Medical School Enrollment Climbs

Oct 26, 2011, 1:11 PM, Posted by

The number of first-time medical school applicants reached an all-time high this year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The number of students applying to medical school for the first time in 2011 increased 2.6 percent over the previous year.

The data also show improvements in recruitment of traditionally underrepresented groups. There were gains among most major racial and ethnic groups for the second year in a row, both in the pool of applicants and in medical school enrollees. African American applicants increased by 4.8 percent, and Hispanic/Latino enrollment increased by 5.8 percent.

β€œAt the same time the number of applicants is on the rise, we also are encouraged that the pool of medical school applicants and enrollees continues to be more diverse. This diversity will be important as these new doctors go out into communities across the country to meet the health care needs of all Americans,” Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO, said in a statement.

Total enrollment also increased by 3 percent, as medical schools increase their class sizes to educate more physicians in anticipation of a workforce shortage.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.