For the first time in six years, the number of medical school applicants has decreased by 0.2%, according to a study released by the AAMC, just this past week. Although this data reverses the trend of application increases over the last five years, competition is still strong with more than two applicants for every spot. In addition, the AAMC has been urging medical schools to increase enrollment by 30% by 2015 (compared to 2002 levels) in order to meet the expected medical needs of a growing and aging population.
AAMC CEO Dr. Darell Kirch emphasized, however, that in order to truly combat the projected physician shortage, more residency programs must be created. Medical school graduates must be able to receive the hands-on training in their specialties that such residency programs provide.
A few statistical highlights:
- In 2008, there were 42,231 medical school applicants, compared to 42,315 in 2007; a 0.2% decrease.
- In 2008, 18,036 students enrolled in medical school programs, compared to 17,759 in 2007; a 1.6% increase.
- 47.8% of 2008 med school enrollees were women, compared to the 52.2% that were men.
- In 2008, The AAMC added three new medical schools to its membership, bringing the total number of accredited U.S. medical schools to 129.
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