhD or a master’s degree to progress with their research and to ensure they are always up-to-date with the latest conferences around the world and publications related to their work. Research.com is also involved in the publication of an annual ranking of leading scientists in a wide range of scientific disciplines.