US Medical School Enrollments Increase 25% Since 2002

Medical school enrollment in the United States is up 25% for the 2015-2016 academic year compared to 2002–2003 levels, according to the latest figures from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

The results of the 2015 Medical School Enrollment Survey were released this month at the AAMC’s Health Workforce Research Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

In response to concerns of a looming physician shortage a decade ago, the AAMC recommended a 30% increase in first-year medical school enrollment by the 2015-2016 academic year (over the 2002-2003 levels).

According to the latest report, medical schools have expanded enrollment by 25% over the 2002-2003 level, just short of the AAMC’s 30% goal. But the report predicts first-year US medical school enrollment will reach 21,434 students—an increase of 4,946 students—by 2017-2018, which would be a 30% increase over the 2002-2003 baseline enrollment level of 16,488 students.

Medical School Enrollments and Other Findings

  • Medical schools are increasingly concerned about the availability of graduate medical education opportunities for their incoming students.
  • The number of schools reporting competition for clinical training sites from DO-granting schools and other health care professional programs has nearly doubled since 2009.
  • Most schools are dedicated to increasing diversity in their student body and increasing student interest in caring for underserved populations through targeted policies and programs.
  • Enrollment at colleges of osteopathic medicine continues to accelerate.
  • Schools are dedicated to increasing diversity in their student body and increasing student interest in caring for underserved populations.

Across the country, medical schools are also more focused on serving diverse health needs. Last year, 84% of medical schools had established or planned to implement policies focused on recruiting diverse students who want to work with underserved populations. Another 49% are focusing on students from rural communities, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Read the full report here.

Interested in medical school? Learn about UVM’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program.

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