More and more students are entering medical school


U.S. medical school enrollment hit a 20-year high in 2020, with a total of 22,239 enrolled, according to the report. New data from AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). This figure represents a 1.7% increase compared to the 2019 admission class.

Meanwhile, the number of applicants for 2021 has surged, with numbers already up 18% compared to last year.

“The growing interest in medicine comes at a critical time,” said David J. Scoton, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of AAMC. “The pandemic has put the spotlight on the extraordinary service that doctors provide on the front lines. More students want to pursue a career in medicine to contribute and make a difference in their communities.” It’s reassuring to see you there.”

The data show Medical schools, too, have seen little or no growth in applicants from underrepresented groups, while the ranks have gradually diversified, he said. One of the population showing a notable increase is black or African American males. Their numbers in medical school overall he increased by 6.2% and freshmen he increased by 12.2%.

“We are slowly moving in the right direction by getting more students from underrepresented groups into medical school,” said Skowton, also a goal outlined in the AAMC’s new strategic plan. He called for further progress in building a diverse medical workforce.. “Our goal is to continue increasing the number of underrepresented groups of students until they are no longer underrepresented in the medical community,” he said.

Some key data help paint a picture of medical students from underrepresented backgrounds.

  • Applicants increased 8.6% to 2,678, although the proportion of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish applicants decreased slightly.
  • Applicants increased 10.5% to 2,117, while black or African American applicants remained about the same.
  • Native American or Alaska Native enrollments increased 7.8% to 248, while applicants for that group decreased 4.3%.

There has been an overall increase in the number of incoming students who identify as black or from other underrepresented groups. But the increase is concentrated in a small number of schools, highlighting the important role of historically black colleges and Hispanic institutions, experts say. “While this highlights the important role of institutions serving minorities, at the same time other schools are also revisiting class diversification to increase historically underrepresented populations in medical schools. It shows there is a need,” argued Dr. Jeffrey Young, Senior Director of Student Affairs and Programs at AAMC.

The report also captures other important trends.

women are on the rise. Continuing a five-year trend, the number of women entering medical school increased again in 2020, while the number of men declined. In 2017, women outnumbered men among new medical students for the first time. They now make up more than half of her three categories of applicants, enrollees and medical school enrollments.

Medical schools are working to address the shortage. Applicants declined slightly from 2019, but enrollment increased as the medical school expanded class sizes to address the issue. Looming shortage of doctors. Enrollment in medical schools has increased by nearly 35% since 2002, and 30 new schools have opened in recent decades. Meanwhile, the AAMC continues to urge Congress to lift the cap on federally funded residency positions to address a projected shortage of up to 139,000 doctors by 2033.

Students have high expectations. Medical students have an excellent academic record with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.73. They also demonstrate a commitment to service that includes extensive contributions during the pandemic. Each enrolled student volunteers an average of 644 hours, with a combined total of more than 14 million hours of service nationwide.



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