When looking around your MCAT prep classroom you may feel like the number of med school applicants has always been high, but the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) announced (“Number of First-Time Medical School Applicants Reaches New High”) that the number of first-time applicants to medical school has reached an all time high. The number of first-time applicants increased 2.6% in the past year, bringing the total number of new applicants in 2011 up to 32, 654. The total number of all applicants also rose 2.8% to 43, 919.
If you are worried the rising number of applicants will make applying to med school even more competitive than before, have no fear. The total number of students enrolled also rose 3% to 19,230, helping enlarge class sizes to prepare for forecasted physician shortages.
What is even more significant is the diverse racial and ethnic background of new med school applicants. This year Black/African American applicants increased by 4.8%, and Hispanic/Latino applicants increased by 5.8%. As Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., AAMC president and CEO, points out: “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.”