Medical school applicants reach record high: 5 things to know

Medical school applicants and enrollees reached an all time high this year, according to data released Thursday by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

"The nation's medical schools are creating innovative education and training programs to prepare tomorrow's doctors to meet the challenges of the changing healthcare environment," Darrell Kirch, MD, president and CEO of the AAMC, said in a statement. "This dynamic landscape is leading to a record number of students applying to and enrolling in medical school."

Here are five things to know about the 2015 incoming class of medical students, according to AAMC.

1. With 20,630 students, 2015 marks a record year for medical school enrollment. Since 2002, enrollment has increased 25 percent.

2. A total of 52,550 applied to medical school this year, up 6.2 percent over last year — double the percentage increase seen in 2014.

3. Almost three-fourths of those applicants were first-timers, indicating a strong interest in medicine nationwide. First-time applications rose by 4.8 percent to 38,460, according to the report.

4. The female-to-male ratio remained 48 percent to 52 percent, the same as last year. However, the number of first-time female applicants grew by 6.2 percent, compared to 3.5 percent growth over last year in first-time male applicants.

5. Medical schools improved the diversity of their incoming class this year in some, but not all, racial and ethnic categories. Latino enrollees increased 6.9 percent over last year to 1,988 and African American enrollees increased 11.6 percent to 1,576. Enrollment of African-American males, a group whose presence has particularly declined in medical schools, improved this year too, by 9.2 percent. However, American Indian and Alaska Native enrollees dropped 3.5 percent, despite that the number of applicants increased 2.9 percent.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

Why physicians will have trouble adjusting to new mammogram screening guidelines
12 statistics on the financial health of physicians under 40
Oregon Health & Sciences University opens second rural medical school campus

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