Med School Enrollment Shows Promise for Easing Physician Shortage

Oct 26, 2012, 12:00 PM

New data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) finds a 3.1 percent increase in the number of students applying to medical school this year. First-time applicants also increased (3.4 percent), which helped bring first-time enrollment at the nation’s medical schools up to an all-time high.

AAMC’s enrollment and applicant data also finds that this year’s entering class of medical students is more diverse than last year. There was an increase in applications and enrollees in all major racial and ethnic groups, and record high numbers for African American and Latino students.

If this year’s trends continue, medical schools are on track to increase total enrollment 30 percent by 2016, AAMC says.

“Medicine continues to be a very attractive career choice for our nation’s best and brightest,” Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO, said in a news release. “Given the urgent need our nation has for more doctors to care for our growing and aging population, we are extremely pleased with the continued growth in size and diversity of this year’s entering class of medical students.”

Read the news release.
See the data.

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